by Jean-Christophe Lalanne
Born in 1964 in Marmande (near Bordeaux), a former tennis teacher, Jean-Christophe started his career in the fashion industry in Paris in 1992 and he is still in the fashion management. A few years ago he (together with François) bought a big peaceful land in Portugal and built Villa Extramuros, a modern haven in the Alentejo countryside. Jean-Christophe and François are sublimely taking care of it and of their four awesome in-house 4 cats, Mr Toto, Ms Lulu, Mr Riri e Ms Mila.
A romantic haven on one of the most romantic Greek Islands with breath-taking views over the Sea. An exclusive and elegant retreat with yellow stone terraces, the same colour and consistency of butter, on the island’s most dramatic cliffs. If you have a passionate yet sweet personality you will love the two facets of this volcanic island: a cliff dropping straight into the caldera on one side and gold and green vineyards on the other. For dinner, enjoy the Lobster Cake with Potatoes accompanied by one of the local white wines and wait until your small white table disappears into the blue of a quiet night on the Aegean Sea.
Melina Chomata is a shy woman. She’s got sweet and sincere eyes and a thin frame under the white chef uniform. She works tirelessly in the kitchen of the Vinsanto restaurant in the medieval village of Megalochori (meaning “big village” in Greek). The flavours of her plates are delicate and intense at the same time, just like the heart of their Chef and the sleepy but powerful volcanic soul of the island. Wild wheat risotto with sautéed calamari and thyme, phyllo pastry cigars with beef in fresh tomato sauce, tender cockerel on semolina and cheese cream with potatoes and chocolate mousse with pistachio flakes. For a special culinary experience in a quiet, secluded village that seems to have stopped in a magical and ancestral time.
A maze of white, pale yellow and grey narrow roads and terraces crowded with travellers, hosts and guests. From the distance, they look like tiny little ants. In the morning, the sound of copper green bells wakes up this island that looks like a living nativity…
Think of a black shiny piano in the hallway; a white marble sundial hanging over the door of your room; airy light blue on the walls of the House of the Wind; a shell-shaped stoop next to a big eucalyptus tree where to hide the keys when you leave your room; a white terrace and a small sun-kissed private patio; a blue indigo dome with a white cross; a swimming pool touching the blue horizon of the Caldera’s water; a bronze woman’s head with straight nose, motionless, her hair gathered on the back of her neck and her chin up toward Nea Kameni, the youngest volcanic island of the archipelago. In Santorini, you’ll find a collector so generous and confident that she shares her art with her guests as they were part of the family. Meraviglia is the privilege to own for a few nights the keys of this home-museum, wake up in the morning, order your room service and eat breakfast with silver cutlery, a selection of impeccable French croissants and pain au chocolat, and red grapes. Get ready for a once in a lifetime experience.
by Melina Chomata
Melina is the executive chef of Vinsanto restaurant at Vedema and Charisma restaurant at Mystique, both on the magical Cycladic island of Santorini. In recent years, Santorini has truly come into its own as a world-class culinary and wine lover’s destination, thanks no doubt to hard-working, creative individuals like Melina. She received a very tempting offer from the owners of Vedema 15 years ago and never left. So talented yet so down to earth, Melina is discreetly weaving her culinary magic. Inspired by lost ancient recipes and the archaic settlement of Akrotiri, Melina has designed an exclusive series of innovative, neo-Greek lunch and dinner menus based on the island’s unique products: famed fava bean, one-of-a-kind white eggplant, cherry tomato, zucchini, capers and sweet Vinsanto wine. Proof that simplicity often lies at the heart of gastronomic brilliance can be found in her signature dishes.