The acclaimed Greek chef has been on Vienna’s lips since his eponymous restaurant opened in 2013. Here he shares a recipe that reminds him of warm family holidays in Greece.

Since opening a new wine bistro O boufés in June 2015, Konstantin Filippou has had his hands full. His sparsely furnished restaurant next door has been running since 2013, bringing him significant international acclaim.

As a child in Greece, the star chef remembers watching the activity in the kitchen. Both parents loved to cook and he would stand wide-eyed next to them, eventually daring to join in. Happily, his comfort in the culinary arts has given him the courage to develop his own style, leaving an indelible mark on Viennese dining culture.

Always seasonal, for the most part regionally sourced, very urban, his ingredients can include root vegetables, mushrooms and smoked cheese alongside oysters and char caviar. The latter is in fact part of his signature dish Bacalao Brandade, which combines the “novelty” of char caviar with an age-old recipe, namely salted fish.

“I love the dish so much,” Filippou explained. “So do my guests, so I make sure it finds its way back onto the menu often.” On any given night, guests get that evening’s choice between two six-course menus and a wine list with regional and international “natural wines.”

The Recipe

Garides Saganaki (Prawn Casserole)

(c) Gerhard Wasserbauer
(c) Gerhard Wasserbauer

Wash the fresh tomatoes, douse them in hot water and peel off the skin. Puree the peeled tomatoes in a mixer. Wash the pepper, remove the stem and seeds and slice finely. Heat the oil in a pan and lightly sauté the chopped onions and garlic. Douse with white wine. Add the green pepper and sauté briefly. Add tomatoes and season with salt, pepper, oregano and citrus thyme. Allow to simmer for 30 minutes until it becomes a pulp.

Peel the prawns and remove the black entrails, while leaving the head and tail intact. Wash briefly with cold water and drip-dry.

Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Place the prawns in a casserole dish, cover them with the pureed tomatoes and crumble the feta on top. Wash the parsley, pluck the leaves off the stem and add to the prawn/tomato mixture. Then place the dish in the oven and bake the Garides Saganaki for five to ten minutes or until the cheese has completely melted. Serve with white bread.

Ingredients (Serves 3-4)

½ kg medium prawns

4 fresh tomatoes

1 small onion,
finely chopped

1 clove of garlic, finely chopped

1 small green pepper

5 tbsp. olive oil

100 ml white wine

200 g Greek Feta (sheep’s cheese)

2 tbsp. fresh parsley, finely chopped

salt, pepper, oregano and citrus thyme

150 g Kritharakia (a.k.a. orzo pasta)

white bread