Each dish at Electra Metropolis has its own character and a small history behind it… – Executive Chef Theodosis Venetis
By Nikos Krinis
One of the newest gourmet restaurants in Athens, the Metropolis Roof Garden is quickly gaining the reputation of the place to live an ultimate dining experience in Athens.
Located on the tenth floor of the five-star Electra Metropolis Hotel, the restaurant offers guests a unique opportunity to taste today’s creative Greek cuisine — with a touch of Japanese in a perfect balance — while enjoying the impressive view of the Acropolis.
The driving force behind the latest addition to the Greek capital’s dining scene is Executive Chef Theodosis Venetis, whose focus is to only create unique dishes, each with its own character and story.
“My main concern is to ensure that my cuisine uses the highest quality Greek products,” Chef Venetis told GTP Headlines.
Born in Athens, Chef Venetis’ passion for cooking motivated him to travel and gave him the opportunity to work with Michelin-star chefs. A graduate of the Le Monde Culinary Arts School of Athens, Venetis has attended seminars by renowned chefs in Greece and abroad and is fluent in English and French.
He has a long career in five-star hotels in Greece and abroad, such as Anassa-Cyprus, Grecotel, Amanzoe, and Antlantis-Emirates and in upscale restaurants in Greece such as Edodi, Ark, Matsuhisa, Etrusco and also in some Michelin-starred restaurants in Europe such as Sergio Herman and Rik Jansma. Venetis’ culinary steps include working in the positions of sous-chef and chef de cuisine.
On May 1, 2017, Venetis became the Executive Chef at the five-star Electra Metropolis Hotel, the fifth hotel of the Electra Hotels & Resorts chain.
Venetis shares with GTP Headlines some insight about Electra Metropolis’ cuisine, his efforts to creative create dishes for residents and guests in Athens and his overall food philosophy.
Athens is one of the top culinary places for travelers choosing their destination based on food… – Chef Venetis
GTP: They say that you “work to find the perfect balance between Earth and Sea” when creating the menu of the Electra Metropolis’ restaurant. What is your inspiration and food concept?
Theodosis Venetis: I find inspiration in the everyday! I’m also inspired by Greek culture and tradition, which gets my heart and creativity pumping.
GTP: How would you sum up the hotel’s approach to Greek cuisine? What should the visitors of the city center and the guests of the hotel expect this winter from the menu?
Theodosis Venetis: We’re excited to announce that our scrumptious new menu has arrived, and we can’t wait for you to try it! Featuring some of your old favorites, and lots of exciting new dishes, we’re confident you’ll love it as much as we do. My main concern is to ensure that my cuisine uses the highest quality Greek products. While cooking I am trying to maintain the freshness and the quality of each product. Our guests can enjoy today’s creative Greek cuisine with a touch of Japanese in a perfect balance.
GTP: Does Electra Metropolis have a “signature dish”?
Theodosis Venetis: Each dish at Electra Metropolis has its own character and a small history behind it. Every dish that awakens memories through the flavors and the senses is exactly what I call a signature dish and Electra Metropolis has many of them.
GTP: Could Athens be considered a top “foodie destination” and draw in repeat visitors due to its cuisine?
Theodosis Venetis: Greek food spreads its culinary influence through Europe and beyond and it is known as some of the best food in the world! Athens is one of the top culinary places for travelers choosing their destination based on food. The joy of trying and eating delicious new dishes while traveling can make a trip to remember.
GTP: What are the main differences between being a chef in a city hotel and in a resort hotel? What appeals more to you and why?
Theodosis Venetis: There is no difference between being a Chef in a resort and in a city hotel. What makes the difference is the professionalism of each Chef and his own ability to point out and manage the different needs of each hotel according to location and guests. I took both of them as a challenge and as a way to be more creative.
GTP: As a hospitality industry professional, what would be your best piece of advice for travelers?
Theodosis Venetis: Don’t make too many plans. The less we plan, the more we can get off the beaten path and meet people, and then that’s when things turn out the best. Seek the magic in each place. Greece is a country of history, culture and civilization. Explore every hidden treasure of this country while tasting the homemade food and the unique varieties of Greek wine.
GTP: Name five things you like the most about Greek food.
Theodosis Venetis: Simplicity, flavors, variety, tradition, history.
Being a chef today is very different than it was even just a decade ago. Nowadays, chefs are the reason to go to a restaurant… – Chef Venetis
GTP: Which part of Greece do you come from and is there a dish/recipe from back home that you think should receive more promotion in the city?
Theodosis Venetis: My family comes from Mani, a magnificent place in Peloponnese well known for its history, and excellent food. I was born and raised in Athens but with every chance I visit my home place. Mani has a great variety of traditional dishes and each of them has its own history, so they should be treated and promoted equally.
GTP: How and why did you get started in the food business?
Theodosis Venetis: I didn’t choose this career. It chose me. Since I was a child I was able to feel the magic of tasting and exploring the unique products from Mother earth. I fell in love with the fine taste of the simple cooked Greek salad, but also with the various ways of cooking giouvetsi. As I always say, cooking first of all is civilization, love and finally art.
GTP: A day in the life of a chef is…
Theodosis Venetis: …very different than it was even just a decade ago. Nowadays, chefs are the reason to go to a restaurant. Although our life is just as normal as everyone else’s is. What’s makes my day special is the smile of my daughter when I wake up in the morning and the support of my beautiful wife .That’s my everyday routine before work!
On a final note, Chef Venetis told GTP Headlines that hotel life is always exciting, sometimes stressful and exhausting but has rewarding results. “I am really proud of my team in Electra Metropolis and I am really happy for gaining their respect,” he said.
The 216-room Electra Metropolis Hotel is situated on Mitropoleos Street, near Syntagma Square in the center of Athens. The five-star hotel officially opened its doors to the public last year.
To take a “tour” of the Electra Metropolis, press here.