Friday, August 03, 2012

Yiorgos Hatziparaskos: Filo Pastry Chef (last of the Mohicans!)

Keep Me From Parm: Yiorgos Hatziparaskos....say that 5 times, but not fast. Do it now!

Yiorgos Haziparaskos

... And on a small side street in Rethymnon, on the northern coast of Crete, Yiorgos Hatziparaskos is consistently proving that, turning out handmade filo dough with the belief that quality is better than quantity, and that patience and skill are two more ingredients that help define such a quality product.

... Off to the side, Yiorgos’s wife silently cuts small pieces of baklava, crunchy pastries of her husband’s product layered with pistachios and dripping with honey; you can’t leave without trying something that showcases his hard work in its intended form. Her quiet sales pitch works, and the product speaks for itself. The flaky pastry crackles and breaks cleanly, without the usual cascading shards sputtering out of your mouth. This means it’s hasn’t lost its texture, but it’s still moist enough to stay together. It’s everything you could want from filo dough.

... And Yiorgos clearly enjoys his work. He plays the showman for groups who come to see him work, but you can see in the way that he handles the dough and from the aura he exudes while he putters around in a cloud of flour that it’s not a chore for him, but a pleasure. When someone is so excited about what they’re doing, it makes you all the more excited to be a part of it. And with Yiorgos’s excitement, flour, water, oil and salt became a simply complex wonder.

For over half a century Yiorgos Haziparaskos has been busy in his workshop on Manouil Bernardou Street in the Old Town of Rethymno, making Kadaifi in the traditional way, just as he did when he started: syrup, nuts, lot's of love and passion and ofcourse with the handmade filo pastry made in the traditional way.

ΡΕΘΥΜΝΟ. Στο εργαστήρι του Χατζηπαράσχου
Half a century and still going strong! (picture taken from

He has been doing this job since 1946, when he was 25 years old, first as an apprentice and from 1958 till today in his own shop, in the same place in the Old Town. If you by chance should meet him when he opens his shop, don't be surprised if he arrives with his bicycle, defying the Doctors who have on many occasions advised him to retire.

A passionate love for his job

Workshop of Yiorgos Hatziparaskos
Manouil Bernardou 30
Telephone: +30 2831029488

Εργαστήρι Γιώργος Χατζηπαράσχος 
Μανουήλ Βερνάρδου 30 
Τηλ. 2831029488

The article is in Greek and can be found here:

Traditional Filo Master of all Greece! (picture taken from:

... is one of the last traditional Filo Masters in all of Greece. He makes super-fine pastry by hand in his traditional workshop. He has been doing this for over 60 years, ably assisted by his wife Katerina for the last 50. The Baklava and Kataifi is by far the best I have ever eaten. If you are ever in Rethymno, Crete, indulge yourself.

I think you'll really get a good idea after watching this video, enjoy! :-)

I hope that you've enjoyed this small intoduction of this unique, gifted and humble man. If you're ever in the vicinity, go and greet the man, I'm sure that it will be worth your while. We all wish him a long and healthy life and to carry on doing what he loves most! Thank you and that's all for now, we'll see what happens in the next post. Giasas! :-)


  1. Visiting the old couple producing their filo dough was really great. It is a pity that this craft will probably not last for long anymore. Here are some pictures from my blog:

  2. I've been there 1 month ago... He was there, working :)

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