Konstantinos Votanos: Executive Chef at Barozzi Restaurant & Cocktail Bar

What prompted your interest in the culinary arts?
My passion for cooking was ignited at a young age while assisting my grandmother, who hailed from a village near Kalamata. She created recipes based on the ingredients from her own garden, always using pure and top-quality produce.

Please share the trajectory of your culinary career.
At the age of 15, I enrolled in the OTEK Culinary School in Anavyssos. After completing a two-year program, I began working at various gourmet taverns in Athens. Later, I had the opportunity to collaborate with Christoforos Peskias, where we worked together on different concepts for a considerable time. Finally, I met Consultant Chef Gikas Xenakis, with whom I am currently working at Barozzi as an executive chef, and our collaboration continues.

This year finds you in the kitchens of the restaurant BAROZZI. Should we expect something different in this year’s menu?
This season, Barozzi promises to be exceptionally creative, now establishing itself as a fine dining restaurant. We will present several new surprises in our dishes, as we emphasize the use of seasonal and local ingredients. This island offers a wealth of resources such as vegetables, fruits (which we personally gather from our suppliers’ farms), cheeses, meats, and wines. We strive to showcase the unique characteristics of each ingredient in our culinary creations. On your next visit, I would highly recommend experiencing them all, as each one possesses its distinct identity.

What are the three elements that express you and what inspires you to continue?
The key elements that define me as a chef are my relentless pursuit of excellence, paying meticulous attention to detail to make every dish exceptional, and a constant drive for creativity. A chef must never cease evolving, and the abundance provided by our local farms and the daily interaction with ingredients inspire me to seek something different every day”.