All the prerequisites – tradition, the land, techniques and knowhow – were there. All that was needed was individuals with passion and appetite for creativity.
This need prompted the creation, in 2015, of Tinos Food Paths, an active team of local professionals from the production and hospitality sectors who set themselves the task of highlighting the island’s culinary tradition, local products, as well as Tinos’ future as a gastronomic destination.
The cheeseries, small-scale producers, wineries and restaurants on the island united under the Tinos Food Paths umbrella, organising an annual gastronomy festival. The group’s initiative attracted successful chefs to Tinos, who have since established restaurants on the island, while also luring foodies from Greece and abroad. Putting aside a reputation that has made the island famous for its monasteries and chapels, Tinos has emerged as a leading destination in the Aegean, food being the main drawcard.
Tinos Food Paths
Respect and appreciation of all local products, as well as their projection, lies at the heart of the Tiny Food Paths endeavour. Participating hospitality professionals make arrangements with local producers for supply of food products and ingredients. The island’s three wineries and a Tinos-based microbrewery are actively involved in the project, having established a presence with their products at all hospitality enterprises. Cheese varieties produced on the island – kariki, kalathoto, graviera – Tinos-style louza (cured meat), as well as other traditional charcuterie, have come to the fore. Modern takes of traditional recipes have entered the menus of restaurants.
Attendees of the annual Tinos Food Paths gastronomy festival have the opportunity to see, from close up, production of local food products and cooking techniques, and also enjoy recipes at the island’s restaurants.
Info: Facebook: Tinos Food Paths
At one of the island’s most idyllic spots, the Bianco Beach House restaurant, chef Ilias Kiazoli intelligently combines products made by small-scale producers for a menu that carries the island’s entire culinary bounty.
After having taken a dip, try the delicious local artichokes, risotto with spinach puree and sautéed baby calamari, as well as fresh fish of the day served as a fricassee dish with in-season greens and, for dessert, lemon tart. For a very special meal, don’t skip the Mediterranean tart filled with Tinos cheese cream and the fried calamari with Tinos ham and cuttlefish ink mayonnaise.
Vourni, Tinos, +30 698 67 52 100
At Mikro Karavi in Hora, the main town, chef Antonis Psaltis uses local products, as well as thyme, oregano and other spices from his very own garden, to prepare extremely delicious dishes. The wine served here does not merely accompany dishes but plays an important pairing role with dishes ordered. Try the beetroot salad, couscous, yoghurt salad with garlic and spearmint oil, as well as the grilled calamari with fava (split peas puree).
Trion Ierarhon, Hora, Tinos, tel. +30 22830 22818
At Thalassaki, in Isternia, Antonia Zarpa makes the most of seasonal products to turn every single dish she delivers into a small work of art. Visitors to this seaside eatery may enjoy dishes carrying the scent of the sea, such as tarama (salted, cured roe) with cuttlefish ink, spaghetti with clams, and grilled octopus with tomato skordalia (garlic dip).
Isternia beach, Tinos, tel. +30 22830 31366
The Marathia restaurant in Agios Fokas, run by Marinos Souranis, hails the principle of serving everything that is locally produced. The menu is altered depending on the season, fishermen’s catch and resulting local production, but, frequent changes aside, rest assured that anything ordered here is made with fresh local ingredients and products, plus total passion and commitment.
Agios Fokas, Tinos, tel. +30 22830 23249
Should you find anywhere, definitely try the island’s grilled wild artichokes with sundried tomatoes and aged Tinos graviera cheese; crispy fried octopus with beetroot paste; as well as galeus (catshark) in breadcrumbs with grilled root vegetables and mayonnaise with pickled strawberry.