From the Publisher

Posted by at 10 March, at 10 : 58 AM Print


WITH our March issue, Estiator pays a special visit to Chicagoland, which I consider to be the Metropolis of Greek Cuisine.

The nation’s Second City was the first to introduce Greek street food to a hungry American public. On our recent visit there, we spoke with several pioneers who have shaped the country’s growing fascination with Greek cuisine. We had interviews with the founders and leaders of four of the largest gyro, pita, and prepared Greek food manufacturers.

They started with one or two people, grew rapidly, and today employ many thousands people. They succeeded in placing their products in supermarkets, and they export them as well to several Latin American, Middle Eastern, and Asian countries. We also interviewed restaurant legend Gus Koutsogeorgas, whose Greek Islands Restaurant in the heart of Greektown has been reigning supreme for nearly five decades; Maria Melides of Artopolis, whose trendy café-market-restaurant brings the European cafeteria concept to to city; James Beard award-winning chef Jimmy Bannos; and other restaurateurs who are breathing new life into the Windy City’s Greek restaurant scene.

This issue also features an insightful interview with Steve Theofanous, president of GARA, one of the country’s largest Greek American restaurant industry collectives, as well with an interview with Stan Greanias, one of Greek America’s most storied food industry veterans.

As Greek cuisine continues to gain favor throughout the country (see New Arrivals on the following pages), this special issue with its focus on Chicago is meant to reintroduce our readers to the players that are at the epicenter of the nation’s hottest culinary trends, and give inspiration to those who are blazing their own paths.

Kali Orexi!

Capitalism, Not Socialism!

SOME «progressive» and «leftist» Democratic presidential candidates have gone too far. They are talking about socialism in a country that is rooted in a free market economy and capitalist system. Republicans’ reactions to the statements being made by Senator Sanders, New York Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez, and a few others are justifiable.

The implementation of socialism in the form of either communism, or a milder version, has failed miserably. Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua, Brazil, and many other nations are now returning to democratic capitalistic processes. The U.S. is posting its lowest unemployment (4.5%) in decades and remains the world’s strongest economy.

Thanks to capitalism, businesses that innovative college students set up in their garages have turned into colossal enterprises. That’s how Microsoft, Facebook, Google, and YouTube got their start, and they were followed by Amazon, Apple, and Walmart. Pizza Hut has franchises all around the world, which is more than the Italians can say, and the same holds true for pitas and gyros being produced here. McDonald’s, Burger King, and Starbucks have tens of thousands of stores in over 100 countries worldwide. Coca Cola and Pepsi reached the global markets even earlier. U.S. pharmaceutical companies produce and export more medications – and certainly the most recognizable ones – than the rest of the world put together, along with airplanes, cars, arms, computers, mobile devices, home appliances, legumes, grains, and wine.

Today, the U.S. is the world’s largest producer of crude oil and exports refined petroleum-based products – something unfathomable just a decade ago. It also sets global trends. Broadway hosts the world’s largest theatrical and musical productions, and Hollywood produces the best films. The U.S. is home to hospitals like the Mayo Clinic and some of the most renowned universities, like Harvard, MIT, and Columbia. Three-quarters of the population all across the globe wear blue jeans and Timberland shoes.

All this is a result of the creative competition that capitalism encourages.


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