Top 4 Chefs at my favorite beach clubs in Mykonos

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I just love Mykonos! People are amazing, the food is scrumptious and the sky is blue. What more to ask for? Since our weather here has been less than agreeable these days, what better than to plan a trip to paradise?

Mykonos Island became the hip and cosmopolitan destination amongst the rich and famous in the 60’s. Contrary to many of its competitors which came and went, Mykonos has maintained its leading position by continuously evolving and innovating but never losing sight of its essence and soul.

Anything and everything goes on that island! Mykonos is famous for its trendy bars, stylish cafés, upscale restaurants offering exquisite delights, trendy boutiques, and of course dapper beach clubs! Mykonos is the place to be if you are looking for a vacation filled with intense moments, wrapped in a hip package.

During my stay there, I was fortunate to meet and interview the Chefs from my top beach clubs! They each have their unique style and philosophy but they all are beautiful, hip, fun with an exceptional gastronomy, both sophisticated and simple in the ingredients used.

SOLYMAR (Sun & Sea)

I first discovered Solymar last year by total accident. Surprisingly none of my Mykonos aficionado friends knew about it. Maybe because for most part it has been under the radar (not for much longer!). Let’s just say that it was love at first sight for me and the love has not only survived the test of time but it has grown! Solymar embodies all the major elements that I look for. The service and customer attention are stellar.

Meet Chef Marios Tsouris, the brain and artist behind the delicious and beautiful dishes you will hopefully experience for yourself.

Chef Marios Tsouris and I
Chef Marios Tsouris and I
How long have you been at Solymar?
Five years.
How would you describe your signature style as a chef?
Modern but healthy with a big Japanese influence..
How would you describe the food philosophy of Solymar?
The cuisine is Mediterranean with a blend of Asian and Latin American influences. I always cook with fresh and local ingredients. You will never see anything that has been pre-made somewhere else.
How many people work with you and how many dishes daily during high season?
15 people all summer long. We have 600 – 700 clients per day and that means about 2,300 plates per day!
What is your favorite dish on the menu?
I don’t have a favorite but I can say that there are 3 very popular dishes that consistently sell out.
  • Yellow tail with corn in miso and passion fruit sauce flavored with lime
  • Tuna tataki with jalapenos peppers in soya and ginger sauce (on top of list four years in a row)
  • Spaghetti with fresh lobster
What are your top recommendations in Mykonos?
Solymar of course! But I also like Bill and Coo, Tavern Kiki, and the latest restaurant in town Ling Ling amongst many others.
Where are you the rest of the year? 
I live on the island for the season and the rest of the year I travel all over the world. I consult with restaurants. For example last year I went to Riyadh (Saudi Arabia) and helped a restaurant there. I also went to Istanbul to do the same. Then I went to London and Barcelona just to learn more about food and experience new things.
Have you ever been to Zurich?
No but would love to go! I want to learn about the Swiss cuisine.

PANORMOS BEACH BAR

Another very lucky accident because we couldn’t get a table at Kiki’s Tavern! To be honest, the outside almost deterred me from going in because it resembled the entrance of a cheap club in Tijuana, Mexico. But thankfully my inquisitive side took over and I couldn’t resist to discover this place I had heard of. And so glad I went in! What a delightful surprise.

From the moment I stepped into the beach resort, I felt happy and eager to see the rest. The newly revamped Panormos Beach is a mix of laid back and luxury.  And naturally with a new design also comes a new Chef – Avgeria Stapaki. Our beautiful hostess Morfo welcomed us with open arms and led the way to Agveria.

Chef Avgeria Stapaki and I
Chef Avgeria Stapaki and I
How long have you been at Panormos?
This is my first season here but have been a Chef for the past eight years.
How would you describe your signature style as a chef?
I cook mostly mediterranean cuisine with a Japanese twist.
How would you describe the food philosophy of Panormos?
Everything is ours, home-made and cooked with only local ingredients.
How many people work with you and how many dishes per day during high season?
25 people. We make about 800 plates per day.
What is your favorite dish on the menu?
One of my favorite dishes is Sea Bass with couscous and Tarragon.
What are your top recommendations in Mykonos?
Scarpa Bar. Fun crowd and great music.
Where are you the rest of the year? 
Mostly Thailand and Costa Rica. Sometimes I work and sometimes I attend Gastronomy seminars to further my education.
Can you share an easy kitchen tip?
One great tip to keep avocado from browning is to steam it for 2 minutes. The color will stay for at least one day if not longer.

SCORPIOS MYKONOS

Wow! Wow! That’s all I could mutter when I first walked into Scorpios Mykonos! The beach club is situated on the southern tip of Mykonos. A weatherworn house was turned into a modern day Agora where mystical and earthy people alike gather for different purposes – spiritual ceremonies, dancing to the beats of the DJ or just absorbing the energy of the nature all around.

The restaurant is placed in the middle of the house and is ideal for casual/quick or gourmet/long meals. Chef Alexis Zopas, amidst weddings, private parties and ceremonies took the time to quickly meet with me. 

Chef Alexis Zopas and I
Chef Alexis Zopas and I
How long have you been at Scorpios?
2 years.
What’s so special about Scorpios? 
Hard work, productive team, excellent food and the best environment on the island.
How would you describe your signature style as a chef?
Comfort food.
What is your favorite dish on the menu?
Lamb Rash El Hanout with yogurt, baked tomatoes and roman lettuce.
How would you describe your food philosophy?
According to George Orwell ” The belly comes before soul”! That sums up perfectly my food philosophy 🙂
What are your top recommendations in Mykonos?
Apart from Scorpios, Bill and Coo Suites and Remezzo restaurant I believe are some of the finest.
Where are you the rest of the year? 
I spend time with my family that I miss so much during the months that I work.
Have you ever been to Zurich? 
Not yet but I would definitely love to visit Zurich!

NAMMOS BEACH BAR & RESTAURANT

Always a popular spot with the hip crowd and celebrities. People go there to see but mainly to be seen! Nammos has been praised by international press for its delicious sushi and its party atmosphere. But watch out because the prices can get steep!

Newly appointed Chef Tziourtzioumis Panagiotis shared his world with me for a few minutes.

Chef
Chef Tziourtzioumis Panagiotis and I
How long have you been at Nammos?
Twenty days! I worked in different michelin stars restaurants before joining this team (Bilbao, London). I also worked at Nobu which gave me a good understanding of Japanese cuisine.
What’s so special about Nammos? 
Our high standards in the food we prepare but also also the service we provide. What Nammos is known for is its fresh fish – always top quality. We always try to find the best products that can be found in the market and adjust them to the Nammos standards.
What is your favorite dish on the menu, and why?
I love everything! Hard to choose.
How would you describe your food philosophy?
Best quality. Respect of the product. Cook with seasonal ingredients as much as possible.
Where are you the rest of the year? 
I work here the entire year because Nammos is not just a seasonal job. We work together with the owners to build the name brand. Nammos is not just a summer fling.
Have you ever been to Zurich? 
Yes, I went to Baur au Lac hotel for the promotion of Nobu. Unfortunately I didn’t get to go out and discover the city.
Can you share a quick kitchen tip?
To make the perfect poached eggs, break the egg into a plastic wrap. Tie it together then drop into hot water (but not boiling water) for two minutes. And that’s it!
 
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