Food Rituals

Text:
Karen Orton

Editors:
Rachel Howard,
Silvena Ivanova

Food nourishes more than just the body. It sustains us, transforming us energetically and filling a deep human need for connection, comfort, indulgence and delight. Here on the Mykonian shoreline, food is a ritual of its own. It’s one that invites a slow, easy pace and leisurely hours under the sun, picking up energy throughout the day and transforming into a nightly celebration. An informal late lunch might spill over into sunset drinks and dancing under the stars soundtracked by Scorpios musicians, building up an appetite for a spontaneous late-night feast of flame-grilled butterflied fish and tacos.

“You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces — just good food from fresh ingredients.” 

The king crab ceviche epitomizes the food at Scorpios, combining the fresh local seafood of the Mediterranean with the lively flavors and cooking techniques of the Mexican kitchen.

Much like the music rituals, art and design, and of course the guests themselves, Scorpios food loosely embraces an eclectic mix of different cultures. As the culinary iteration of the cultural exploration and bohemian spirit that characterizes Scorpios, the new menu seeks to meld the bounty of the surrounding Greek islands with cooking techniques from afar.  

Pull up a seat at one of the long, outdoor, wooden tables to gather with friends around generous sharing plates. You might taste the citrusy tang of the king crab Mexican ceviche prepared with passion fruit, fresh chili and coriander, and be greeted by a whiff of the wood-fired tiger prawns as they are being brought to the table. All of this is washed down with bottles of chilled white wine, made from grapes baked in the sun on the surrounding Greek islands.

Pull up a seat and fill your plate from the selection of generous feasting platters. Sharing food is intrinsic to Greek hospitality and Scorpios food rituals.

A Sharing Culture

This is definitely not your Greek grandmother’s kitchen — the culinary team is not pedantic about sticking to local produce and culinary heritage. The mixture of ingredients in the Scorpios kitchen is rebellious and contemporary, informed by travel and playfulness. Yet there is one core cultural concept which is fundamental: that of hospitality, generosity and sharing.
 
Philoxenia (or hospitality) is integral to Greek food culture; food is meant to be shared in good company around a full table. Here, eating is just as much about the social aspect as about sustenance itself. For Scorpios’ executive chef, Alexis Zopas, that link is integral. “Food is directly connected to our memories,” he says. For him, his path to becoming a chef started at home with his mother. 
 
The whole nature of a Greek meal differs compared to a northern European culinary experience.  Each dish is invested with time, care, slowness and generosity —  the same principles that go into enjoying them. These are time-honored Greek family traditions that have a permanent home in the Scorpios kitchen. Meze starters and large feasting platters are geared towards trying a little bit of everything, versus sticking with one individual portion. It’s difficult to stay strangers for long, if you’re breaking bread with new companions and heartily digging into a shared feast. To Zopas, that’s what making new memories is all about. 

“Nature is the true artist and our job as cooks is to allow her to shine,” says executive chef Alexis Zopas, explaining the heart of the new Scorpios food concept unveiled in summer 2022.

The flavors of the wood-fired tiger prawns are intensified by garlic oil and smoked paprika, with fresh coriander and a spritz of lemon elevating the dish into a summery staple.

A Culinary Journey: From the Mediterranean to Mexico 

The new multicultural culinary palette was partly inspired by the inward focus of the pandemic and a desire for something new. “The pandemic changed everyone — you start seeing yourself differently after all the introspection,” Zopas considers. “You’re thinking how to do things differently in the future because maybe what you were doing doesn’t work anymore in this new world. I think through that, we matured a little.” 

During the pandemic, Zopas went to Mexico together with culinary director Athinagoras Kostakos to investigate the tastes and aromas of Mexican cuisine and search for culinary inspiration. Traveling though Oaxaca state — considered the cradle of Mexican food culture — the chefs sampled local mezcal, ate their fill of street tacos and browsed through farmers markets, taking in local influences and gathering insights for the new menu.

This immersive research is evident in the quality of the food at Scorpios. The kitchen team absorbs global influences, juxtaposing varied flavors and culinary cultures. Freed from the farm-to-table narrative of recent food movements, the culinary director and chef together with their team, instead create a culinary experience that authentically aligns with the Scorpios ethos. On the menu, that influence comes through clearly; whether an unexpected combination of freshly caught dorada with ají amarillo pepper, coriander and lime, or Bistecca al pastor; pork cooked with a characteristic Mexican “shepherd style” marinade alongside avocado, pico de gallo and tacos. The menu is creative and curious about the world we live in, spicing up the rich culinary heritage of the local Mediterranean and Middle East with Mexican ingredients and cooking techniques.

Culinary director Athinagoras Kostakos (left) traveled through Oaxaca state with Alexis Zopas on a culinary research trip, taking rich inspiration from local Mexican food culture for the new Scorpios menu.

Eating at Scorpios is a ritual in itself. It calls for slowness and connection, it inspires conversation, wanderlust and laughter.

Feeding the Soul 

“You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces — just good food from fresh ingredients,” explains Zopas. This is food that is relaxed and unpretentious, made to enjoy and have fun with — not to take too seriously. “The food I make comes from my soul and feelings. How it will taste depends very much on what I want to express. If I’m feeling passionate I’ll add a lot of spices or maybe I will cook it a little longer— it all depends on how I’m feeling,” he says simply. 

That might mean freeing oneself from the idea of what a traditional dish should be by adding avocado to the tzatziki, or surprising those accustomed to the regional Greek palette with an appetizer of yuca and taro roots with guacamole. The kitchen team’s culinary irreverence shows itself in upending the traditional Greek white bread basket with homemade pitta and tostadas. They combine Mediterranean seafood with vibrant Mexican flavors, like giant clams with lime, papaya and coriander, not to mention adding lashings of Greek olive oil to recipes that lack regional roots. Dishes like these play with global cooking styles, straddle continents and borrow liberally from the Mexican kitchen, whose herbs and piquant spices elevate fresh Mediterranean ingredients.

Eating at Scorpios is a ritual in itself. It calls for slowness and connection, it inspires conversation, wanderlust and laughter. Our agora is built for this way of life, with the ambience of the landscape, the music and the design helping our community take this unscripted, intimate food culture to heart. These are dishes made to uplift and energize, to enliven on a cellular and spiritual level, just like Scorpios itself. The smell of the sea, the sound of the ocean and the swell of the landscape are inseparable from the dishes themselves. This food couldn’t be found anywhere else, it belongs here.

This website uses cookies. If that's okay with you click on continue or learn more
Continue