Farma is more than the first farm-to-table restaurant in Greece, it’s a philosophy.
Mykonos might emanate a global reputation as a rowdy festive destination, it comes as a sigh of relief that one can remain to discover a quieter part of the island fostering what nature does best. Although Ftelia Beach has long been adored by traveling windsurfers, amid robust gusts of wind from the north breaths the ancient tomb of Ajax the Locrian – an Iliad war victor. Despite wild and loud months of July and August in Mykonos, the blustering winds that Ftelia Beach embraces have kept this isolated part of the island fortunately detached, provincially tranquil.
The very first farm-to-table restaurant in Greece sits right on the edge of Ftelia beachfront, next to an abandoned boat, far away from the noise of a typical Mykonos. Farma, or ΦARMA, is a profound respect for the island’s roots and soul. Its founder, Nektarios Liolios opted for the Greek letter Φ (F) as it symbolizes the ideology of a “golden line” in his culture: chrisi tomi, which refers to the balance between our inner spiritual selves and the outside sphere. The Greek version of the golden line seems to resemble yin yang – a belief deeply embedded within the Chinese perception that our duties as human beings is an eternal chase for an equalized harmony of the two entities. In 2017, Liolios opened the doors of ΦARMA to unveil his philosophy through nature and food.
ΦARMA requires a twenty-minute cab ride from downtown Mykonos. As the car cruises further away from bustling tourists, a tempestuous summer breeze from the Aegean Sea begins to roar along a primitive landscape. Before our eyes are bald patches of land and mustard sand . It’s not difficult to miss ΦARMA in midst of nothingness, it is where the restaurant’s cheerful hostess Christina Nikolopoulo welcomes guests with a wide smile accented by her tall stature.
Before sitting down, Nikolopoulo leads a private tour throughout the charming estate that begins with a one-acre farm featuring a wide variety of vegetable and herb gardens. Coordinated rows of greenery and blooms set the mood of a fresh meal even before the actual feast commences. Nikolopoulo continues to explain two additional orchards situated in Maou – further north of the island – where the restaurant directly sources from. Staying true to the concept of farm-to-table, ΦARMA solely provides food within less than 80 miles radius from Mykonos.
With every table directly facing a splendid sunset view, ΦARMA’s seasonal menu alters daily according to what is readily available to the land without human pressure. The open kitchen produces a fusion of a Greek grandmother’s home cooking and nutritiously healthy meals. From perfectly boiled mussels to a generously open sea beam, every dish is 100% organic and unbelievably fresh. Not to be missed is ΦARMA’s signature dessert: Honey Dolloped Doughnuts, a golden bowl of fried doughnuts glazed in Greek honey that exhibit a tasty combination of crispy bites while oozing chewiness. Topped with a light sprinkle of crushed walnuts, this will persuade any savory lover into a satisfied sweet tooth.
In recent years, Naxos has captivated travelers as a foodie’s hidden gem in the Cyclades. But ΦARMA seems to be shifting the conversation in Mykonos with a commendable attempt. As major cities in the world begin to promote farm-to-table as a social movement bringing attention to food safety and small-farm commerce, ΦARMA does it with a harmonious philosophy that binds community-supported agriculture with a golden line, or rather, a deep-rooted Greek wisdom.