Chef: Alexia Apostolidis
Position: Founder of the One Week Chef School. Miami, Florida.
How did you get started?
When I was 8 years old, my aunt opened a restaurant and I had my start by peeling potatoes with my grandma. Being in the family business, I would work multiple stations from making salads to dish, having to stand on top of a stool to even get the job done!
During the winter, I would watch the only two cooking shows we had in Greece and would often ask my mom if she could bring various ingredients that I saw on the show to recreate those dishes. Greek food is such an important part of our culture. Food is involved in everything. When I came to the US to study Physical Therapy, I found uninterested but I was miraculously directed to attend the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) and that's where I started to excel and found my passion.
What was your first position?
The first position I held, after working with my aunt every summer, was as a pastry chef at a Michelin Star restaurant in Greece named Varoulko. We received the star while I was there and I am proud to be the one who made the dessert!
Before the pandemic, I was the COO of a Greek Restaurant Chain. Now I am the founder of the One Week Chef School and I teach people how to cook online through video content and I plan on opening my own restaurant in the near future.
The story behind the dish:
This past Sunday was Greek Orthodox Easter and you won't find a Greek Easter without Roasted Lamb with Lemon Potatoes. Tradition is to roast a whole lamb on a vertical spit and it is one of the sweetest memories as I recall, spinning manually the lamb over charcoal for several hours and everyone in the family would give a hand! There was music, laughter, and wine with small bites going around until the grand finale of the Lamb! My brothers, cousins and I would always run around in the fields and play! Nature was our playground!
I particularly love all the daisies, poppies, and clover fields that would begin to bloom full of flowers ...I would run around with my eyes closed, my hands touching the flowers as I breezed through, and the sun gazing upon me... if that wasn’t paradise and the love of the divine I don’t know what is.
Roasted Lamb with Lemon Potatoes
1 ea, Lamb Leg
3 ea, Lemons, juiced
6-10 sprigs of rosemary
10-15 sprigs of thyme
10-15 garlic cloves
1/3 cup dry oregano
1 cup olive oil
4-5 ea Russet Potatoes, large dice or about 2-3 pounds of small potatoes, cut in half
salt and pepper to taste
1. Trim some fat off the lamb wherever you see excess and reserve for later
2. Cut some slits to the surface of the lamb, about every 4-5 inches apart, and cover with some of the olive oil, making sure that it drips inside the slits of the lamb
3. Season the lamb liberally with coarse salt and pepper ensuring that the slits are seasoned as well
4. Stuff the slits with a small piece of rosemary, a garlic clove, and the thyme and place in a large deep baking dish
5. Cut the potatoes as instructed and place in the baking dish
6. Season the potatoes with salt, pepper and a huge amount of oregano making sure that you pour over the lamb as well
7. Chop some of the garlic and add that in there as well
8. Add the lemon juice, the rest of the olive oil, the lamb fat and a few sprigs of the rosemary and thyme
9. Allow marinating overnight
10. Next day take out only the lamb and place on a rack to allow for the meat to come to room temperature, that may take about 1 hour to 1.5 hours
11. Preheat the oven at 425 F or the broiler and place only the lamb until golden brown on both sides
12. Reduce the over to 325 F cover with a foil and allow the meat to cook slowly until it falls off the bone, depending on the size that can be 4-8 hours
13. When the lamb is almost done place in the potatoes for about 45 min or until soft depending on the size of your potatoes
14. Ready to serve! Traditionally we serve it with Tzatziki, a yogurt-cucumber garlic deep, and feta cheese with oregano and olive oil
Stay up to date with Chef Alexia by visiting her website; chefalexia.com
What do you mean he dont eat no meat? Its okay, I make lamb.
My Big Fat Greek Wedding
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