About The Olive Tree
Established in 1982, The Olive Tree family owned restaurants have grown over the years and there are now three in West Leeds. The restaurants are run day to day by the husband and wife team George and Vasoulla, while George busies himself in the kitchen over seeing his talented team of chefs; Vasoulla takes care of the front-of-house team and helps them maintain their exceedingly high standards.
The couple are Greek Cypriot born but consider themselves very much to be adopted Yorkshire folk, they moved to West Yorkshire over 35 years ago and raised their two children here, Vicki and Solos. Solos is now involved with the business and is quickly learning all the skills necessary to run and develop a group of quality minded restaurants.
George is a self-taught chef and recognises his mother-in-law as one of his most important influences. He holds her philosophy of ‘real ingredients cooked by real people’ very close to his heart and believes we should go back to the way our grandmothers cooked, using only the best ingredients each season has to offer and cooked in an honest wholesome manner.
George has developed his talent over many years cooking for his many regular customers, friends and of course family, a bit like a really good Kleftiko – which happens to be one of George’s specialities.
The dynamic combination of talents has propelled the restaurants into the media spotlight and helped them receive many excellent reviews and awards right from the start. Most recently the readers of Let’s Eat Leeds magazine voted The Olive Tree as ‘The Best Mediterranean Restaurant 2005/6′.
Once again after many years The Olive Tree was featured in the latest Which?, Good Food Guide, the AA restaruant guide, Relais Routiers and has received high acclaim from the Egon Ronay Guide.
The press have taken great interest with AA Gill of The Sunday Times pronouncing that The Olive Tree was in the top four Greek restaurants in the country, great reviews have also come from Robert Cockroft of The Yorkshire Post, plus the Telegraph, the Argus and Yorkshire Life. George has also appeared on television promoting and teaching about Greek food inclusing BBC 2’s ‘Food and Drink’ show three times, ITV’s ‘This Morning’, Yorkshire Television, Cyprus Television and most recently cooking on Sky.
For the last 2 1/2 years George has provided ‘The Recipe of the Day’ on London Greek Radio, he has also broadcast on Radio Aire, Radio Leeds and Pulse Radio. He has also presented a cookery demonstration on the Sky ‘Good Food Live Show’
Whenever George and Vasoulla are promoting or cooking Greek food they are always striving for the best results from the best ingredients. Good publicity seems to stick to them like great Baklava (another of George’s specialties!), we hope you see why!