Chef Maria is one of Louisville Kentucky’s culinary treasures and is an avid supporter of local farmers serving local produce whenever she can. She believes that everyone in our community should have healthy food, and loves to teach classes on how to cook it. Chef Maria cooks fresh Greek food using recipes from her childhood. She was born in Lerapetra, Crete Greece and came to the U.S. in 1997 with her husband and daughter, the family settled in Radcliffe.
You only have to spend a few minutes with her to realize that food is her passion. She welcomes everyone with her larger than life, arms wide open, personality. Awarded with being one of the 100 Fascinating Louisville Women, she is very active and visible in our community. She has appeared on public access shows such as Secrets of Louisville Chefs, and Good Morning WAVE Country. With nearly years of business and an authentic cultural background, she is proud to be known for the best gyros, best Greek salad, best spinach & feta cheese pie, and best food in town.
“Greek food is to sit down and enjoy,” she says. Choices include a changing variety of made from scratch items various type of hummus, tzatziki sauce and gorgonzola dips with pita as well as moussaka, pastitsio, and saganaki. “OPA!” She adds. Her Mediterranean chicken with feta cheese, stuffed grape leaves and braised lamb shanks with rosemary and garlic are sought after at markets, fairs and festivals far and wide. Her baklava, pita, and tzatziki sauce border on the divine.You will see her each week with her dear brother Emmanouil Konstantinidis. The pair offer lively conversation with their delicious food.
Chef Maria also teaches Greek cooking classes and pinpoints the value of eating healthy. Her motto is, “Eat healthy, Eat Greek.” Maria was an ESL teacher in Crete Greece and after settling in Radcliffe, KY, outside Fort Knox, she asked her husband to take her to a Greek restaurant to eat, because she missed home so much. He started asking people who had been in the area for recommendations for a good Greek restaurant. The answer was there weren’t any. So, Maria, started a new dream and on the 10th of January of 2000 she opened the Greek Paradise Cafe in Radcliffe. Now nearly 20 years later she is all over Louisville and so is delicious Greek food!