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  • Writer's pictureSasha Huang

Hovarda’s Executive Chef John Skotidas On Vibrant Greek Cuisine in London


Drawing its name from the Turkish and Greek term for a free-spirited, generous host, Hovarda aptly reflects its diverse and dynamic ambience. Under the new culinary direction of Executive Chef John Skotidas, alongside interiors by the acclaimed Lázaro Rosa-Violan, this Soho hotspot offers a luxurious cocktail bar and an Aegean-inspired menu. Hovarda's ever-evolving dishes, prominently featuring fresh British Isles seafood, are infused with Chef Skotidas' unique blend of modern Greek, South American, and Asian cuisines. This innovative fusion is set to transform traditional Greek gastronomy, marrying classic flavours with Skotidas' distinct culinary background.

Hovarda is a contemporary Greek restaurant that extends a warm welcome into the heart of Greek hospitality and culinary tradition. With a menu that showcases a variety of dishes from the Aegean Sea, it offers a unique and diverse gastronomic journey. Here, Chef John Skotidas shares with us the backstory to his cooking and to the coming of Hovarda.

1. How did you discover your passion for cooking?


During my military service in Greece, I was unexpectedly assigned to work as a cook. Although I had no prior experience in cooking, spending time in the kitchen on a daily basis it caught my interest and attention. This led me to study culinary arts. Initially, I had doubts in the first year and was convinced it wasn't for me in the second year. However, a job opportunity at a hotel introduced me to a talented chef who specialised in modern Greek cuisine and fine dining. Working alongside him, I fell in love with the creative aspects of the job, learning new cooking techniques, and experiencing the discipline, respect, and motivation in his kitchen. At that point I discovered I had a new passion. I took a round trip to London which turned into a one way ticket, I never went back and the rest is history.


2. How would you define the cuisine at Hovarda?


Hovarda is a Greek restaurant with Turkish influences. The cuisine at Hovarda can be described as a modern interpretation of traditional Greek and Turkish flavours, incorporating modern cooking techniques. Our focus is on presenting simple yet elegant dishes, highlighting the best locally sourced ingredients available in the UK.

"Hovarda is a warm and welcoming restaurant, filled with passionate and talented individuals."

- Chef John Skotidas, Hovarda

3. What does Hovarda mean to you?


As a recent addition to Hovarda, I am excited to be part of a team that is undergoing significant menu changes and aiming to create a unique dining experience. Hovarda is a warm and welcoming restaurant, filled with passionate and talented individuals. Being part of this family and contributing to the development of something special means a great deal to me. I am proud to be involved in shaping the new direction and path we are taking.


"Our goal at Hovarda is to present modern Greek and Turkish cuisine in an different manner, offering our guests an experience that shows our traditional flavors."

- Chef John Skotidas, Hovarda

4. How have your cultural background and experiences shaped your approach to cooking?


Growing up in Panama, I was exposed to South American cuisine. Additionally, my mother, who is half Filipino/Chinese, would prepare Asian dishes or take us to Asian restaurants, while my Greek father introduced us to Greek food and tavernas. Moving to Athens provided me with a better understanding of Greek cuisine. After studying and working extensively with Greek cuisine through the years, I realized that I enjoyed experimenting with flavors from my cultural background. This blend of different culinary traditions has influenced my cooking style and flavor profiles.

5. What do you aim to bring to London's culinary scene with Hovarda?


Our goal at Hovarda is to present modern Greek and Turkish cuisine in an different manner, offering our guests an experience that shows our traditional flavors. We want to educate our customers about our culture and traditions from a new perspective, providing a unique dining experience that goes beyond the traditional classics.


 6. What do you hope guests will take away from dining at Hovarda?


My hope is that guests leave Hovarda feeling that they have experienced an authentic, exceptional Greek and Turkish feast. I aim for the flavors they taste to be memorable on their palates, leaving an impression that they should come visit us an again and follow up on our creations.


All imagery is provided by Sauce Communications.

Address: 36-40 Rupert St, London W1D 6DW, United Kingdom | Website: | Phone: +44 20 3019 3460 | Email: | Instagram: @hovarda_london | Facebook: @HovardaLondon


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