Travelling from Wellington to the Mediterranean is as easy as stepping through the doors of August Eatery. Located within the bustling streets of Wellington’s CBD, xo-owner Tanase Antipas has used his Greek heritage as the inspiration for a daytime eatery, which is unlike anything the city has ever seen before.
As a seasoned chef, Antipas’ culinary journey began in the late 80s when he spent his Friday evenings helping his parents prepare for weekend markets in their Greek Food stall. It was these very markets that opened the doors to his first job in a kitchen, and a lifelong love of it.
“There we met a couple of other stall holders Terry and Lance who both went on to open a restaurant together in 1990 and they asked if I wanted to work there doing dishes,” explained Antipas.
On the first night he was asked to help out with the salad and desserts section. He quickly fell in love with the hustle and bustle of cooking and serving customers, staying at the restaurant until he finished school.
“I absolutely loved the thrill of a buzzing service to the point I thrived under the stress of it all. From there I went with it and never looked back.”
Opening a venue honouring his Greek Heritage was a full-circle moment for Antipas, who has curated the menu at August Eatery with the intention to offer an opportunity for patrons to expand their palette, hosting dishes that won’t be found anywhere else within the city.
“Growing up Greek, I was exposed to a lot of different ingredients, from fresh herbs, vegetables to meats. I continue to take inspiration from my parents and my Greek heritage when cooking,” added Antipas.
Some of the current crowd favourites include Tsoureki French toast and Fakés a lentil with burrata.
Despite the current uncertainty, with inflation and a possible recession weighing heavy on business owners' shoulders, Anitpas has hopes to potentially open more venues when the time is right.
And to anyone just starting out in hospitality, Antipas’ message is straightforward: “It's hard work but a very satisfying career, from general cooking and entertaining at home, to having our customers rocking up into the kitchen saying how much they enjoyed the food.”