Vaios Koukoumtzis, Creta Maris’ Executive Chef, talks about his cooking philosophy, explains the challenges of his work, and shares some interesting statistics!
How and why did you decide to become a chef? How many years have you been in this job?
From a very young age I wanted to work in the tourism industry. Cooking emerged in my life accidentally and I can say, how excited I was from the first moment this happened. I feel lucky that I have chosen to do this job because it offers me a chance to constantly evolve both as a professional and as a person. I’ve been working on the food industry for 20 years now.
What’s your personal cooking philosophy and how you pass this on Creta Maris’ cuisine?
Fresh local products, pure taste and emphasis on the materials is my philosophy.
On average, how many people do you and your staff prepare food for every day?
We serve daily approximately 1,800 guests and 400 employees.
How many people work at the kitchens of Creta Maris? How hard is it to manage all of them?
124 employees work in the 6 restaurants of the resort. One of the challenges I face is to successfully match employees with opposite characters, so the whole team could work properly, and so that we could offer altogether an excellent experience to the guests.
What’s your favorite Cretan dish?
I do not think that it is possible for me to distinguish one particular dish, as the Cretan cuisine has dozens of unique and world-famous dishes.
What are the most popular dishes served in Creta Maris’ restaurants?
The most popular dishes served in Creta Maris’ restaurants are those having Cretan and Greek origin. If I can distinguish some of them, I would mention:
• Leg of lamb casserole cooked with fresh greens in lemon sauce
• Rooster with traditional pasta Skiouficta cooked with fresh tomato.
• Traditional Meatballs.
• Ntakos salad with kritamon leaves from our sustainable beach.
• Gilt-head bream fillet served with mushroom ragout, lentils, pickled samphire.
When are you happiest at work?
I feel happy when both guests and employees are satisfied. It is really wonderful when these two circumstances coexist.