“New Faces” is a column by GTP that introduces the young professionals of the Greek tourism industry. In each column, the young Greek professionals refer to issues related to their profession, the travel & tourism sector and Greece as a destination.
“I strongly believe that we need to show the beauty of the yet unexplored Greek cuisine to the rest of the world.”
George Papadopoulos, born in Drama, residing in Thessaloniki, is currently holding the position of the Executive Chef of Domotel Hotels & Resorts boutique and lifestyle hotel chain.
George is professionally trained in the culinary arts with a degree from The Advanced School of Tourism Education in Crete, Greece. He is further educated in multiple cuisines and flavors by distinguished chefs.
George is successful in translating his permanent passion for cooking into positive input for businesses. He is a culinary instructor, individual and team trainer, skilled in merchandizing techniques and marketing strategies of innovative food concepts.
- What are the things you like best about your job and how would you describe your hospitality and tourism management philosophy?
I love how creative my job is. For me, cooking is an applied art and I am constantly exploring new ways to express. Concerning my management philosophy, one of the first things I teach my cooks is to be guest-oriented without losing their own identity. Time-management is also essential in our field.
- Have you had to face any challenges in your career to get to where you are today?
Every day is a challenge in the kitchen, let alone when managing a “chain” of them.
The main challenge of every chef is to surpass his yesterday self in a never-ending struggle to master the art. Taste shapes experiences. We are called to arouse all five senses and I think this is one of the most challenging aspects of our job.
- In regards to hospitality, where do you think Greece needs to improve the most?
Our country needs a restart both in philosophy and training methods, since old ways won’t open new doors. Domotel Hotels & Resorts vision is to aid significantly to Greece’s rebranding as an all year country resort and I am totally aligned with that notion.
- Which is your region’s best kept “secret”? (In other words, what shouldn’t be a secret in your opinion and should be promoted more abroad?)
As far as gastronomy is concerned, I strongly believe that we need to show the beauty of the yet unexplored Greek cuisine to the rest of the world. The country produces nearly everything, I think we need not only to support this, but show it off too. There are many talented Greek chefs able to create a new level of traditional tastes, processed with modern techniques, and it’s really a pity not to invest in that direction.
- If you could pass on a message to the hospitality industry about Greece, what would it be?
As I have already mentioned above, Greece is an all year country resort. This is what I would like to remind the industry. Greece is not only the islands and the seas but also the mountains, the woods, the lakes and the colorful mainland. Of course I would not forget to mention the vast variety and the unique gastronomic identity one can discover when traveling through our country.
- What are your plans for the future?
As the Executive Chef of Domotel Hotels & Resorts I am focused on creating the gastronomic identity of the chain. This is quite a challenge since each hotel is unique and with its own concept so, what me and the exceptional team of chefs I have the pleasure to work with are working on is to generate the basis of “Domotel flavors”, a basis that will allow each one of us to “build” the menu of each hotel without jeopardize losing the unique taste identity of each location. The aim is to elevate the Domotel brand name into a synonym of a gastronomic pleasure and creative cuisine.
- If you didn’t work in the hospitality industry where would you be?
If I wasn’t creatively expressing myself via cooking I would have certainly have found another way of doing so, so I think I would still have been an artist; only my means of expressing would have been different.
Connect with George Papadopoulos on LinkedIn