Success Stories: Hybrid foods that go viral
Από την/τον Christina Politi | 22 Δεκεμβρίου 2015
Thessaloniki constantly generates new ideas and inspires talented individuals in the fields of design, technology and gastronomy, many of whom have gained international recognition for their work.
Dimitris Koparanis, aka the Foodie Anarchist, came up with the idea for a Greek hybrid dessert in 2013. A few months later he created the first bougatsan and posted a photo on Instagram. Thirty minutes later he had the first media request. Half Thessaloniki and half Paris, bougatsan successfully combines a French croissant with the thick, hot custard used to fill bougatsa – a popular local filo pastry. Bougatsan instantly became a trending hashtag among local foodies and a sold-out item at Café Estrella, where it is exclusively served. It was not long before media all over the world (The Guardian, National Geographic Traveler, Olive magazine, The Culture Trip) were raving about it.
The man behind this hype-generating dessert, a traveled and well-read food editor, cinephile, blogger and self-taught chef with an eclectic taste in music, is mainly inspired by Thessaloniki’s historically rich background. The city’s Ottoman past and the urban cuisines that emerged from its culturally diverse inhabitants are what make Thessaloniki a perpetual source of creative energy for him.
Bougatsan was created at Estrella (48 Pavlou Mela), a central all-day café-restaurant located next to the iconic church of Aghia Sophia. It is served in three different versions: custard and cinnamon, custard and chocolate, custard and ice-cream, topped with red berries. The “Ottoman burger,” the homemade bagel burger and the hot dog French toast are some of the chef’s other famous creations served at Estrella.
Aside from its irresistible fusion pastries, Estrella is also one of the city’s main brunch spots, buzzing with young people and indie tunes, especially at weekends. Dimitris describes Estrella’s menu as casual, humorous and rather personal. “It was created out of a desire to put together a contemporary menu that reflects the city’s present, in the best way,” he says.