How long have you been at the restaurant?
I started as a chef de partie at Pied à Terre on the 27th of August 2012.
Which was the first restaurant you worked in?
The first restaurant I worked in as commis was called “Frog” in Athens/Greece and it was 2007!
What was the last London restaurant you went to, apart from your own?
The last restaurant I went to was Core by Clare Smith in December.
What or who has been the biggest influence on the way you cook and why?
I think the biggest influence on the way I cook is my Greek heritage, and my mum’s food. She always cooked fresh produce and it was always really tasty. I have a dish on at the moment with Braised Snails in red wine, my mum used to cook this from fresh snails and it would take all day, but was amazing.
I like to eat out and honestly every meal is an influence, every time you dine in a top restaurant you take something even if you don’t realize it at the time
What is your personal signature dish?
I would say that if I had to single out one dish, it would be the first dish I put on the Pied-a-Terre menu and it has become my icon/signature dish; French quail/wild mushroom organic spelt risotto/yellow chanterelles/watercress which is served on a plate with Douglas Fir and covered with a Dome filled with smoke from cherry wood which brings great smokiness but at the same time sweetness on the dish!
Which other chef’s) do you most admire?
I really admire Thomas Keller and Daniel Humm first one chef owner of The French Laundry and Per Se in Napa Valley and New York and the second Chef owner of Eleven Madison Park in New York! Reason is simply, they take the best and most seasonal ingredients and keep it simple, they showcase the true flavours without fuss and with great skill, they succeed to pass to people/critics/inspectors that you don’t need to complicate a dish with 6-10 ingredients to show what your skills are but with a few amazing quality ingredients create and give a flawless and faultless experience to your dinners!
What’s the best part of your job?
I love cooking, so I don’t really think about it as a job, it’s a calling a vocation, it’s who I am and what I do. I am defined by my food on the plate, I do my best every day to make sure it is as good as it can be.
The most exciting part is to be in creative control, here at Pied-a-terre, the boss, David Moore, lets me do that and I know I’m privileged as few chefs have that possibility.
The second most exciting part is seeing my team develop and mature and grow in confidence, only by growing their ability can I grow that of mine, the restaurant and the customers experience .
And the worst?
Well, for me, as I said its not a job and if there are challenges then I just have to sort them and think of the bigger picture.
What would your last meal be?
My last meal! That is very tricky to answer but it would have to be moms snails with red wine/onions and tomatoes! (currently on the menu) And loads of sourdough to dip in the sauce!
Do you have a chef’s shortcut that you can share with us?
I don’t do shortcuts!