Delegate Profile

Johnny Livanos

Company NameLivanos Restaurant Group

About

Johnny Livanos returns to his roots in the family business as general manager for Ousia, Livanos Restaurant Group’s Greek- focused Mediterranean concept. The family-owned and operated Manhattan dining destination blends cherished family traditions and a deep understanding of contemporary culinary trends. “Without being too esoteric, our menu taps into the amazing flavors and ingredients that make Mediterranean cuisine so popular,” he says. “The result is both authentic and accessible.”

Located within the visually striking VIA 57 WEST residential building along the Hudson River, Ousia brings a casually sophisticated culinary experience to an underserved clientele on Manhattan’s West 57th Street. As general manager, Johnny ensures consistently impressive experiences through Ousia’s innovative Greek cuisine and relaxed-yet-refined atmosphere, and calls upon his noteworthy experience behind the bar to continually develop

Ousia’s beverage program. Responsible for creating both classic and innovative cocktails, selecting craft beers, and offering an assortment of craft spirits from Greece and beyond, Johnny leads the team with immense knowledge and enthusiasm.

Exposed to the industry from a young age thanks to his father, restaurateur Nick Livanos, Johnny pursued a formal degree in hospitality administration from Cornell University. After graduating in 2011, he immediately enrolled in the accelerated culinary arts program at the Culinary Institute of America’s Greystone Campus in St. Helena, California. While studying in California’s Napa region, Johnny worked as a line cook for Farmstead Restaurant in St. Helena and frequently visited the wineries in the region. These experiences sparked his interest in the beverage side of the business and inspired him to spend two months near Siena, Italy assisting with grape harvest and cellar management as a winemaker apprentice and undergo rigorous training over the years to earn the title of certified Level 2 Sommelier.

Upon graduating from the Culinary Institute of America in 2012, Johnny moved to Washington D.C to serve as Zaytinya’s restaurant and bar manager for Jose Andres’s ThinkFoodGroup, enabling him to pursue his true passion, cocktails and spirits. He moved back to New York in 2015 to serve as bar manager for Danny Meyer’s MARTA Restaurant in Manhattan, which was named one of Eater’s Top 13 New Restaurants of 2014, received a two-star review from The New York Times, and was recognized for wine excellence by Wine Spectator in 2015.

Johnny’s talents culminate into his current role as general manager for Ousia, at which he guides the operations and leads the bar program with a seasoned knowledge of Greek cuisine, wine, cocktails, and hospitality.

Away from work, he travels whenever he can, often embarking on ski trips out West and on culinary tours of Europe. He enjoys staying physically active by participating in events such as the Brooklyn Half Marathon and the Tough Mudder competition on Liberty Island. The multifaceted beverage professional also takes pleasure in exploring the cocktail bars of NYC, and brews his own beer at home while studying to become a certified cicerone.

 


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