Chef Konstantin Filippou

Chef Konstantin Filippou

Growing up in Austria as the son of a Greek father and an Austrian mother, Chef Konstantin Filippou almost had no choice but to be utterly inspired by two such wonderfully different cultures. He credits this multicultural upbringing for creating the unique approach to food that earned him a second Michelin Star for Restaurant Konstantin Filippou earlier this year. After working in some of the best kitchens in the world – Restaurant Steirereck in Vienna, Gordon Ramsay and Le Gavroche in London, and Arzak in San Sebastian just to name a few – Chef Filippou decided to open his first solo project and namesake restaurant in 2013. It quickly became the talk of the town. The restaurant is situated in the heart of Vienna and combines local, Austrian flavours with Mediterranean soul and techniques. The result? Dishes that are a perfect balance between the chef’s two heritages. Chef Filippou believes in pure, straightforward cuisine which is characterized by an unbridled passion for ingredients and an eye for what really matters: the essence of taste.

 

At Restaurant Konstantin Filippou you desire to reproduce all the tastes and palatable experiences you discovered in Austria and the Mediterranean region. Which of the two cultures has had the bigger influence on your work? 

“All my experiences influence me at all times. Sometimes the Mediterranean side is stronger, sometimes the Austrian one. The important thing for me is to let these influences in and make the most out of them for my restaurant, my career and of course my guests.”

What is the best part of living and working in Austria and its culture? 

“First of all, the fact that we actually have a culture. And, that we cultivate it. There are so many great things deriving from our food-heritage which inspire me every day. My aim is to not only worship the past, but to make the best out of everything I have learned from our heritage and develop it for our future.”

How do you source for your products and make sure you get exactly what you want?

“That’s a constant process that we’re in every single day. We are looking for the best produce from the best sources all the time and it never stops, we’re constantly researching….”

How did you decide to become a chef? 

“The idea came over me when I was a teenager and I watched my parents cook fresh food for me every day. I did my culinary training in a small family-run place in Salzburg.”

What was your first job in a kitchen? 

“My first stop brought me to Hotel Unterhof in Filzmoos, Austria. There, the Executive Chef took me under his wing and taught me the basics of the Austrian cooking culture. The Sous-Chef – a trained butcher – taught me how to produce sausages. This foundation in the technical art of cooking fascinated me and nourished my vision that ‘something grand will develop’.” 

What part of your personality comes through most in your work?

“The Perfectionist and Avant-Gardist.”

What do you think your life would look like if you hadn’t become a chef?

“I’d most probably be an artist.”

How does being a chef effect your home life?

“I always want to get excited and surprised when I eat. But this can also be accomplished by excellent, basic ingredients. That’s important for me. Other than that I’m pretty easy in my free time.”

What do you enjoy doing with that free time?

“I love to travel, and meet with my friends and family.”

When are you happiest?

“When I’ve finished a great service and see happy faces in my dining room.”

What has been your favorite dish you’ve ever made, inside or outside a restaurant kitchen? 

“My favourite dish is a childhood memory: The Garides Saganaki. It’s a very traditional Greek dish which I always ate during my summers at my family’s in Greece.”

What’s the number 1 ingredient that makes any recipe better? 

“Olive Oil. It’s pure taste, pure love and enriches every dish.”

What do you consider a chef’s biggest asset? 

“Imagination and taste. I hope I have both [smiles].”

How do you usually respond when one of your chefs makes a mistake in the kitchen?

“Well, I need to be very strict about things because every mistake can make a guest’s dining experience go in the wrong direction. So, I tend to be a hard but fair chef.”

What advice would you give a starting chef?

“They need a strong belief in oneself and a great sense of imagination to start a career in this field. If you have that, everything can happen.”

You received your second Michelin star this year (congratulations), has there ever been a time where your success has gotten the best of you? 

“Thank you. No, I don’t think so. Awards and accolades are extremely important for our business for various reasons: First, when you have a good standing, great people will want to work for you – so, it’s super for the team; Second, the awards bring more guests from all over the planet.”

What’s next?

“I have many ideas, we’ll just have to see.”

 

Visit Restaurant Konstantin Filippou on your next visit to Vienna. And while you’re there, also pop into Chef Filippou’s wine bistro O Boufés next door to find equally inventive yet slightly more casual dishes, paired with amazing natural wines. To get inspired in the meantime, social media never disappoints: @konstantinfilippou

If you’d like to try Chef Konstantin Filippou’s favorite childhood dish, Garides Saganaki, scroll on down for the recipe!

RESTAURANT KONSTANTIN FILIPPOU 
A-1010 Wien
Dominikanerbastei 17
+43 (0)1 51 22 229
restaurant@konstantinfilippou.com
www.konstantinfilippou.com

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Credit:
Interior shots and Portrait by Gerhard Wasserbauer
Food Photography by Per-Anders Jörgensen

Garides Saganaki

Growing up in Austria as the son of a Greek father and an Austrian mother, Chef Konstantin Filippou almost had no choice but to be utterly inspired by two such wonderfully different cultures. He credits this multicultural upbringing for creating the unique approach to food that earned him a second Michelin Star for Restaurant Konstantin Filippou earlier this year...
Serves: 3-4
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat

Ingredients

Prawn Saganaki by Chef Konstantin Filippou – Photo by Gerhard Wasserbauer

1⁄2 kg Medium Shrimp
4 Fresh Tomatoes
1 Small Onion
1 Clove Garlic, finely chopped
1 Small Green Pepper
5 Tablespoons Olive Oil
100 ml White Wine
200 g Greek Feta (sheep’s cheese)
2 tbsp Fresh Parsley, finely chopped
Salt, Pepper, Oregano and Lemon Thyme
White Bread

Instructions

Wash the fresh tomatoes, pour over the hot water and peel off the skin. Put the pulp in the blender. Wash the peppers, remove the stalks and seeds, and finely chop the meat. Heat the oil in a pan and simmer the finely chopped onion and the chopped garlic clove. Finish with white wine. Add peppers and briefly thicken. Add the tomatoes. Season with salt, pepper, oregano and lemon thyme. Allow to simmer for about 30 minutes until everything is cooked to the boil.

Peel the shrimps, remove the black intestine, leaving the head and tail on it. Wash cold briefly, drip off.

Preheat oven to 200 degrees C. Place the prawns in a baking dish and cover with the mashed tomatoes. Sprinkle the crushed sheep’s cheese over it. Wash the parsley, peel the leaves from the stems and place them in the shrimp-tomato mixture. Then place the mold in the oven and cover the shrimp Saganaki for about five to ten minutes or allow the cheese to boil. Serve with white bread.

Chef Konstantin Filippou

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