The name Dimitris Siasiaridis may sound familiar to Parisian food lovers and enthusiasts of Greek cuisine, dance and culture.
This is, in part, because Dimitris Siasiaridis is the owner of 4 successful restaurants in Paris and co-founder of a popular catering company with products that bare his own brand name ‘DIMITRIS’.
But that is not all.
Dimitris, at the age of 36, is a member of the Greek French innovation network MAZINNOV; artistic director of the Greek dance academy in France, PARTHENON Académie de Danses; as well as a member of the Parisian Orchestra.
And on top of all of that, Dimitris along with his friend and collaborator, Hollywood superstar Scarlet Johansson, opened the first popcorn store in Paris.
Over the last decade, Dimitris has shown remarkable participation in the cultural events of Paris, always with the aim of sharing traditional Greek cuisine and music.
Born in Paris in January 1984 to Greek parents from Thessaloniki and Imathia, Dimitris was introduced to the world of cooking at a very young age by his family.
His grandmother Sultana and his mother Zoe, both passed on to him books with unique traditional Greek recipes and special Greek delicacies that he has been using ever since in his own restaurants to constantly enrich his food menus.
As a teenager in Paris, Dimitris used to run every day after school to his family’s little restaurant, near the Opera House, and work there to help with the family business.
“I loved cooking and being in this restaurant so much that I decided to eventually finish school to start working, so that I could open my own shop one day,” Dimitris confessed in a recent interview.
Just a few years later in 2007 Dimitris managed to open his very own restaurant in Paris, while today, 13 years later, the Greek chef owns 4 restaurants in the City of Lights.
In all of his restaurants, Greek cuisine and Greek life are the main themes.
His team of expert cooks prepares all of the classic Greek appetizers, such as tzatziki, taramosalata, beetroot salad and olive paste. The menu includes meals, such as stuffed tomatoes, briami, Smyrneika soutzoukakia, okra and moussaka.
The menu is made complete by Dimitris’ wife, Greek chef Katerina Skandali, who bakes all of the traditional Greek desserts, such as galaktoboureko, ravani, walnut pie and cigars with honey.
An unstoppable businessman, Dimitris has always tried to find different ways to create and promote the Greek culture.
After opening a chain of restaurants in Paris, he created his own product distribution company, which imports raw materials from all over Greece, such as olive oil, salt and roe from Messolonghi, wine from Naoussa, Kalamata olives, feta cheese, Chios mastic, and Cretan nuts.
His love for good quality materials and good food, as well as his thirst to get to know Greece deeper, led him to the creation of Dimitris Trip in 2018, a series of organized trips throughout Greece, along with a team of cooks. The purpose of these trips is to find fine products from small producers around the country, which he then offers to his French customers in his Paris restaurants.
“Dimitris Trip is an opportunity to advertise our country, our villages with their music, culture and traditional recipes,” Dimitris explained.
All of his adventures and experiences in the world of cooking, led to him forming a friendship with the famous actress Scarlett Johansson, with whom he has been collaborating since 2014 at Yummy POP.
Yummy POP is the first popcorn shop in Paris, offering 6 unique flavours of popcorn; 3 savory and 3 sweet.
For all his creations at the popcorn store, Dimitris carefully chooses the ingredients and uses his own organic products, such as the organic olive oil by DIMITRIS.
Additionally, at the Théâtre Du Gymnase in Paris during Christmas time, Dimitris offers Yummy POP fans exclusive limited-time flavours, such as nutmeg, cinnamon and honey, and customers are able to vote for their favourite, with the winning flavour to be included on the shop’s regular menu.
Passionate about dance and always eager to broaden his musical horizons, Dimitris took the position of choreographer at the PARTHENON Académie de Danses in Paris in 2006, teaching Greek and classical dances. A year later, he joined the National Armenian Ballet, as well as the professional dance group Diasporas of famous dancer Armen Tchilolian in 2008, and finally, Dimitris joined the Georgian ballet group LAZI in 2012.
As of 2020, Dimitris has created over 80 choreographies and edited multiple performances for the PARTHENON Academy, including the famous Zorba Dance.
In 2011, at the invitation of the French producer and filmmaker Brigitte Roüan, Dimitris created a series of choreographies for the big screen, in which both Greek and French actors participated.
Throughout his dance career so far, Dimitris has created a variety of performances, such as the Danse D’Un Monde Aut L’Autre (Paris 2010), All That Folk (Chicago 2011), Mes Rencontres (Paris, Thé Gymtre du Gymnase 2011), Danse Du Monde (Cyprus 2012), Ecoute et Danse (Las Vegas 2013), as well as the National Dance Ensemble in Paris for UNESCO.
The PARTHENON Académie de Danses also stated with regard to Dimitris that; “Thanks to his dancing skills, his personal style as well as his pedagogical methods, he has managed to establish the PARTHENON Academy as a reference point of Greek traditional dance around the world.”
Amazingly however, Dimitris’ talents don’t stop here.
He is also a self-taught musician and plays the accordion, the flute and the drums. Together with his friends and musicians Manos Karteris on the lute and Stelios Kotzambasakis on the Cretan lyra, Dimitris created the 3-member Greek group CréTrois.
Over the years, the group has played at various events around Europe, presenting to the European public traditional Cretan music, and also the wider traditional sounds of the islands of Greece.
In fact, in 2015, Dimitris opened a production company called DZ Production, with which he manages music and dance events around the world, while the first record of CréTrois is currently being prepared.
Through his professional activities and his hobbies Dimitris continues every day to promote Greek food, music, dance, culture and overall, the Greek spirit and life.
His latest venture is the 2050 project of the MAZINOV organization, for which he was asked to become a member of the committee earlier this year. MAZINNOV, which stands for “Let’s innovate together” is a network of cooperation between Greece and France, and aims to connect ideas, projects and people from the two countries, in order to promote collaborative innovation methods and ideas for the benefit of all.
Even though Dimitris lives far away from Greece, he never fails to remember and proudly talk about his roots. As he explained, he does not want to be just another Greek living abroad, but a patriot who managed to make his name synonymous with Greece.
📷 photo credit: @dimitris.paris on Instagram, except where noted differently.
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