Mad Greek vying for take-away award success in Leeds

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The YEP talks to the newest and maddest (the clue is in the name) restaurant in Leeds...

Mad Greek, an authentic Greek restaurant in Leeds, is one of the independent local takeaways in the running for a British Takeaway Award. Konstantinos Tsiknakis is the Chef and Owner of the Mad Greek, Leeds and is from the island of Crete in Greece, a place where food is an important part of the local culture.

Coming from a family of olive growers with a small olive farm in Crete, he gained his passion selling olive oil as well as olives from his family’s farm at local farmers’ markets. When the farmers’ markets started to die out, he opened his restaurant and takeaway.

Commenting on the British Takeaway Awards, Konstantinos said: “Having been in the industry for many years, we are delighted that the British Takeaway Awards has been created to help support all local restaurant businesses. Please help us put Yorkshire and Humberside on the map and vote for your favourite takeaway in the British Takeaway Awards.

“I am from the island of Crete in Greece, a place where food is an important part of the local culture. I come from a family of olive growers with a small olive farm in Crete. We still do the olive picking every winter.

“When I first came to England, I used to sell olive oil as well as olives from my family’s farm at the farmers’ markets. When the farmers markets started to die out, I opened a restaurant/takeaway.

“I always try and buy my ingredients from local sources where I can; it’s good for the community. The only things that I don’t buy locally are the ones that I don’t find in England, like our pitta bread and special herbs that come from Greece. And of course extra Virgin olive oil from my farm.

“When people go on holiday to Greece they get a taste for Greek food. My restaurant/takeaway offers authentic Greek food - it’s the Greek holiday experience brought to Leeds. The satisfaction of having happy customers inspires me everyday. I want people to carry on feeling like they’re still on holiday. We cook authentic Greek dishes likes gyros, souvlaki, moussaka, and stifado as well as vegetarian and vegan dishes. The atmosphere in the restaurant is friendly, welcoming and comfortable.

“My speciality is Greek Gyros which is lean meat marinated in Greek herbs and roasted on a spit. Imagine this, fresh tzatziki on a warm Greek pita bread with fresh tomato and onion and delicious spit roast pork or chicken. All our dishes are freshly made, It’s a must try.

“Just Eat is good as it boosts my take-away potential. It helps me to reach customers which I wouldn’t be able to reach otherwise, in different areas of the town. We do recommend Just Eat”

We asked Konstantinos to answer a few more teasing questions...

What’s your earliest memory? Mum and dad

If you could pass a new law, what would it be and why? Help more people in need

What would be your X Factor audition song? Riders in the Storm

What’s your biggest vice? Getting mad

When were you happiest? I still am! :), with my family

If your house was burning down and you could rescue three THINGS, what would they be? 1. My family 2. My family 3. My family

What would your super power be? Flying

What would you most like to achieve in life and why? For family to be happy and children to grow up well

When did you last have a drink? What was it and where was it? After home with my wife, red wine

Who would play you in the film of your life? Steve McQueen

Describe your perfect day... By the sea in the sun

What keeps you awake at night? Next door neighbours’ dog

How old are you? Older than I look

Do you read the local paper? Do you love it? Yes

The British Takeaway Awards has been set up to showcase culinary excellence in its many forms and inspire the imaginations of ambitious chefs nationwide. The awards celebrate the passion and commitment that takeaways, many of them independent, family run small businesses, bring to their work each and every day to provide quality cuisine to their local communities.

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