I Chat With: Chef Jim Botsacos of Molyvos and Abboccato

Chef Jim Botsacos at Molyvos, NYC. Photo Brent Herrig.

There’s something about an Italian chef.

And there’s something about a Greek chef.

Jim Botsacos is both Italian and Greek.

He had a lot to talk about.

Today on Serious Eats NY I chat with Chef Jim Botsacos of Molyvos and Abboccato restaurants in Manhattan. It was a truly delightful interview. For he talked mostly on family, and food, and culture. On how we inherit food traditions from our elders and how to bequeath them to the younger generations.

Chef Jim’s eyes light up when he talks about dishes and methods and ingredients to the point that both of our mouths were watering and he had to punctuate his sentence with a hand-gesture or a “boom” or “pop” vocally. His “tutti mangiare”, “shit, man” and “amazing” made him sound so New York City. He pulled out pictures of his kids. I walked away with tips on making meatballs incredibly fluffy and how to bake eggplant down to buttery, soft deliciousness.

And then there were things, as someone who also comes from very food-centered Mediterranean roots, just really hit home:

“Over the course of time you lose the language and people change, but you still have a close connection with the food.”

“Instinctively I gravitated towards the food of my culture. It’s imbedded in me. Family dynamics change, but no one can take food away from you.”

The interview is up today on Serious Eats NY.

Check it out.

Tutti mangiare!

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