Crete, one of the largest islands in Greece and one of the most popular destinations in the world, with the rich history and folk tradition of the island, the internationally known Cretan cuisine and hospitality, emerald beaches and beautiful landscapes with traditional settlements, are some from the elements that compose its unique character.
Specifically, in the Katharades area of Ierapetra, in the Prefecture of Lassithi, is the 5 * luxury resort Ostria Resort & Spa with a capacity of 1200 guests that operates seasonally (7 months out of a year), which offers high quality services that aim to meet every need of each visitor promoting at the same time the unique Cretan hospitality.
Executive Chef Manos Kokolakis in charge of the food service department of Ostria Resort & Spa for the 3rd consecutive year, from a very young age had the dream to become a Chef and to this day he loves what he does. He started his career in 1997 after graduating from Cooking School, he has enriched his knowledge in Greece working in various hotels, using new technologies and systems e.g. sous vide, HACCP, etc.
Under its supervision, a staff of 40 people, which serves the needs of the 6 themed restaurants Orion Main, Thalassa Sea Side, Vathypetro Wine & Grill, Maestro Traditional, Aeolus, Theatro Pool of Ostria Resort & Spa, as well as the other restaurants and offer among other unique gastronomic pleasures and experiences with dishes based on Mediterranean cuisine – traditional Cretan cuisine – creative Greek cuisine – international cuisine. 1200 meals, 3 times a day (all-inclusive hotel) and with a menu that is constantly updated according to the needs.
After the recent renovation of the hotel, the kitchen area was equipped with a 170-liter thermaline pressure electric braising pan for the needs of the hotel, following a suggestion by the owner Mr. George Tzarakis, the new top oven SkyLine, and other Electrolux Professional equipment.
“High performance, maximum productivity, unique quality results, fewer man-hours, economy, speed (cooking time) and infinite possibilities offered by the therma pressure braising pan, are the main reasons I use it 7 days a week“, emphasizes Chef Manos Kokolakis.
There are cases like last year when at the same time Ostria Resort & Spa offered over 2000 portions at an event at the hotel, a catering event in the village, as well as to the visitors of its a la cart restaurants, based on the cook & chill system and the Electrolux Professional other appliances and solutions.
Chef Manos Kokolakis’ discussions with Mr. Tzarakis on issues related to the continuous renewal of equipment, especially when this is the result of new technologies that offer desirable functions, result in their fast implementation.
The philosophy of the hotel is fresh products, fresh fish, fresh vegetables and fruits, which we procure ourselves daily from local markets as well as from local greenhouses in Ierapetra.
The presentation and taste of the dishes is based on the human factor especially when the Chef tries to develop his techniques through new technologies, and when there is the right machine to complete the creation of the Chef, then the result is very satisfactory to the chef, to the management and especially to the visitor “, emphasizes the Chef Manos Kokolakis.
The hotel operates at 35-40% max due to the pandemic, so that it is able to offer high quality services with priority on health and safety. Note that 100% occupancy (1200 people) means that not only we but also the customers must manage the distances and the rules of health and safety, for that reason the decision was made for limited occupancy.
Ostria Resort & Spa is not reminiscent of the classic all-inclusive hotel. The logic of recreating new dishes from everyday meals does not exist. Every day we offer new dishes and options. Especially during the pandemic that we have been living for months, although our buffets are half full (and in fact with additional protection for safety), we offer top dishes and service to each visitor trying to make his visit an unforgettable experience.
“Providing security to guests through daily feeding was not a difficult task for us at all. Gastronomy is not bothered by the pandemic. It is difficult for us what we just want to present only. We have always had spotless kitchens and we always operate according to HACCP standards. We maintain hygiene and safety in our premises using gloves, masks, keeping distances as much as possible, continuous disinfection, etc. For us it was not something new “, emphasizes Chef Manos Kokolakis.
The next day in the restaurant business remains difficult because it is difficult for us to present our work through windows. We must all work together to overcome the difficult days we live in, so that we can offer what we have been trained for and what we really want to deliver. It’s unfair to fight with your team all day to sample only your potential. Many companies have a problem with the pandemic. Imagine that when operating costs are increased by 20% and occupancy is reduced by 50%, it is impossible for a business to be profitable these days.
“Why Electrolux Professional?”
Chef Manos Kokolakis – Ostria Resort & Spa
“We have confidence in Electrolux Professional and the solutions it offers. Electrolux Professional solutions cover me for the needs of the hotel but also for the quality and result of the dishes I want to make. The appliances themselves are smart devices, very easy to use and help me tremendously in my work “