I am sure you all are wondering who my inspiration is or how I started this blog, Kouzounas Kitchen. I have been featuring many of my friends on here and I always ask them who have inspired you or what inspired you to start your own business. This made me think that maybe I should explain to you all about me and who had a big impact on my life and my goals and dreams.
To start off, I do have a bio on me here @ Kouzounas Kitchen but if you haven’t read that then here is some information on me.
I grew up in Sacramento, CA in a very Greek family household. My father is from Greece and my mother is from Sacramento, Ca. Growing up watching my family cooking in the kitchen all the time and learning recipes at such a very young age. I was always interested to help my parents cook and help in the kitchen. My mom always tells this very story when I was probably 9 years old and my sister and I thought we could make a nice cake for my parents. LOL Well, we were off to a good start, we grab all the right ingredients; eggs, butter, flour, sugar, etc… We just forgot to do one important thing. Cook the cake!!! HAAA Yep, that is when I must say my love for the kitchen started.
The first inspiration to my life and to this very blog is from my yiayia, (Grandmother.) Stavroula Kouzounas Kalapothakos, she was born and raised in Greece and raised three sons. The oldest was my father. She worked very hard raising them esp. in World War two. My dad use to tell me that he would watch her create amazing recipes and use her artistic abilities to come up with anything when they only had three or four ingredients in their house. They grew up poor in Greece and you really appreciate anything you can get as far as food. My dad use to tell me that even if they receive a loaf of bread for Christmas that would be the best gift ever. I would love to hear these stories year after year. I knew my yiayia up until I was the age of seven… Unfortunately she passed away of cancer at a young age and for me to hold her forever in my heart I decided to name my blog after her. Kouzounas Kitchen. Many people, who had known my yiayia, always tell me that I am a spitting image of her. Thank you to my yiayia for inspiring me to use her recipes and take in the knowledge that she gave me to keep going in my career.
# 1 Inspiration- My yiayia & papou
Next inspiration I must say is my father. He has worked so very hard in his life and also been through many obstacles I must say. My dad Yiannis grew up in Mani Greece. He moved from Greece to Sacramento CA when he was 27 years old. Many of my friends have heard this very story but I will re peat it once again. He came to California with only 20 dollars in his pocket not knowing any of the English language. He then had the love for plants and flowers and decided to become a landscape contractor. In order for him to make a living while he went to school, he decided to buy a lawn mower and go from house to house and find future customers to do lawn maintenance for them. While he was doing this he also picked up the Spanish and English language. My father worked very hard to create his own lifestyle in California. He succeeded and became one of the most successful landscapers in Sacramento, Ca. He had a crew of over 40 workers and took over all of northern California with his landscaping company called a friend of the earth landscaping. He has built many relationships within the Sacramento area and he is still working full time with his landscaping business and he just started a fire wood business as well. Thank you Dad for keeping me strong in life and for all of your encouragements to help me succeed and to grow to what I have become now.
My father, two uncles and I in Greece. (Yes, I am naked lol.)
I would like to thanks many friends who have helped me get where I am today. Most of my friends in Sacramento have pushed me to keep going and never give up on my goals. I would like to thank Chef Yoni for teaching me his techniques in the kitchen in Las Vegas and my chefs in Greece. I became a lot stronger when I became a sous chef in Skiathos, Greece. I am very thank full as you can see for my huge support of family and friends. I have met many great people in my life and I was able to cook for many famous celebrities in Greece and Las Vegas. If I could leave one quote for your it would probably be this; “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.” By Helen Keller.
I hope where ever you are in the world that when you read this, I have at least inspired you to achieve your goals and dreams in your life.
White & Dark Chocolate mousse.
Tuna tar tar with guacamole sauce. I made this @ Rice & Co at the Luxor Casino in Las Vegas