Chris Theofanous is an alumnus of Culinary Arts Academy (CAAS) whose talents and accomplishments as Executive Chef at Alasia Boutique Hotel Limassol are being noticed and lauded in his home country of Cyprus. Chris won the title of Chef of the Year at the Cyprus Eating Awards 2020.
The school was delighted to welcome Chris back to campus for a September 2022 visit, where he gave a master class to students. We asked Chris to take a few minutes out of his busy schedule to tell us about his visit and his successful career.
I feel so excited, enthusiastic, and very happy! I also feel like I’m back at home. All of the chefs and instructors have been so warm, and have made me feel so comfortable.
In my masterclass I chose to introduce a few of my signature dishes from the current menu at the boutique hotel restaurant I work in. I wanted to show the students a few modern techniques and a different approach to using some fresh ingredients. I was so pleased that the students said they really benefitted from these teachings.
Definitely. Today’s students have a different mentality than years ago. And they are different because the trends and ways of cooking are somehow different today too. The world moves on quickly, and it’s important to stay on top of culinary trends and developments, something CAA is very good at teaching.
The campus has changed dramatically with a new building and new beautiful kitchens that are super-equipped with every detail and all the latest equipment. I was so very impressed! CAAS students they should feel so proud and happy.
My best CAAS memory was when we had to present our menus individually as Chef of the Week. All of the students, including me, felt so excited and impatient to show our creations to our instructors and our fellow students.
The best advice I can give is for them to believe in themselves! If they first do this, then all the rest will easily follow. They must also be focused, and listen to their instructors, chefs, or supervisors, always showing lots of interest and professionalism in their cooking.
I advise them to chase their dreams and to work hard and with dedication. This is a hard industry with lots of competition, so they need to constantly have discipline and always be prepared.