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Book review: Mazi by Christina Mouratoglou and Adrien Carré

18 March 2018 by
Book review: Mazi by Christina Mouratoglou and Adrien Carré

It took a long time for the UK food scene to get excited about Greek cuisine, but one of the restaurants that has helped along the way is Notting's Hill's Mazi.

Co-founders Christina Mouratoglou and Adrien Carré opened the restaurant in 2012, eager to show the world how "innovative, tasty and refined" Greek food can be.

Mouratoglou was born into a family of foodies in the Greek port city of Thessaloniki, while Carré was born in France and raised in London, working as a restaurant manager and wine importer before turning restaurateur.

Mazi is Greek for "together" and Mouratoglou and Carré focus on tapas and sharing dishes. Their passion for creating feasts that can bring people together comes across in the notes littered throughout the book, suggesting accompaniments and flavour combinations.

There are many recognisable dishes, including spanakopita or a traditional Greek salad, but Carré and Mouratoglou give them a creative twist, either through their choice of ingredients or presentation.

While there are some unusual and complex dishes, such as rooster pastitsada with truffle oil and graviera cream, this is a book clearly aimed at the home cook looking to expand their repertoire into Greek cuisine.

The most interesting recipes appear in the dessert section, an area of Greek cuisine rarely given column inches. Beautifully styled offerings include portokalopita, made from crushed filo pastry soaked in orange syrup, and armenovil, a traditional semifreddo dessert of Thessaloniki with caramelised almonds, crushed meringues and a dark chocolate sauce.

With beautiful photography by Nicolas Buisson, Mouratoglou and Carré have created a guide to the ultimate Greek feast, which they hope will present diners with an "all-round interactive and memorable experience" and more importantly the opportunity "to have fun".

Mazi by Christina Mouratoglou and Adrien Carré (Mitchell Beazley, £25)

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