66 THE QUEENS COURIER • BUZZ • JULY 12, 2018 FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM
Astoria chef slices and dices way to ‘Chopped’ victory
BY JENNA BAGCAL
An Astoria chef at a popular Greek
restaurant emerged victorious on a recent
episode of Food Network’s “Chopped.”
Nicholas Poulmentis, the executive
chef and co-owner of Akrotiri Seafood
Taverna, located at 29-20 30th Ave., was
one of the four contestants on the episode,
which aired at 9 p.m. on July 3.
Th e chef’s appetizer, entree and dessert
carried him through each round of the
competition to ultimately win the $10,000
prize. On the episode, Poulmentis told the
judges, Marc Murphy, Alex Guarnaschelli
and Martha Stewart, that if he won, he
would use the prize money to travel to
Greece with his family.
When QNS spoke to Poulmentis before
the show aired, he said that he was “super
excited” for Tuesday’s show, and relieved
that the wait was fi nally over. Th e chef
said that it was hard to keep his participation
in the show a secret from his family
According to Poulmentis, once chosen
to appear on “Chopped,” the production
team does not allow contestants to talk
about their participation during the fi lming
“My daughter lost her mind,” said the
chef aft er he told his family he was going
to be on the show. “I was super happy
because it’s all about her and the kids.”
Th e husband and father of two came
to Astoria from the island of Kythira in
Greece six years ago, aft er his country was
undergoing economic hardships, as previously
reported by QNS. Growing up, the
chef worked in restaurants and received
his culinary education in Anavysos culinary
school in Greece and Le Cordin Bleu
Photo courtesy of Food Network
in Paris. To date, the chef and Michelin
Star winner has had over 25 years of experience
in the industry, including his nearly
four months at Akrotiri.
One reason the chef gave for wanting
to participate in “Chopped” was to push
his limits and see what he could produce
with ingredients given to him on the spot.
“It’s a diffi cult show, and I understood
how diffi cult it is, but I felt I needed to see
my power,” he said.
Th e chef said also wanted to test his
English skills, in addition to testing his
culinary prowess. Poulmentis recalls being
afraid he would not be accepted because
“everyone was speaking fl uent English”
on the show’s set. He added that the show
would be “big exposure” for himself and
the restaurant whether or not he won.
“It was a beautiful process. I’m grateful
that I had the ability to do the show,”
Poulmentis and Chris Kouvaros opened
Akrotiri Seafood Taverna back in March.
“Akrotiri” comes from an ancient Greek
city on Santorini that was buried in volcanic
ash. Th e restaurant’s menu features
“inventive riff s on classic Greek fare”
including Htapodokeft edes, which are
breadless octopus croquettes with parsley
sauce and seared scallops with squid ink
linguine pasta in a white saff ron emulsion
known as Htenia. Th ey also off er natural
wines from using indigenous grapes from
various Greek regions.
Poulmentis mentioned that the entree
that he made on the show will also be
served in his restaurant as a special aft er
the episode airs, and will be announced
on the restaurant’s website.
watch the “Chopped” episode online.
Flushing Girl Scouts off er a
sweet thank-you to local cops
Members of the Junior Girl Scouts from St. Andrew Avellino Church in Flushing
recently delivered hand-made bags of candy treats to offi cers from the 109th
Precinct. Members of the precinct picked up the scouts in a police van, then drove
them to the Flushing stationhouse, where they were provided a special tour and personally
delivered goody bags to the cops. Th e program helped the troop earn the Girl
Scouts’ Bronze Award.
Watch ‘Star Wars’ under
the stars in Whitestone
BY SUZANNE MONTEVERDI
8 p.m. with a “Star Wars”-themed costume
email@example.com / @smont76
contest. Awards will be given out to attendees
wearing the best, most creative ensembles.
Whitestone residents can head to a local
Th e movie will then begin aft er dusk.
park this weekend to watch a beloved pop
Attendees are encouraged to bring their
culture trio embark on an adventure in a
own chairs and blankets. Free popcorn,
galaxy far, far away.
cotton candy and drinks will also be available
On July 13, “Star Wars: A New Hope”
during the outdoor screening.
will screen at Francis Lewis Park at Th ird
Th e event is sponsored by Vallo
Avenue and 147th Street, adjacent to the
Transportation and hosted by the 109th
Whitestone Bridge. Th e rain date for the
Precinct, 109th Precinct Community
event is July 14.
Council and the We Love Whitestone
Th e free, family-friendly aff air will begin at
Photo courtesy of Joe Brostek
Photo by Dominick Totino
A scene from last year’s outdoor movie night in Whitestone.