About Loulla Astin and the story of Kosmos
Loulla Astin was born in Avgorou a small traditional village in Cyprus. Her grandmother was Loulla’s earliest and most important inspiration. From her, Loulla learned all about generations-old Cypriot and Greek cuisine.
At fifteen Loulla came with her family to Britain, where her father Solomon Solominides was a major player in bringing Greek food to Manchester and was the first person to bring Kebabs to the city at the much loved and fondly remembered Prego on Oxford Street! By 1981 Loulla, with husband Stewart, joined the family business and opened Manchester’s now famous Kosmos Taverna.
Kosmos went from strength to strength, featuring Cypriot Greek and Greek Island dishes. A year after opening they were in Consumers’ Association’s Good Food Guide, the Egon Ronay Guide, followed by AA Top 500 Restaurants and in 1990 won the Perrier Restaurant of the Year award.
Success brought media attention. Loulla appeared regularly on ITV, Carlton and Sky. In 1996 she was nominated for Woman of the Year and recorded her own television series 52 programme series,’ Simply Greek’, followed by two more: Restaurant Dishes and World on a Plate. She was a Resident Chef on Granada TV’s ‘The Afternoon Show’ Presented by Eamonn O’Neal. Even Richard Madeley and Judy Finnegan (with whom Loulla appeared on ‘This Morning’) declare Kosmos a favourite eating place.
In 2009 she was invited to Buckingham Palace to meet the Queen at a Special Reception For Services to The Hospitality Industry of Great Britain.
Loulla has provided recipes to the Cyprus Trade Centre, promoting tourism, Cypriot products, especially, of course, food.