Papa’s got a brand new kebab: chef opens store

First published Tuesday 26 May 2015 in The Argus

A CHEF is following in the footsteps of his Greek Cypriot father who set up a fish and chip shop in Brighton 35 years ago.

But rather than serve up the seaside supper, Yoddi Papa is on a mission to reinvent the kebab with pop-up Papa Pitta.
From a huge Greek Cypriot family, Yoddi’s father came to the UK in the 1970s and worked in fish and chip shops before opening his own on the seafront in 1979.

This is where Yoddi cut his teeth in fast food, with his experience in catering and hospitality and passion for the Cypriot life leading him back to the culinary traditions of his family’s homeland Papa Pitta serves traditional Cypriot souvlaki kebabs cooked over charcoal, along with Greek frozen yoghurts and cocktails all using native ingredients.

The pop-up eaterie, which creates a party vibe with eclectic music, has found a summer home in the semi-outdoor setting of Diplock’s Market in North Road, Brighton.

Yoddi has joined forces with experienced business partner Tansy Dowman-Wilks, former head of private events at Harrods as well as head of events at the Home House private members’ club.

The business was founded last year and made some festival appearances before the pop-up on Thursday. Tansy said: “Everyone always says when they come to us they feel like they’re on holiday, with the smells, tastes and sounds. The aim is to create a relaxed, loving vibe, with music and good times.

“We want to take the perception of Greek food away from old fashioned restaurant style food.

“The kebab has suffered a bad rep in the UK for many years, but the Cypriot Souvlaki Kebab is far from the greasy mess you normally get at 2am when you stagger out of a club!”

Diplocks Market is a ramshackle emporium selling second-hand vintage and retro furniture and will be open in the evenings during the summer with the arrival of Papa Pitta.

The market, once home to rag and bone men and more recently a farmer’s market, is under threat from a proposed office development.

Papa Pitta will look for another home after its tenancy expires on August 31.

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