Constantine Maroulis Talks "Loukoumi" and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

Constantine Maroulis at the "Loukoumi Celebrity Cookbook" Premiere in New York City Photo Credit: Jillian Nelson

Tony nominated actor and American Idol alum Constantine Maroulis was a celebrity guest at the Loukoumi Celebrity Cookbook premiere, that took place at Barnes and Noble on Sunday, November 27, 2011 in Lexington Avenue and 86th Street. He opens up to Markos Papadatos about being a part of Nick Katsoris’ newest children’s book, which benefits such organizations as the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and Chefs for Humanity, the charity of Iron Chef Cat Cora.

“It’s a great honor to be here,” Maroulis acknowledges. “Nick Katsoris is a great friend and he is doing so much great work for kids. It’s just an uplifting and beautiful story. I’m glad to be a part of it. I have a baby girl to think about now, and it’s great to know he is doing such great things for the children at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and young people everywhere.”

Throughout the Loukoumi series, Maroulis voiced the character of “Gus the Bear.” According to Maroulis, he remarks, “it’s great as an actor to be able to do voices and to be part of cool projects like these.”

For this latest book, Maroulis contributed his childhood recipe for Greek lemon roasted potatoes. “It’s my mother’s recipe that was probably passed down from her mother,” Maroulis discloses. “It’s a beautiful, basic Greek dish of potatoes that goes with anything; they are baked, nice, and they smell great. It’s a pretty easy recipe to follow, and you can make them in approximately twenty or thirty minutes.”

This year, Constantine Maroulis, was awarded a prestigious Gabby award in Ellis Island in the “Performing Arts” category besting out fellow Greek-American entertainers, Zach Galifianakis and Tine Fey. “It’s a wonderful honor to be recognized by my peers especially in the Greek community for my work in the performing arts. It’s really nice, and I appreciate all of the support from the Greek community. I promise to keep on doing good work for them,” he says.

When asked about what he feels is his proudest professional accomplishment, Maroulis reveals, “I think that I haven’t reached that just yet. I am working on that! As an artist, I try to grow each and every day and do great projects. Hopefully, I will be doing them for many, many years to come.”

Regarding his future plans, Maroulis shares, “I have two brand new Broadway shows in the works and you’ll hear about them pretty soon.”

Asked about which musicians he would like to collaborate with, Maroulis underscores, “There are so many great artists out there,” he admits. “I am lucky to do what I do. I have gotten a chance to work with so many great people, so I am very grateful for that. I think it’s great when people from different styles collaborate, such as Lady Gaga with Tony Bennett. Something along those lines will be great.”

Maroulis notes that he stays connected with his dedicated fans via his social networks such as Twitter and Facebook. “I try to arrange meet and greets after events, and I know a lot of the fans on a first name basis, so it’s been like a growing family over the years,” he adds.

“The Greek-American community is incredible,” Maroulis states. “They are very supportive of me and the arts. We stick together and we are trying to do great things for the future of Hellenism. Greece has taken a bit of a black eye in the media and we are doing our best to remedy the situation, and a lot of Greek leaders are out there and they are working tirelessly to remedy it. I encourage people to go to Greece, spend time there, discover their roots, and just have a good time.”

For hopefuls who wish to enter the entertainment and music profession, Maroulis stresses the need to practice. “Work hard, and explore higher education. Try to do as much good work as you can, whether it’s community theater or a high school play! It’s all positive and productive,” Maroulis concludes.