You might remember Andy Milonakis from his cult MTV2 sketch comedy show, or more recently as Roman Armond on the Kroll Show (watch this now!) But we know Andy Milonakis as a really smart food guy — for instance, you should check out his pointed thoughts on the Los Angeles sushi scene on Food Is The New Rock. He prizes good wine, better bourbon and maintains one Instagram account. It’s funny, true. But it also hints at a guy who knows his shit. Milonakis is our kind of guy, which is why we asked him to take over our Instagram account during his trip to Greece. You can follow us @foodrepublic — where our man is already going to town. But, first, we wanted to find out about why he was traveling to Greece and basically many more things about Greek food and culture.
What inspired your trip to Greece?
I'm starting to turn YouTube into a full time job and I’m going to be doing regular comedy and music videos, but most importantly food and travel. I was supposed to go to Japan for the first time, but since my father was going to Greece for Easter, I wanted to hit Greece first because going with him is important. He knows everybody in Crete, and I will get much better footage with him. He's pretty funny too, so I plan to exploit him a little and put him on camera.
When you landed, what was the first real Greek thing that you ate?
I have two first cousins named Antonia, and the younger one cooked my father and me some fish soup with boiled potatoes, zucchini, carrots and a nice salad…the most important part is NO LETTUCE!
Backing up, how was that flight?
The flight was insane. I got a good deal and for the first 11-hour leg from LAX to Munich, I got first class. The new Lufthansa first is insane. I had some Blue Label whiskey, caviar and crab. The seat was amazing and laid all the way flat – it was the best flight I've ever been on.
When you visit Greece, what are you looking to do food wise? Everything-else wise?
The important part was to be here for Easter. Greek Easter is more important than Christmas to the Greeks. I plan to eat a lot of lamb and this cheese called mizithra, which trumps feta ten-fold and you can't get in the States. I also want to do some funny bits with Cretans and maybe make a few fun comedic sketches out of it. I am focusing on the food and travel aspect more, though…I may also film a little two-day trip to Santorini.
Is there are rule: When in Greece you always…..?
The rule is it's never too early to drink. For a whole month there are only three drinks I will be thinking about: Tsikoudia is the most important. It's a clear grape spirit and it's my favorite alcohol on planet earth. Cretan table wine, which is much stronger than regular reds, some kinda taste a little gassoline-y in a good way, but some have really unique flavors. And once in awhile I'll have a few beers with food. The other rule that I usually stick to is to try as hard to eat something that is either picked or killed THAT day.
When taking Instagrams of food, what do you like to keep in mind?
I want it to look great, have to be something unique that maybe not everyone has tried and hopefully there will be a little story to why it's worthy of sharing with the world.
What’s going on here?
Here? Where? I took a ferry from Athens to Crete, a 10-hour trip, we got here at 7 a.m. and within 20 minutes I was eating lamb soup and drinking wine. Perfect first day so far. It's a little rainy right now and I'm sipping some mountain tea outside of a cafe my aunt runs. While I type this, she comes up to me every three minutes to kiss my head and ask me if I need anything. Typical Cretan style.
Is there one element of Greek food/food culture that has surprised you so far on this trip?
Not yet, but I just got here yesterday. But I've been here ten times so I'm not sure I'll be surprised as much as I'll just be really happy to be here and relive some great memories and hopefully create some epic new ones.