Quick Six With… Dimitri Moshovitis, Chef & Co-Founder at Cava Mezze Restaurant Group

Dimitri Moshovitis | Courtesy of Cava

Dimitri Moshovitis | Courtesy of Cava

It’s been a hell of a year for Dimitri Moshovitis and his brand, Cava. Making up one-third of the Cava Mezze Restaurant Group co-founder trio, alongside Ted Xenohristos and Ike Grigoropoulos, Dimitri is the man behind the food at Cava Mezze and its fast-casual spinoff, Cava Grill. The name of the game, if it wasn’t already obvious, is Mediterranean — putting an American twist on Greek dishes in an affordable, healthy way using fresh ingredients. Dimitri and the guys are also behind Brusco, a sandwich counter attached to the Cava Mezze location in Baltimore, and Sugo Cicchetti, a small-plates, Italian concept, where he is also chef.

Earlier this year, Cava Grill raised $16M in funding. And most recently, they received another $45M investment in a Series B. The funds will go toward the already-begun expansion of the Cava Grill brand to the west coast, starting in LA.

Not long ago, Dimitri was selected as one of five chefs [video] to compete in Lamb Jam 2015 at the James Beard House in New York City, where he whipped up a lamb shoulder half-smoke and a lamb shoulder chili, seasoned with a bit of cinnamon, as well as a mustard-tzatziki with smoked feta and marinated onions. While it did not take first place in NYC, it did take No. 1 in the DC leg of the tour.

The chef attended Baltimore Culinary College and honed in on his culinary style of bringing American flare to heritage dishes when he studied abroad in Ireland and Greece. Growing up in a Greek household, with many influences from his mother’s cooking, Dimitri knew he wanted to cook for a living since he was 16 years old. 

Aside from being a multi-kitchen chef and parent, Dimitri also advocates for causes he finds important, like Adoptions Together and World Food Program USA.

Below, we ask the chef six quick questions.

 
 

The Quick Six

Foodable: What’s the first meal (that you can recall) that changed your life?

Dimitri Moshovitis: Eggs Benedict when I was 12 years old. Perfectly poached egg and a properly made hollandaise. Making Hollandaise became an obsession for me ever since then.

Foodable: Who is one person that you would love to cook for (that you haven’t already)?

DM: Anyone who hasn't already been to my restaurants. 

Foodable: Who is your culinary mentor?

DM: My mom, she taught me to be simple with my cooking and not to overthink a dish. 

Foodable: Where is your favorite restaurant to eat at when you aren’t working?

DM: At home. No rules.

Foodable: One ingredient you could not live without?

DM: Salt

Foodable: What's the most important lesson you learned (good or bad) in your first year of owning a restaurant?

DM: Most important lesson I learned is that it's not just food that makes a restaurant great. From FOH to accounting to the hardest working dishwasher, it takes a great team with the same goals in mind.