Alexandros Sperxos Pavlopoulos – Head Chef at Ena restaurant, Dubai
Alexandros Sperxos Pavlopoulos – Head Chef at Ena restaurant, Dubai. Read his story here.
Today you are Head Chef in Dubai. What drove you to become a chef?
It started when I was a teenager and had my first professional experience within the family business. My family has a boutique hotel & restaurant in Kalavrita, Greece, a beautiful village in the mountains. The smells and flavours of the food my mother served here remain one of my main drives in this career.
You visited the Le Monde cooking school in Greece. Did you learn mainly the Greek kitchen?
Le Monde is great, they don’t only focus on the Greek kitchen but the whole Mediterranean which really expanded my palate and skill set.
The Greek kitchen is traditional and fresh. Can you let us know some of your modern Greek recipes?
Starter: Feta cheese triangles crusted with almond flakes, served with a pomegranate reduction, aromatized with aged molasses, and garnished with rose petals.
Main: Lamb loin casserole, slow cooked with aged Vinsanto Santorini wine, alongside smoked aubergine purée with Mastelo Hioy cheese, with a garnish of basil tears, and aromatized with Mastiha nettle olive oil.
Desert: Greek Baklava with homemade phyllo pastry, fresh green walnuts and yellow quince jam, served with beetroot-yogurt ice cream and, chamomile-honey sauce.
How would you describe your own culinary line as chef today?
I’ve always had a great passion & focus on the traditional dishes of my childhood. These flavours are engrained in me, remember the freshest ingredients from our farm. These authentic flavours have always directed my cooking. I love presenting traditional, rustic dishes plated in an artistic and modern way.
In 2015 you left Greece and took the Head Chef job at the One&Only in Dubai. What was your first impression as chef in Dubai?
One of the exciting challenges that I was happy to take on, is to deliver the taste of home without having the direct access to Greek farms.
Within this Head Chef job in Dubai, you have been in charge for Greek Promotion. What did you serve?
Greek was a fairly unknown cuisine in Dubai when I arrived. I served truly authentic classics such as Tzatziki & Souvlaki rather than a westernized version but also served lesser known dishes such as almond feta cheese & Rooster Moussaka with yogurt béchamel to really help Greek cuisine make its mark on the city.
Today you are Head Chef of the Ena restaurant at the Palm in Dubai. What do you offer/ what is the culinary set up?
Ena is taking a unique approach to Greek cuisine that really allows me to put in all of my passion. Classical Greek flavours with a huge range of ingredients we’re flying in especially from top farms and producers in Greece whilst incorporating modern techniques and plating without compromising our culinary history.
Ena is going to be something incredible. I can’t share too many details right now so I guess you’ll just have to drop in once we’re open!