Acorns 2019: Asimakis Chaniotis, 29

19 June 2019 by
Acorns 2019: Asimakis Chaniotis, 29

Head chef, Pied á Terre, London

Nominator Suze Allen, operations manager, Pied á Terre

Proudest moment "Retaining a Michelin star last October."

Greatest inspiration "I've always admired Thomas Keller, who is not only an incredible chef but a good businessman, and he has inspired me to follow my dream. My mentor and inspiration is David Moore, owner of Pied à Terre."

Why hospitality is a great career "You need to be passionate. It takes hard work, long hours and commitment to succeed, but it allows me to be creative, innovative and work with many interesting and dedicated people."

Asimakis Chaniotis' star has risen in just seven years. Back in 2012, he was still a commis chef at Pied à Terre, but he was hungry to develop, and within two years had worked up to sous chef under Marcus Eaves. On Eaves' departure he stepped up as acting head chef for three months until Andy McFadden took the reins.

The three-month stint convinced owner David Moore that Chaniotis had the maturity and skills to be made head chef of sister restaurant L'Autre Pied, where he retained three red rosettes until the site was sold in 2017. So, he was the obvious choice to step into McFadden's shoes when he returned to Dublin.

Chaniotis took over the Pied à Terre kitchen with huge energy, building up a strong brigade and new and refreshing initiatives, such as a zero-waste policy through creative use of food byproducts or by sending scraps to compost. Another welcome initiative was a ban of explicit language and shouting in the kitchen. This has helped reduce staff turnover to almost nothing and is upheld as an excellent model.

Furthermore, his inspiring menus and use of sustainable ingredients have helped him to exceed food cost targets above a 75% gross profit. But most notably, despite his youth, he has retained Pied à Terre's Michelin star.

Chaniotis gives career talks at colleges and hosts trainees undertaking work experience in his kitchen. He and Moore also work with the PM Trust, a hospitality charity for young people.

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