Stelios Parliaros Truffles

Confectioner Extraordinaire: Stelios Parliaros

Posted Portes Magazine CUISINE
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{First experimenting with baking at age of 17 at Papaspirou Patisserie, Stelios Parliaros began work as a pastry assistant to Egyptian confectioners at the Hilton Athens, then took a trip to France where his sweet journey began… “Baking enchanted me back then, and continues to fascinate me 35 years later,” says Parliaros, who opened his first shop at the age of 22, marking a milestone for his lifelong relationship with pastry-making. Aside from being the executive editor of the Greek monthly magazine “Sweet Stories” published by Kathimerini Newspaper, Parliaros hosts his own weekly show titled “Sweet Alchemies,” on SKAI.  “We try to prepare sweets in a simple and illustrative way, as best as we can,” he says about the segment.}

 

Q & A

Parliaros shares his sweet story with Portes Magazine

*translated from Greek

What is it about pastry-making that you enjoy the most?  The endless creative possibilities, the discipline required to perform, mixing new materials, the precision, and the experiments that spawn new sweets and much, much more…

What is your personal favorite sweet?  I like a well-made custard because it invokes in me memories of Istanbul, the city where I was born. I also like bitter chocolates with spices and peppers.

In a practice where creativity is important, and presentation is key, what inspires you to continue crafting new recipes? I observe. I read. I travel. Inspiration sprouts when you fill your mind with images and information. When you love something very much, you inform yourself about new developments, look for new things, and continuously try to improve your efforts.

What are some important steps usually overlooked in baking? In baking you cannot skip any steps. It requires very precise weighing of materials, and the recipe should be strictly followed. Only individuals who have enough experience can be substituting materials and quantities or modifying recipes.

Do you oversee the design of the products sold at your boutique shops?  The “Sweet Alchemy” shops in Kolonaki and in Kifissia are purely a personal matter. I work endless hours a day, taking care of everything…from the presentation and alteration of the sweets available in the store, to the last detail in the storefront window. Admittedly, I also work with a group of worthy partners who share the same vision.

What is your favorite type of chocolate?  Chocolate is unique, mainly because it gives endless creative possibilities. It can be accompanied by fruits, nuts, coffee, spices, salt and pepper, and can even be used in cooking. Personally, I like to eat dark chocolate, but I like to make sweets with all kinds of chocolate.

Someone wants to truly impress guests with sweets. What should they do?  Offer a sweet made with care, love, and imagination, and naturally, with quality ingredients. Then, it is certain that the result will amaze all who taste it.

What is your opinion of the common perception that women love and crave chocolate more than men? Is this really true?  Statistically speaking, women do love chocolate more than men. Studies have shown that chocolate helps to improve one’s mood and has properties beneficial to health when consumed in small quantities. Even a very small piece of chocolate offers huge enjoyment. And that’s what makes it a magical delicacy!

Stelios Parliaros Sweets
Sweet Alchemy Boutique
Parliaros Sweets
Stelios Parliaros