To cut a long story short… YES HE IS!
Dining at his restaurant CTC is without question a superb experience out of the ordinary but without all the exaggerated attitude I have seen in other star-chefs in the past. He is a cool, young, super-talented & skilled chef, upgrading some greek recipes in a delicious way. It’s that simple what it takes to be the best.
As he says below «Let’s not forget the basics: in most cases people come into a restaurant because they are hungry!«. I couldn’t agree with him more…
What do you think people expect from you when they come to CTC? What brings them in?
People walking into a degustation restaurant like CTC have the highest of expectations. Basically they want it all. They anticipate a superior dining experience, immaculate service and exceptional ambience. They are looking for a dinner that breaks away from the ordinary and one that will be cherished.
In CTC we are well aware of this fact. This is why we strive to offer top notch services from the onset and throughout the dinner thus turning it into a truly unique experience.
However, a fine dining restaurant should not necessarily be posh, distant and cold. I think this is what attracts people to CTC. At the end of the day people walking in are not simply our customers but our guests, certainly without inverted commas.
What is the main ideas behind the menu?
We at CTC don’t want to impress just for the sake for making an impression.
The main idea is to present a menu which first and foremost has something new to offer but is also satisfactory and rich in quantity. Let’s not forget the basics: in most cases people come into a restaurant because they are hungry!
In this logic, our ultimate goal is to promote further the newly established concept of Greek degustation cuisine by heavily utilizing Greek recipes and ingredients in a new way combined with elements taken from the European or other international cuisines.
‘I am not very fond of the word “perfectionist”. When it comes to cooking, I consider myself a dreamer.’ – Alexandros Tsiotinis
What do you think is the dish that characterizes chef Alexandros Tsiotinis the best?
I think my philosophy is best reflected in the 2 set menus served in CTC, mainly in the 9-dish “CTC Voyage”. You see, the length of the specific menu can accommodate my vision in a cohesive way.
Having said that, if it was a matter of life and death to reply with only one dish, that would be corn velouté with lobster. I simply love it!
In a few words, what are the virtues of fine-dining compared to… non-fine dining?
Every establishment serving food fulfils a different purpose. At the same time though all aim to satisfy the customer, while all customers are looking for the same thing: satisfaction.
In this sense, I wouldn’t opt to use the word “virtue” for fine dining restaurants vis-a-vis all others. Fine dining restaurants are not “better” or “superior”, they are just different. They address the need of the people of having an alternative for the special moments in life by providing a surplus experiential value to their gastronomic offering thus turning a dinner into an experience out of the ordinary.
Can small details like the water served on the side (still or sparkling, warm or fresh) ruin an otherwise perfect meal?
The English have a saying: the devil is in the details. We cooks simply say that details can make or ruin an otherwise perfect meal.
Therefore, it goes without saying a “detail” like water plays an important role in the overall dining experience. The temperature has to be the right one and above all the quality and purity has to be equal to the food and alcoholic beverages served
Is it a virtue to be a perfectionist as a chef? Would you describe yourself as a perfectionist?
I am not very fond of the word “perfectionist”. When it comes to cooking, I consider myself a dreamer.