Born in Athens, Alexandros Tsiotinis discovered his vocation as a chef at an early age. He enrolled at the Palmier Academy, where he embarked on comprehensive studies in the culinary arts, while at the same time learning on the job at the restaurant Hytra, a real institution in Athens. He then moved to France to round off his training, joining the teams at Épicure with Éric Fréchon, Arpège with Alain Passard and then Astrance with Pascal Barbot. By working alongside these great chefs, he got to grips with the demands of haute gastronomie, and came to understand his own perfectionism and love of premium ingredients. It was also during this period that he began to test his own creativity.
On his return to Greece in 2010, Alexandros continued to blossom, completing stints at a number of top restaurants in Santorini and Crete, where he became head chef and began to accumulate accolades. In 2015, he realised his dream by opening his own restaurant, CTC, where he decided to offer a fixed tasting menu served over three, six or nine courses – a radical dining experience of a sort not necessarily commonplace in Greece. The quality of his work and his remarkable creativity earned him his first Michelin star in 2022.
The chef's cuisine
Alexandros Tsiotinis, whose skilfully composed dishes burst with colour, likes to compare his cooking to painting. For him, an empty plate is a blank canvas, the ideal space for expressing his inventiveness. To dine in CTC's magnificent garden is to be taken on a fascinating culinary journey through Greece, a journey on which flavours and textures meet without colliding – quite a feat when you consider that the chef works by instinct, constantly changing his menu according to the seasons and depending on the fish, meat, vegetables and herbs he sources from his many partners.
4hands dinner in Paris
In June 2023, Alexandros Tsiotinis was invited to Paris by the MICHELIN Guide for a special event at the Saint James hotel. The occasion was a tantalising dinner, the aim of which was to showcase the excellence and diversity of Greek cuisine. In consultation with Julien Dumas, resident chef at Bellefeuille, Alexandros created a menu featuring Greek produce. He arrived armed with Greek olive oil, herbs and even tsipouro, a Greek brandy. The amuse-bouches set the tone: saganaki mussel tartlet, bottarga waffle, fava purée with kumquats. Then came courgette flowers flavoured with pistachio, sea bass tartare with kiwi granita, squid tagliatelle with tomato and, finally, grilled steak with a matured olive oil jus. The dessert, devised by the two chefs, didn't fail to make an impression: a trompe l'œil vine peach filled with bitter almond ganache and accompanied by peach sorbet, white chocolate and elderflower gel, in a sweet and elegant nod to the abundant orchards of Greece.