“Never give up on your dreams. Even when times are tough, stay dedicated, work harder and the results will follow.”
One of London’s top chefs, The Wordrobe talks perseverance, food trends and the importance of fresh ingredients with Akis Chaniotis, Head Chef of the Michelin-starred Pied a Terre
What inspired you to become a chef?
My love for food. I wanted to explore food and find a way to create my own delicious, innovative recipes.
Tell us more about your culinary background – where did you train?
I began my culinary career in Greece, my home country. I’ve been cooking since I was a teenager, experimenting with traditional Greek cuisine and later I began training at a culinary college.
Following this, I went on to work in some of the best hotels and restaurants in the country – also serving up my cuisine on yachts and at exhibition centre events.
I decided to move to the UK to further my career. It was here that I began exploring the world of British fine-dining. I worked at a British fine dining restaurant for approximately nine months before arriving at Pied à Terre.
Describe your cooking style in three words.
That’s tricky! I guess, I’d best describe my cooking style as French-inspired with Greek influences.
What can guests expect from a meal at Pied à Terre?
At Pied à Terre, we try to give customers a truly unique and special dining experience – I think we succeed in doing this.
Expect to feast on the freshest ingredients, prepared with love and finesse and paired with beautiful wines to create a truly magical experience.
Name three of your top restaurants.
Personally, I like the River Café in Fulham. I also recently had a fantastic dining experience at Rock Salt restaurant in Folkestone. Finally, I’d have to say Core by Clare Smyth in West London.
What does it take to achieve a Michelin star, especially at a young age?
I’d be lying if I said I knew precisely what it takes to achieve a Michelin Star at a young age; everyone’s journey is different so it’s tricky to compare chefs culinary experiences.
However, in my case, I would say it takes great sacrifices, hard work and dedication. It’s a tough but rewarding industry.
Do you have a favourite spring ingredient?
It would probably be between green asparagus or morel mushrooms.
What advice would you offer to aspiring chefs?
The number one piece of advice is don’t give up. The hospitality industry can be extremely demanding, but don’t let that deter you.
Never give up on your dreams. Even when times are tough, stay dedicated, work harder and the results will follow.
What do you predict will be 2019’s hottest food trend?
To be honest, I don’t really like discussing food trends. I think the trick to being at the forefront of the industry is to be experimental.
I love creating my own unique recipes, using my own culinary knowledge to produce some of the best dishes. If you want to be unique and make an impact, don’t be afraid to experiment and be creative.
Do you have any role models?
Two of my biggest role models are Gordon Ramsay and Thomas Keller. They’ve both been extremely successful and created their own unique business models, which is extremely inspiring.
What’s next on the cards?
For me, I think the future is all about Pied à Terre . I want to keep inspiring our existing staff, helping them receive the training they need so we can continue improving at the restaurant. We’re definitely looking to achieve a second Michelin Star – this is one of my biggest goals!
Finally… what’s your go-to midnight snack?
To be honest, I’m not much of a snacker. However, I must admit, I can’t resist a good bit of fried chicken!