Ivy Liacopoulou [kopiaste]
When did you start cooking? Who got you started in this art?
I started by watching my mother cook and helping her out.
Why did you decide to pursue a career in food?
I don't consider it a career but merely a hobby.
Is there a website or blog where we can see something about you and your cooking?
Yes, my blog in English is http://kopiaste.org and in Greek http://kopiaste.info
What culinary training have you received? Where have you learned more, in class or by experimenting?
The hard way using the three EEE method: Experience, experience, experience.
How and where did you get your first job as a professional cook?
I catered a party for 50 people.
How would you define your style?
I like fusion cuisine.
Do you select and buy the ingredients yourself? Where?
Yes. Always the freshest. Mainly from the farmers' market.
What is your favorite spice to cook with and why?
I make my own spice mixture which I use in some of my recipes but if I were to choose only one I would say black pepper as I use it in ALL my recipes.
What is your signature dish or your favorite recipe?
Difficult to narrow it down to one but I would go for a classic traditional Greek recipe "pastitsio" which is layers of tubular pasta with minced meat in the middle and a bechamel cream on top.
What is your favorite cooking gadget?
My Kenwood Major Chef mixer.
Who have been the biggest inspirations in your career?
Do you have an funny kitchen incident to share with us?
Can't remember any.
If you were stranded on a deserted island for one year, what dish would ask to eat after your rescue?
Ice cream :)
If any chef in the world could prepare a meal for you, who would it be?
Greek Chef Lefteris Lazarou.
Men versus women: do they cook differently?
Women cook with the heart.
Is there something you hate to see when you go to a restaurant as a customer?
Do you sometimes find yourself eating junk-food?
Who cooks in your home?
I do and occasionally my husband when I am away.
Tell us about your favorite wines and other drinks to accompany food.
I don't drink alcoholic drinks.
What tendencies do you see coming on strong?
More people following the Mediterranean Diet.
What do you think about molecular gastronomy in terms of introducing chemical elements into dish preparation?
Not my style.
What new techniques are you interested in learning
I want to start experimenting with fondant.
What are some of your professional goals for the future?
I would like to make a business (not necessarily a restaurant) using my cooking skills.
What advice would you give to someone in high school who would like to pursue a culinary career?
It's not an easy job so if you really love it then you will succeed.
What would you say to a novice in the kitchen to help them get over their fear of cooking?
One step at a time, like everything else.