Ilias Maslaris, our executive chef
Cuisine is at the heart of the Relais & Châteaux tradition, and we take great pride in our chefs who work their magic behind closed doors.
Our resident executive chef Ilias Maslaris is a young rising star from Thessaloniki whose regard for his trade, like his love of authentic Mediterranean flavours, began in his grandmother’s kitchen.
‘My grandmother lived in a small village in the mainland mountains and her kitchen was the engine room of the house where she cooked three meals a day for a family of twelve. One of her specialities was a mouth-watering, slow-cooked lamb marinated in herbs. The special ingredient that will always make her lamb taste better than mine is of course the sweetness of memories.’
Ilias decided early on that he too would become a chef because he saw it as ‘a very direct way of being in the world, a craft that is full of passion for produce and for people and work free of routine.’ He began his ‘lifelong apprenticeship’ at 15, choosing food technology in high school and attending chef school as well as the School of Professional Meat Cutters in Thessaloniki. He went on to hone his skills in a number of professional kitchens and his trajectory has more recently included the Macedonia Palace and ‘Pines’ at the Sani resort in Chalkidiki as chef de cuisine. But his defining moment and inspiration came from joining the Myconian Collection whose creative team of executive chefs set the bar at the highest level, with the haute cuisine philosophy of their three Relais & Châteaux that courses through all nine hotels. ‘Although there is a hierarchy, a good kitchen operates as one, with great knowledge transfer.’ Prior to joining us, like any good artist, he stole a few secrets as sous-chef at the freshly Michelin-starred Royal Champagne in Champillon near Épernay.
Ilias believes in educating the taste buds of young gourmets with savoury Greek delicacies, and the favourite dish of his five-year-old daughter Vasiliki is salt-crusted silver snapper.