Meet the chef
If you want to become a great chef, you have to work with great chefs.
And that’s exactly what I did
~ Gordon Ramsay
Meet our new Executive Chef, Polis Papageorgiou, who shares insights into his culinary inspirations and Michelin-starred training.
What initially sparked your interest in food?
From a young age I have loved to be in the kitchen. I used to watch my mother and my grandmother cook and I learned so much from them! Another great inspiration was in my uncle’s restaurant, where during the summer when the school was closed, I worked in the kitchen, helping with cleaning vegetables, making soups, dips and salads etc.
What would you consider is your signature style or dish?
My signature style of cooking is Mediterranean with a twist. I like to put new elements in my dishes from different types of cuisine, like Japanese, Peruvian, Italian and Mexican.
Who would you say has been your biggest inspiration in the culinary world?
Throughout my career I have had the opportunity to work with some great chefs around the world. I have been lucky enough to work under the guidance of Brett Graham, chef-owner of the famous 2 Michelin star restaurant “The Ledbury”, in London; one of the 50 best restaurants in the world, according to the list of 50 best restaurants by San Pellegrino. I also feel very blessed to have worked with Ayden Byrne at the Dorchester, as he was the youngest UK chef who earned a Michelin star at the age of 23! Of course, having worked in the Michelin star kitchen of Gordon Ramsey at Claridges was also a huge inspiration and motivation for me.
Where did your career path take you prior to joining Columbia Beach Resort?
I have worked in several luxury 5star hotels, including the Dorchester, the Lanesborough and the Intercontinental Park Lane, in London. I also worked in the Ocean Reef Club in Miami, Florida and in Kulm Hotel in Switzerland as a guest chef. Michelin star restaurants I have had the honour of working from, including the Ledbury, the Greenhouse, the Foliage. at Mandarin Oriental and at Gordon Ramsey at Claridge’s in London. Most recently, I was the Executive Chef of the Columbia Beach Bar & Restaurant in Limassol, Cyprus, which quickly became established as the best beach bar venue on the island.
Can you share an example of a favourite dish or a traditional dish with a twist?
‘Yiouvetsi’ it’s a traditional Greek dish, which is made of orzo pasta. It is usually cooked with beef, lamb or pork cooked in the oven with orzo, aromatic herbs and tomato sauce. I love to use beef cheeks instead in my version of ‘Yiouvetsi’, and serve with baked aubergine, finished with freshly grated graviera Naxou cheese.
Taking the helm as Executive Chef, what are you focused on doing?
I’m focusing on creativity and seasonality. I want to create a unique dining experience for our guests. Using the absolute best products, fresh local ingredients, and to always listen our guests needs.