Here’s Scott’s query referred to in How Should Editors Respond. The only thing I might have done differently was include a proposed word count.
A Chef/Partner at Molyvos and Abboccato, Jim Botsacos works his contemporary magic on Mediterranean traditions.
By Scott Rose
Specialty: Greek and Italian cuisine
Jim Botsacos grew up with a certain core awareness of his Greek and Italian culinary roots, thanks to his two paternal grandfathers being Manhattan restaurateurs. In a deliciously distinctive twist on the American dream, this New York City-born chef rose to fame by revolutionizing how Greek cuisine is prepared not just in the U.S., but also in the old country and around the world.
Botsacos became grounded in classical cooking methods at the College of Culinary Arts of Johnson & Wales University. Interning for the legendary 21 Club and then hired there by Alain Sailhac, he worked alongside Michael Lomonaco, Geoffrey Zakarian and Daniel Bruce, achieving the position of executive sous chef. In the mid-1990s, Botsacos perfected his fundamental professional skills at Park Avalon and Blue Water Grill.
The Livanos family contracted Botsacos in February, 1997 to be executive chef of their planned restaurant, Molyvos, taking him to Greece for total immersion in authentic Hellenic cooking. In this period, he was tremendously influenced by Aglaia Kremezi, a scholar and goddess of the Greek kitchen. When Ruth Reichl first wrote about Molyvos for The New York Times, she called Botsacos’s taramosalata “spectacular” and said that his rabbit stifado made with sweet red wine was “fascinating.”
Botsacos’s seminal genius in combining traditional Greek ingredients with techniques of haute cuisine elevated Greek gastronomy to a new summit of international esteem. Molyvos has inspired accolades from The New York Times, Esquire and New York magazine, and Botsacos has shared his know-how with viewers of Martha Stewart Living, The Food Network, The Early Show, PBS Holiday Table and in 2004, The Today Show while it was in Athens for the summer Olympics.
Joining with the Livanos family for an additional venture in 2004, Botsacos became a Chef/Partner in mid-town’s Abboccato, the name an Italian wine term for a refined, light sweetness. And indeed, based on field research in Italy, Botsacos developed a recipe for pollastrello alla Romana, baby chicken with rosemary, Gaeta olives, tomatoes and peppers that New York’s Adam Platt upon sampling said was “stewed to a nice, fragile sweetness.”
Botsacos has been a featured chef at the James Beard House and on the Queen Mary 2. In 2006, he published a cookbook, The New Greek Cuisine, easy to follow and pleasantly evocative of Molyvos.
Fun fact: Growing up, Botsacos enjoyed watching Julia Child and Jacques Pépin on television.