Pastry chef George Diakomichalis shares Aussie migration stories through food
Story by Minh Nguyen
Greek-Australian patisserie owner George Diakomichalis comes from a long line of pastry chefs.
Regularly travelling back to Greece for holidays throughout his childhood, George found himself always surrounded by cousins and friends who were working at his family patisseries, establishments which have been around since 1918.
These regular trips and his family’s love of pastry inspired him to follow in their footsteps, and in 1995, he opened up Kalymnos Pastries in Adelaide, and more recently, became host of Aussie show “It’s All Greek To Me”.
“When I was around 14 or 15, my dad used to bake vanilla slice and pavlova from home, and he would supply them to businesses in Adelaide as a side income”, he shared.
“I’m now in my mid-forties and I still supply my parents’ first wholesale customer in Central Market with my vanilla slices, so this has been going for over 30 years now.”
Passionate about sharing Greek cuisine, George has cooked for five-star restaurants in countries including Vietnam and Malaysia, which has also allowed him the chance to explore traditional dishes from around the world.
It doesn’t matter what your cultural background is, traditional dishes are the ones that stand the test of time.
“The thing that differentiates Greek cuisine is that we have such a large variety of food, in savoury and in dessert,” he said.
“Combining that with the history and pride that a lot of cultures do have, it just makes me very proud to be an Australian with Greek heritage, and I’m proud of both countries I associate with.”
With that pride instilled in him, George started the show “It’s All Greek To Me” with the intention of keeping unique migration stories alive and sharing how migrants managed to keep their traditions while living as proud Australians.
We’ve got so many different cultural backgrounds that come together and live in a country that gives us a lot of opportunities, and we’re allowed to keep our identity going with pride.
“I think that is really important and that gives our children an opportunity to continue having that pride in their heritage down the track,” he explains.