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Meet Zaytinya's Chef Partner

a person wearing glasses and smiling at the camera

More than 15 years ago, José took a trip to Kea, Greece to meet with Aglaia Kremezi, Greek food writer and journalist, to discuss his newest restaurant project: Zaytinya. Although they had never met before, an instant friendship was born from their shared passion for authentic food. Cooking together in Aglaia’s kitchen, José took detailed notes and snapped pictures of everything to bring back to DC. Among many words of wisdom, Aglaia told José that he must always hand-roll phyllo and never rely on the packaged brands. To this day, all phyllo is hand-rolled at the restaurants, and Aglaia is affectionately referred to as the “Greek Grandmother” of Zaytinya.