Akis was born on March 4th in the city of Thessaloniki, where he grew up and worked in the family business until the age of 16. At 18 he decided to leave his hometown (although he visits every chance he gets!) and move to Athens to become an accountant.
Upon arriving in Athens, he realized that his true love and passion was not found in numbers but in the flavors of fresh fruit, in the aromas of Mediterranean spices and in the sounds of knives being sharpened on a coarse stone. This led him to the decision to become a chef.
How it all began…
He started to follow his dream by attending classes at the “Le Monde” School of Culinary Arts and graduated in 2009 but also got his degree in accounting. (Since anything Akis starts, he completes with great success!) He then began working as a chef in various hotels in Greece, until he decided that it was time to extend his borders and venture into the world of International cuisine.
He moved to England and where he gained the most valuable lessons in life as well as cooking of course. All this helped him enrich his knowledge in cooking and to learn new techniques that allowed his talent to evolve. The five years he spent in England were by far the greatest culinary “schooling” Akis received since he was given the chance to work with some of the most famous award winning chefs. His final stop before leaving England was at the famous hotel “The Goring”.
Returning to Greece….
In 2010 he returned to Greece, not for some great business opportunity as most people might think but to take part in the game show on MEGA channel called “The Master Chef”. Six months later, he had proven himself beyond a shadow of a doubt by winning 1st place and becoming the first Greek Master Chef! In 2012 and for the next 2 years he was Head Chef at chef Michel Roux’s restaurant called Avenue Bistro at the Metropolitan Hotel.
His recognition and the people’s love…..
After his success in “The Master Chef” came his morning cooking show on Mega channel called “My breakfast” which aired from 2010 to 2014 and became one of the public’s most favorite shows. This also gave him the chance to meet so many new people and make many, many friends. Friends who followed him on to his next steps where his talents and personality really shined through… His daily cooking show “Do it like Akis” which aired on Mega channel, seasons 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 and a weekly travel cooking show called “Stories from the List”, where he gave people a tour of unique and magnificent dishes, flavors and views of Greece.
Two years later, in 2017, he traveled to Cyprus taking with him... “A suitcase full of flavors”. This was the title of his afternoon show which won the love of the Cypriots from the first time it was aired on Cyprus’s local channel. In the same year a cooking game show called “Ready Steady Cook” was aired on ALPHA channel.
At the same time, Akis’s friends were able to follow his delicious culinary steps through his weekly webcast called ''Kitchen Lab'' on the Greek You Tube channel as well as his show “Akis Kitchen” on the English You Tube channel where he shares all of his recipes in English!
After all of this followed another very important collaboration in this beloved chef’s career. We are referring of course to his collaboration with the company Fresh One Productions, a London based company. This union was sealed with the uploading of Akis’s recipe on renowned chef Jamie Oliver’s Food Tube channel. Akis is now one of the network’s 15 official chefs.
Keeping up with the trends of the times, Akis began keeping daily public communication with his followers through the following social media: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Viber, Pinterest
Well known for his ease in combining simple, everyday ingredients to prepare super delicious recipes that are quick and inexpensive; Akis is also a distinguished chef that has both the knowledge and the ability to create unique recipes, inspired as much from domestic as well as international gastronomical culture!
It is for this exact reason that so many multinational companies have chosen him as Chief Ambassador for their products. The publishing companies were not far behind with their offers.
This is how his first signature cooking magazine came about in 2014. By the end of the same year his first book was published with the title “Now this you have to taste!” which won the people’s choice award in the category of “Well-Being” in 2015. In November of 2016 followed his second book called “Just Chocolate” in cooperation with Nestlé Dessert. His third book is already underway with everyone’s favorite.. Cakes!!
Akis’s culinary experience both in Greece and abroad along with his need to share all that he believes to be special is his personal seal of approval and guarantee on the products that carry his name. A characteristic example is his popular line of cookies “Akis’ Cookies”. A line of cookies that come out in 4 unique flavors – Butter cookies, Triple Chocolate Cookies, Pistachio Nut and Anise Biscotti and Orange and Cardamom Petit Four. Cookies that are rich in flavor and aroma that awaken the senses!
Akis suggests… Kitchen Lab…
Akis’s dream was always to work along with his team in a friendly environment that would remind you more of a home than an office and would be a source of unlimited inspiration and creativity. This is why and how “Kitchen Lab” was created. A creative workshop of flavors and ideas! It’s where Akis creates, cooks and comes up with new ideas for recipes along with his team. Different characters with different responsibilities but all working together for one common purpose.. food!
“Kitchen Lab” is where all of the creative work is done for Akis’s webpage www.akispetretzikis.com, his magazines, his books and even all of his television and online shows. You could call it their culinary “headquarters” of flavors and ideas since everything that is done takes place in this space.
A wonderful workshop that is gradually evolving in to a dynamic, multicultural, multifaceted land of flavors and aromas, since it also lends its name to a cozy café-bistro that was created to offer Akis the chance to come even closer with his friends.
Up until now Akis’s communication with the world was basically done through television, internet and through the colorful pages of his books and magazines. Now, our favorite chef will be greeting his friends daily at “Kitchen Lab” – his modern, new café-bistro in Agia Paraskevi that opened its doors in April of 2017. It has already become a very popular hangout, where the visitors have the chance to enjoy homemade goodies that are freshly baked in “Kitchen Lab’s” kitchen! Freshly baked tarts, delicious cakes, amazing smoothies, tasty sandwiches and so many more delectable foods await all of Akis’s friends here. “Kitchen Lab” has already become famous for serving the best brunch in town!
What’s next? Cooking seminars that will begin over the following days for the public in the café space as well as a whole new street food bar with Akis’s signature that will be full of scrumptious surprises that will be served... this summer ;-)
Stay tuned and… enjoy!