Vale Andreas Fasoulakis, founder of the Lefka Ori Sfakia taverna and hotel, in Chora Sfakion, Crete.
Andreas Fasoulakis was a true pioneer. Born in September 1933, he opened Sfakia’s first taverna, starting as a kafenion, in 1969. Over the next 50 years the Lefka Ori became one of the most appreciated and loved restaurants with rooms on Crete’s south coast.
Andreas was one of the very last witnesses of his generation, born in Sfakia, who as a child witnessed the Battle of Crete in May 1941, and the Occupation. As recorded in Peter Trudgill and Jean Hannah’s book book In Sfakia (Lycabettus Press, 2008), not only was Andreas an entrepreneur, chef, loving husband and father, and generous host, but a storyteller too.
His knowledge of Sfakian traditions and history was as deeply nourishing as his cooking, and his recounting of the momentous events that took place in Chora Sfakion and Anopoli between 1941 and 1944 leave a vital record for future generations.
Those who had the opportunity to hear Andreas’ recollections, and those of his childhood friends - men like the legendary ‘Barbayannis’; ‘Katsouloyannis’, ‘Manoussos’, and ‘Stelios’ - all now gone, were fortunate indeed.
That these voices can still be heard through Peter Trudgill and Jean Hannah’s text is something we can all be thankful for.
My journey to Sfakia began more than 30 years ago, when as a backpacker exploring Crete for the first time, I first experienced the warm welcome of Andreas and his family. I will always feel privileged to have done so.
I have returned regularly ever since. Every trip to Sfakia and the Lefka Ori is such a special experience, and it is a feeling shared by so many.
To Andreas’ wife Evangelia, and to their children - Giorgos, Manolis, Giannis Sfakia Fasoulakis, and Maria, my deepest condolences - and if I may say so on behalf of all in this Forum - our deepest condolences.
Amid the grief, I know Andreas’ life will continue to inspire you and give you strength.
Rest in peace Andreas. Καλό ταξίδι.
b. September 1933, d. July 2021