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Lesvos Food Festival

In 2017, the LESVOS FOOD FEST, with its aromas and flavours, came to complete the sport, cultural and alternative events organised by Molyvos Tourism Association, within the context of the activities initiated by the LESVOS THE OTHER AEGEAN® network. The innovator of the festival, the Molyvos Wine and Dine Association of Restaurants and Associate Professionals, aims to promote and spread the traditions of the local gastronomy of Lesvos island through such initiatives.

The most characteristic symbols of the island’s gastronomy are reflected in the festival’s logo (sardines, anise and olives) and they compose a contemporary pattern that expresses our festive mood as we gather around the table to share a meal.

Through its dynamic actions, the LESVOS FOOD FEST aims to:

  • Promote local products and their producers
  • Promote our gastronomic tradition and to search for new gastronomic trends
  • Create amazing gastronomic experiences for our visitors
  • Promote the networking of catering and food professionals with local producers
  • Provide education and training opportunities by scientists and specialists on issues of gastronomic interest

The Lesvos Food Fest showcases the land, the landscape, the people and the atmosphere, which together make up the identity of the local gastronomy and takes us on a journey to Lesvos… in the Aegean.

Lesvos Food Festival’s
Program 2022

South Lesvos 13 July// Plomari : “Ouzo- from theory to delight”

Mytilene 14 July: “Tasty Pursuits at Komninaki str.”

Central Lesvos 14 July // Skala Kallonis : “Aristοtle’s lagoon: Cooking the experiments”

North Lesvos 15 July // Molyvos: “Street food and pop-up events in Molyvos”

West Lesvos 15 July // Polichnitos: “Sweet awakenings and salty memories”

West Lesvos 16 July// Eresos: “Vrasma Eressou: The annual celebration of a valuable taste”

North Lesvos 16 July// Stipsi: “The land of the Olive tree”

North Lesvos 17 July // Petra: “My big Greek fat Wedding in Petra”

Lesvos Food Fest Detail's

Alexandros Papandreou

Born and raised in Athens,

I’ve always considered myself lucky: I’ve known what I wanted to do in life ever since I was a small child. Cooking was my dream and that was that. That dream came true when I became a Sous-Chef at Ballade Restaurant, Athens, where I worked for almost a year. I furthered my education at École Ferrandi, the French School for Culinary Arts in Paris. The school provided me with the necessary background and expertise in an organized environment which combined impressive infrastructures with great potential for its students.

Once I had completed my studies, my internship took me to the Hôtel Plaza Athénée in Paris and the Connaught in London and allowed me to probe into the actual dimension of the culinary art and become a chef.

My thesis proved my ticket to the U.S.A. and Johnson & Wales University in particular where I taught Principles of French Cuisine to freshmen. Teaching was a fantastic experience for me. For six months I experienced every day the magic of conveying knowledge to people who loved cooking and were willing to learn at the very same time that I learned from them.

At the Johnson & Wales University, I also attended food styling courses, a specialization that greatly contributed to my subsequent professional course and engagement with the media.

My return to Greece meant hard work in restaurants as Executive Chef (Chef de Cuisine), on TV, and in the printed press, as well as collaborations with leading companies in the industry. Today, along with the rest of my professional activities, I have focused on the new space housing my company, Alexandros Papandreou.

The land, the products, the recipes, the people of Lesvos all bring me back for a third year to Lesvos. Let’s make a rendezvous at the 3
rd Lesvos Food Fest for new gastronomical experiences!

Alexandros Papandreou

Kostis Kostakis

Kostis Kostakis was born in 1981 and is from Vasiliki Ierapetra, Crete. He graduated from the General Highschool of Ierapetra and then attended the Accounting Department of the TEI of Crete. In 2004, he graduated from the School of Tourism Professions of Anavyssos, with a specialty in Culinary Arts, and completed his training practice at the Titania Hotel, in Athens, and at Rhodos Palace. He continued his education at the Chef d’Oeuvre School, where he attended bakery courses, and seminars through which he enriched his knowledge of confectionery products, traditional pies and bakery items. Having worked in various restaurants, an significant period in his career was working in Calypso Hotel on the Elounda Peninsula, and working at the restaurants “Canto” in Glyfada and “MOMA” in Monastiraki, where he was also in charge of the menu. He was the inspiration and creator of the “A la Grecque” shop in Chalandri with handcrafted traditional products from all over Greece, and in November 2017 his first book was published by Psychogios, titled “Handmade Pies ala Grecque”.

I am very happy and honoured to be participating in the festivities of the Lesvos Food Fest for a second time! This year we will be making cheese and creating amazing dishes with the fine selection of cheese from Mandamados. So, rendezvous, this July here on the beautiful island of Lesvos!

Kostis Kostakis

Manolis Papoutsakis

Manolis Papoutsakis was born and raised in Kissamo, Chania, where he completed his basic schooling and training. He received his BA and Masters diploma from the Philosophic School of the University of Rethymno. In the military he received basic training as a cook, which made him realize and decide that cooking would become his profession and philosophy would become his hobby from then onward.

He came to Thessaloniki to conduct his doctoral dissertation and to work in the kitchen of the Cretan restaurant “Myrsini”. After working in the kitchens of various other restaurants as well, he decided to open his own Cretan restaurant, called “Haroupi”, of which he is the chef.

His restaurant has already been distinguished with the “Golden Cap” audience award, with the “Greek Cuisine Award” from Athinorama, with two stars from FNL, and has given a new dynamic revival to the traditional Cretan cuisine.

He is a regular member of the Head Chefs Club of Crete and has taken part as a judge in Pan-Hellenic cooking competitions (Master chef junior etc).

This year we will be making caramel in Eresos from pure sheep milk. We will be showing people of all ages, both young and old, how tradition can be kept alive and how it evolves while contributing to the preservation of the gastronomic identity and the promotion of a destination without losing its essential flavor and character.

Manolis Papoutsakis

Charilaos Theodorellis

A retired Professor from the Tourism department of the Technological University of Thessaloniki, with a teaching experience of 40 years on gastronomy. Graduated from the same department and the Tourism School  in Thessaloniki, particularized on food at the George V Hotel in Paris and his Masters is on Food and Beverage Management. Author of the Gastronomy Book “Επιστήμη και Τεχνογνωσία στη Μαζική Εστίαση”/”Science and Expertise on Mass Dining “.

Chef at Makedonia Palace Hotel, Porto Carras Grand Resort, Sun Beach Hotel. Greek representative in Switzerland, Germany, Austria and Finland promoting the Greek cuisine and taste of Greek food.

South Lesvos 13 July// Plomari : “Ouzo- from theory to delight”

Mytilene 14 July: “Tasty Pursuits at Komninaki str.”

Central Lesvos 14 July // Skala Kallonis : “Aristοtle’s lagoon: Cooking the experiments”

North Lesvos 15 July // Molyvos: “Street food and pop-up events in Molyvos”

West Lesvos 15 July // Polichnitos: “Sweet awakenings and salty memories”

West Lesvos 16 July// Eresos: “Vrasma Eressou: The annual celebration of a valuable taste”

North Lesvos 16 July// Stipsi: “The land of the Olive tree”

North Lesvos 17 July // Petra: “My big Greek fat Wedding in Petra”

A colorful mosaic of flavours


A colorful mosaic of flavours that puts on a pedestal the meze, the ouzo, but above all  good company.

Lesvos, thanks to its geographical location, is a crossroad of gastronomic cultures that have left their traces in the tastes, smells and recipes of the island. Where the West meets harmoniously with the East, priority is placed on the quality of the materials of the primary sector which are in season and the passion of the cottages industry that highlight the standards of the Mediterranean diet.

Taking a stroll amongst the eleven million olive trees, we take a stop at the “Skalas” [1] of the island for fish in all its variants, fried, grilled, marinated, baked, salted and sun-dried. Depending on the time of year ask to try salted Papalina [2], Lakerda [3], Smarida [4], Hapsi [5], Ktavelia [6], and Trigona [7]. Accompany your ouzo with scallops, “Kalognomes”, quinces, steaming s’lines [8] and thrapsala [9]. Don’t forget to ask about all the kinds of seafood which are “sunbathing” in the fish taverns. Absolute “musts” as accompaniments to balancing out the saltiness are fava (split peas), broad beans, white beans [10], chickpeas from Lisvorio and boiled greens with plenty of fresh lemon juice.

In the mountains, the “meze” takes another form and the palate yearns for charcoal. At such destinations, lamb chops or tender goat, “lepidi” [11], the ewe, the boiled nanny goat with the special cheese “ladotyri” taking a special seat at the table, alongside the various homemade pies made from an assortment of greens and of course the salad to accompany your “diet”.  In the western volcanic side of Lesvos, since antiquity, wine has been the accompaniment of a great variety of local recipes. Here you definitely must ask for wines from local producers. The main stars in all the local menu compositions are played by the “gkiouzlemedes” [12], the “sfouggato” [13], the “sougania” [14], the «kolokythokorfades [15], and all kinds of “keftedes” (patties). After your pilgrimage to Taxiarchis in Mantamados or to Panagia Agiasos, visit the traditional coffee shops (kafeneio) and accompany your coffee or “kainar” [16] with “gemata” [17], “Blatzenta” [18], “loukoumades” bathing in “Vrasma” (fig molasses) [19] or a huge variety of spoon sweets. At religious festivals, you must try “kiskek” [20]. Bon appetite “Morelia”[21]!



1) Skalas: The seaside homes of the villages of the island.

2) Papalina: The sardine of Kalloni, a trademark of the bay, but also of the whole island. A Spongefish, smaller in size than the classic sardine of the sea, but much more delicious. Served fresh, grilled, fried and in many other variations.

3) Lakerda: It is fished in November and December. Served salted, which you will find all year round or grilled.

4) Smarida / Marida: The well-known fish, which is not only served grilled or fried on the island, but also salted. The season that it is most delicious is the spring and the summer.

5) Hapsi: Enjoy it either salted, marinated or fried. You will find the Hapsi (anchovy) in its salted form any time of year, and in summer months you can find it marinated or fried.

6) Ktavelia: Species of small galeous. It is usually served fried accompanied by a special garlic dip (skordalia) and you will find it all year round.

7) Trigona: A type of ray fish. Its taste resembles a very good quality galeous. Served fried with garlic dip (skordalia) or “plaki”, baked in the oven with vegetables.

8) S’lines: Shellfish (tubes) are fished from sandy seabeds. Fishing for S’lines has been banned from time to time but around February you are allowed to fish for S’lines for a short while and if you are lucky you will find them served at a taverna steamed.

9) “Thrapsala”: Wild squid of the sea, served fried.

10) Beans: White beans prepared boiled.

11) “Lepidi”: Little Pork steaks, very delicately cut, light and juicy, the ideal mezes to accompany red wine!

12) “Gkiouzlemedes”: Local fried cheese pies made with feta, eggs and fresh mint. They perfectly accompany meat and seafood.

13) “Sfouggato”: A traditional pie of the island made with zucchini, eggs and cheese.

14) “Sougania”: “Dolmades” rolled in onion scales. You will find them in many taverns all over the island.

15) ”Kolokythokorfades”/ “Kolokytholoulouda”: The flowers of the zucchini. Usually fried as little patties filled with cheese or cooked in a put, stuffed with rice and herbs.

16) “Kainar”’: A hot beverage with an exotic fragrance of cinnamon, pimento, ginger, mountain tea, sage, cloves and peels of orange. Served in cafes of Agiasos.

17) “Gemata”: The traditional “amygdalota” (almond marzipans) of Lesvos, the sweets of marriages because they are sent “peskesi” (as a gift) from the bride to the mother-in-law. You will find them in some traditional cafes and women’s cooperatives all over the island.

18) “Blatzenda”: A syrupy dessert served at weddings, its dough made with olive oil and then sprinkled with walnuts and cinnamon.

19) “Vrasma”: The syrup gathered from the scalding of dried figs along with various herbs. It is used instead of classic syrup and sprinkled over “Loukoumades” -donuts.

20) “Kiskek”: Festive food made out of grounded chick peas, wheat and meat (usually nanny goat or ewe). You will find it at … festivals of course!

21) “Morelia”: A beloved expression used by the locals of the island and a trademark of the local dialect. It is addressed towards both males and females of all ages-good to know to avoid any misunderstandings!

Ask us for special arrangements and accommodation.