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Chef’s Table at Pied à Terre

Michelin-starred, London-based chef Asimakis Chaniotis guides Centurion through his new chef’s table experience

The first thing chef Asimakis Chaniotis of Pied à Terre said when asked how he became a chef was “I really love to eat food”. It’s a wonderfully simple answer from the twenty-something Michelin-starred chef – the first Greek toque to earn the prestigious accolade for a restaurant outside of Greece – who has taken the London’s culinary scene by storm.


Chaniotis began his culinary journey running through the hospitality circuit in his native Greece before packing up and relocating to London at age 21, where he started as a sous chef. It didn’t take long for him to find a permanent home at Pied à Terre. Cooking alongside renowned chefs like Marcus Eaves and Andy McFadden, the accolades soon started rolling in. “A Michelin star, a few awards from The Caterer for youngest people in hospitality, 30 people under 30 … I don’t know why or what; I love my craft, what I’m doing in the kitchen”, says Chaniotis.


Now, with the launch of a new “very bespoke” chef’s table experience at Pied à Terre, Asimakis is readying for the post-pandemic world – and that second Michelin star. We met up with the chef to talk about what we can expect from him and Pied à Terre in the near future.


Where did this idea for the new chef’s table experience originate? And what should we expect from it?


We had a bar area on the first floor of Pied à Terre that we weren’t doing anything with. So, I started doing these events with an amazing kitchen supplier and I asked, ‘why don’t we demolish the bar area and have them do a brand-new amazing kitchen?’ And it happened: a chef’s table with Asimakis at Pied à Terre. It’s an intimate thing. We have eight people and me cooking in front of them. And we’ll do 12 to 18 dishes in a tasting menu. I’m addressing them; we have a chat. All these things happened just before lockdown.


If I were operating it day-to-day, the idea isn’t about the menu. If you book it, you’ll never know what you’re going to have. Every day I’ll go into the kitchen, and when I finish the day, I’ll call my suppliers and decide what I’ll make the next day. It’s a way for me to try out new things.


The point is, I want to make a bespoke experience where the customer sees me cooking in front of them, and we can have a connection – they can ask me ‘How do you cook this or that?’, and they can enjoy everything happening in front of them and receive tips on how they can replicate it at home.


How would you describe the Asimakis touch?


I can’t really explain it. My priority 100% is that the food needs to be super tasty. I need to be happy about the food being tasty more than how it looks on the plate. I’d rather make a plate that tastes amazing than one that looks amazing and tastes like s—. So, priority number one is making the food super, super tasty. Then, after that, it’s my job to bring in part of the ‘graffiti crew’ from when I was young. I want colours. I want it to look like a painting, to be honest. That’s the second thing.


I’m trying to marry French and Greek cuisine, you know. Now, I love French cuisine. I’m from Greece, so I know all the dishes from my Greek heritage, and I like using French ingredients with Greek techniques or using Greek ingredients with French techniques. And I think that’s something you don’t see in any other fine-dining restaurant in the world, generally, serving what I serve. And that’s what makes it unique. No other Greek has a Michelin star in a French restaurant.


But I don’t know what makes an ‘Asimakis dish’ – that’s for my customers to decide.


Could you describe the Pied à Terre experience?


I really want them to have a memorable experience. They come to us and go, ‘Woah, we tried something we’ve never eaten before’.


One of the things I’m doing is when I’m creating a dish, and I see that the dish is happening somewhere else in the world – it’s very possible with so many restaurants around – is I take it off the menu and put in something new. There was a point where you’d go into any restaurant in London and you’d have a canapé of a crisp with taramosalata. It’s a Greek thing, but I refused to do it because everybody had it. One of the things I want to do is create very unique food, so that [guests] will leave and think, ‘this is a meal I’ve never had before’.


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