The most favorite chef in Greece creates unique divine combinations

Argiro Barbarigou

Chef – Founder of Papadakis Restaurant

Greek celebrity chef Argiro Barbarigou has designed a life and career from the Greek kitchen. If ever a human being can bottle and export the essence of Greek food and the spirit it embodies, it is Argiro. Known throughout Greece as the ‘First Lady of Greek Cuisine,’ Argiro has devoted her life’s work to sharing the secrets from the Greek kitchen — modern and ancient — with her audience and fans around the globe.

She was born in Paros, an island in the Aegean Sea nested between Mykonos and Santorini. She was raised among smells and flavors, pure Greek pictures and a family that had the hospitality and the family lunch as a very special characteristic.

Her parents were the owners of the beautiful traditional hotel, full of Aegean colors, in Naoussa, Paros, called Papadakis Hotel. Argiro’s mother, and sister Nikoleta, have been the landladies of this hotel up to this day.

The unforgettable Papadakis restaurant remains in the family history with her father as the leader of it during the 1970s. Its characteristic menu was the fresh fish and the seafood, indigenous to the Greek islands.

Argiro revived the myth of Papadakis restaurant in March 1996 by re-opening the restaurant’s doors in Naoussa, Paros. The menu from 1996 until today is based on fish, seafood and authentic local products from all over Greece.

In 2005, after much pleading from her very loyal clientele, Argiro left her outpost in Paros and opened Papadakis restaurant in Athens, so she would have a winter location for the Athenian gourmet set. Located at the foothills of Mount Lycabettus in Kolonaki, Argiro’s second successful venture on the heels of her native Paros restaurant is still where the global glitterati gather. From Jean Paul Gauthier, Carla Bruni and a throng of celebrity diners to Athenian media, locals and tourists, diners flock to Argiro for her coveted tables, her signature cuisine and her personal touch.
Her daughter, Konstantina, who used to manage her restaurant in Athens, opened her own space in 2018, called Statheros, just doors away from the original Papadakis in the old port.

In her own words…

“I believe that Greek Cuisine deserves her own high position in the world’s gastronomy. Greece is so much more than souvlaki and tavernas. Our cuisine is as pure and refined as our spirit, not unlike our philosophy or theatre. I am determined to share my love and knowledge of it throughout the land. My motto, when I first started out, was that there are NO SECRETS in cooking. At least there weren’t with me.

I am so very proud of the Greek cuisine and our whole ingredients. I always cook with pure Greek produce to accompany my philosophy of a Mediterranean diet. That means healthy local products – easy and fast to make – with a flavor that allures everyone who tries them, but also, everyone who watches them on my show.

I am ready to carry ‘the Olympic torch’ of Greek Cuisine…on behalf of the Greek people and my beloved country. For the good Greek food, our unique ingredients and most importantly, the spirit of Greece that it captures and carries to people all over the world.”