Nikos Papaioannou

Chef of Alkaline Nutrition

The culinary arts have always been a most important part of my life. That goes without saying, of course. Ever since 2005, when I graduated from the state school of cookery skills and culinary arts – the OTEK, as it`s known in Greece – I have continually worked with a passion at my craft. I was ever seeking the new and the original; ever seeking to improve upon, enhance, what I had learned.
Right from the beginning I was in at the deep end of things, when I started out in the Olympic Palace Hotel in Rhodes – in the cold kitchen (that is, preparing the cold dishes), and then, immediately afterwards, employed in the hot kitchen of the Club Medeteranne Hellas Athenia – Golden Coast. These hands-on experiences really gave me a solid grounding in my profession, while also allowing me to spread my wings, as it were.
All the way through my career, right up to when I became chef of a kitchen, luck smiled upon me, in the form of the brilliant, experienced chefs with whom I was privileged to work; chefs who blazed the culinary trails and made gastronomic history in my own country, Greece. The wealth of knowledge I gained from these unique collaborations was immense, and favoured me greatly in my capacities as executive chef, or in my overseeing of the creation and composition of menus in prestigious restaurants. The hotel sector I found to be a great challenge, as usually you are required to “feed” many clients, while ensuring that standards of quality don`t slip. It is, after all, a fact that these people will be with you for only a short while, a few days` vacation, while you, as a self-respecting chef are honour-bound to give them a gastronomic treat that they will relish and remember for much longer.
One of my most significant collaborations was at the a la carte restaurant of the Aquila Hotels Elounda Village, in 2009. In 2010 I joined the Teresa Country Lodge Luxury Suites & Bar-Restaurant. I had further posts and associations: the Kirini Hotel Suites & Spa Relais & Chateaux/ Luxury Suites & Spa Relais & Chateaux. On the heels of these positions I then “headed for the hills” - in 2011, working in the splendid mountain resorts of Arahova, where, I admit, I was culinarily inspired by the change of landscape, to the delight of the many ski-resort visitors to our restaurant. I moved to the “E” cafe-bar, restaurant that same year.
In the summer, I was similarly, culinarily inspired, having moved to an island with hard, steep slopes, rocky outcrops, majestic views, and stunning sunsets – commanded by the austere aspect of a Caldera landscape encompassing everything – where else could it be but on the island of Santorini, at the Hotel La Maltese Estate Villa Relais & Chateaux at Santorini-Imerovigli.
In 2012, I returned briefly to the hills, working at the Melegrano Arahova Parnassos Mountain Restaurant.
But by the end of that year, I was so enchanted by the magic of Santorini that I returned, and have not escaped her charms, as yet!
In 2013, I was employed at The Teresa Country Lodge, and in that same year – upto the present – I am Resident Chef at the Dana Villas Hotel & Suites.
My new association with Alkaline Nutrition, and the creation of an entire menu whose aim is to maintain high taste values (the ultimate aim of a conventional chef), while promoting healthier nutrition, is, for me, a quest, an adventure of discovery and experiment, that will also be of benefit to those of us seeking a better way of nourishing ourselves.
I know it will be an exciting journey. I hope it will be a long one!