Get to know the members of the Psalios
Husband, father, patriarch
Local legend, master chef
ï¿½I make the rules, I break the rules.ï¿½
ï¿½Even when Iï¿½m 85 Iï¿½ll still have a restaurant, with three
tablesï¿½one for myself and the others for my friends.ï¿½
Macho, opinionated, impulsive 54-year-old Yianni is the undisputed
head of the Psalios family, and the final word in everything. His
wife, kids and staff might roll their eyes, even pull out their
hair, but they invariably follow his lead. He has earned their love
and respectï¿½and, after all, heï¿½s Yianni.
Since arriving in Canada from Cyprus as a young man, Yianni has
epitomized the brash, successful immigrant entrepreneur. In his
glory days of the 1980s, he operated twin restaurants mere feet
away from each other on Edmontonï¿½s trendy Whyte Avenue. When
Gretzky and company partied with the Stanley Cup in tow, Yianni was
there, pouring the Ouzo.
These days, Yianni is as successful as ever, yet the restaurant
business is taking its toll. It consumes and defines the lives of
Yianni, his wife Kally, and their two adult children, Theo and
At this stage in life, an ordinary man might step back, relax a
bit, and prepare for a well-deserved, prosperous retirement. But
Yianni is no ordinary man. With two thriving businesses, and a
family already half-crazed by overwork, Yianni is now opening a
As usual, everybody says heï¿½s nuts. But nobodyï¿½s betting
Wife, mother, manager
Running on empty
ï¿½Throughout all the years our staff has always been like a
family. They like how we have fun ï¿½ and Yianni and I, we give
them a little freedom.ï¿½
ï¿½I donï¿½t want to be like my mom for Godï¿½s sakeï¿½early 60s
and still in the restaurant. I would kill myself.ï¿½
Yianniï¿½s 41-year-old wife Kally is, in many ways, the glue that
holds the family and the businesses together. She loves running the
Koutouki Taverna, and she loves her husband. But she desperately
yearns for some balance and sanity in her life. Barring that,
sheï¿½d settle for a day off.
With Yianni opening a third restaurant, thatï¿½s not going to
Like many great moms, Kally is a natural diplomat. She helps smooth
relations between Yianni and the kids. She does her best to keep
Yianni grounded, or to hang onto the kite string when his fancies
uncontrollably take flight.
Still, she canï¿½t maintain this pace forever. Sheï¿½s tired, and
sheï¿½s tired of being tired. Somethingï¿½s gotta give.
Hunky single guy, blossoming head chef
Sick of living in dadï¿½s shadow
ï¿½My dad sees himself as a patriarch. And in that position, what
would you want to see? You want to see that empire that youï¿½ve
created get even bigger. Guess whose job that is?ï¿½
ï¿½People have been following my dad around for 25 years from
restaurant to restaurant. I mean, the man is a legend. Iï¿½ve got
to live up to that.ï¿½
At age 26, Theo is head chef and co-owner of his own flourishing
restaurant, the Ouzeri. Heï¿½d be a dazzling success by any
measurementï¿½except that everyone measures him next to his
As heir to the Psalios name, Theo works tirelessly to impress his
father and to live up to his reputation. At the same time, he
yearns to establish a reputation all his own. When he prepares one
of his dadï¿½s famous recipes, he always throws in a twist or
twoï¿½even when he knows Yianni wouldnï¿½t approve.
Theo has inherited more than just cooking skills. Like his dad, he
has a big soft spot for his staff, his family, and his customers.
If his life is going to revolve around the restaurant, heï¿½s going
to make it a place where everyone wants to be.
He has also inherited a healthy dose of his fatherï¿½s pride and
ambition. He dreams of stepping onto a worldwide stage, as
celebrity host of his own cooking show.
Beautiful daughter, unwilling waitress
Wants new life as makeup artist to the stars
ï¿½I didnï¿½t grow up with my parents ever around. And I donï¿½t
want that for my kids. Iï¿½m not saying I want to be the Brady
Bunch but, come on, not the Addams Family!ï¿½
ï¿½I love (Chris) more than anything, and I donï¿½t know if Iï¿½d
give him up. But thereï¿½s so much more at stake if I donï¿½t
follow my dream.ï¿½
Dina spent her entire childhood around restaurants, and sometimes
it seems like sheï¿½ll never escape. Now, at age 21, she waits
tables five nights a week at the Taverna. She canï¿½t wait to get
out, for good.
Sheï¿½s saving up to go to makeup school in L.A. From there, she
hopes to build a career as a Hollywood makeup artist. The
restaurant business, she vows, will be a distant memory.
If only it were that simple. Dinaï¿½s fiancï¿½, Chris, is head chef
at the Taverna. He loves his job, loves his life, and canï¿½t
picture himself doing anything else.
Dina knows that her family doesnï¿½t take her ambitions seriously.
She resents the fact that her father has set Theo up with his own
restaurant, yet wonï¿½t do anything to help her with her own dream.
She realizes that her plans for the future may prove completely
incompatible with her plans to marry Chris.
Will Dina find the will and the way to change her own
Chris St. Denis
Head chef at the Taverna, devoted Greek-in-training
Loves Dina, but also loves the restaurant
ï¿½I love everything about my life right now. I love Dina, the
restaurant, the family, their personalities. I love cooking.ï¿½
ï¿½Choosing my career over Dina would be a very stupid thing to do,
but I donï¿½t want to move to LA.ï¿½
In Yianniï¿½s eyes, 21-year-old Chris just might be the perfect
candidate for son-in-law. He works tirelessly, heï¿½s a talented
cook, and he has a clear knack for the restaurant business. Sure,
Chris might not be Greek, but heï¿½s even doing his best in that
Chris has embraced the Psalios family, and they have embraced him
back. Heï¿½s great friends with Theo and meshes seamlessly with his
boss Kally at the Taverna. He sees Yianni as a father figure and a
restaurant role model.
Chris also loves Dina deeply. He would never ask her to turn her
back on her dreams but, deep down, he canï¿½t see anything wrong
with their life right now. If Dina has to become a makeup artist,
couldnï¿½t she find a way to do it closer to home?
Chris is always eager to please everyone and, so far, heï¿½s done a
great job. But, at some point, heï¿½s going to have to make some