Greek-born Giannis Bratsolias has worked for private families across the globe from Gstaad, Seychelles to the UAE; he works for the Presidential Palace in Athens, has cooked for royals, lectures at colleges, consults with luxury hotels and makes the odd TV appearance.
We caught up with him at Diles & Rinies Villas on the tiny Greek island of Tinos in the Cyclades, a place he loves.
A graduate of Culinary Art and Gastronomy, Nutrition and Economics, Giannis Bratsolias has a deep affinity to food (his other passion is Tennis). He curiously pursues the chemistry of complex flavourings, textures, compositions, and health benefits to help navigate Giannis through the culinary repertoire. Food & Beverage runs through his veins, creating restaurant concepts and consulting as an Executive Private Chef. Apart from being a regular fixture at the Presidential Palace of Greece at the Presidential Dinners, he is also the go-to chef for weddings, entertaining royalty and those big Greek celebrational events.
Back in the slow lane of Tinos, Chef Bratsolias stepped in to help the Diles & Rinies Villas owners - a small complex of private villas situated in the rural setting overlooking the Aegean. The restaurant Moonrise has become a favoured bolthole of villa residents and locals and the island's residents visiting from the mainland.
Tinos is no stranger to good food, with several of the island's eateries being some of the best in Greece and perhaps why it explains the island's popularity with travellers from France.
"Tinos is a magical destination; for many it was religious, but in recent years the adorable and kind people have turned the island into an earthly paradise and in a gastronomic tourism destination, highlighting the products of their country, under the sun and lazy beaches the world finds the peace and tranquillity it needs", explains Giannis.
"Greece is a paradise for foodies, a place that hosts more than 7,500 plant species and subspecies, 1,600 of which are endemic, found nowhere else in the world. Greek food is a culture; infused over the centuries of trade, travel, conquests and an ability to keep our heritage alive."
The chef sources from the local villages, the cuisine is natural, modern and original. From wild walnuts to local Tinian cheeses: Tyraki, Graviera, Kopanisti, Myzithra and Petroma. His pantry is brimming with island classics: oregano, thyme, sea fennel, capers and the best artichokes in the world; everything is hand-gathered from the mountain slopes and beaches.
Τraditional Dakos salad with "kopanisti" from Tinos: Barley rusk, chopped tomato, kopanisti cheese, and local capers to flamed grilled catch-of-the-day fish keep the food rooted, after all, you are on the island of Tinos.
"Guests are craving those iconic flavours of their childhoods; people want a simple connection to the land and sea; I cook those nostalgic age-old dishes with a modern hand. Comfort, familiarity and natural flavours presented in a modern clean style. Τraditional Dakos salad with "kopanisti" from Tinos: Barley rusk, chopped tomato, kopanisti cheese, and local capers to flamed grilled catch-of-the-day fish keep the food rooted, after all, you are on the island of Tinos."
Tinos is a foodie destination and a fantastic Greek island escape of history, culture, and a stunning coastline. Now you know where to stay and eat.