Chef de cuisine at IZU Restaurant in Mandarin Oriental, Doha Stavros Chatziantoniou met Ani in Santorini, Greece where they both worked together at a boutique hotel several years ago. We ask him about his experience.
How did you end up joining Izu?
Chef Izu Ani’s positive work ethic inspired me, he is a role model and I really admire everything he does. He liked my cooking style and passion for food, so after Santorini he asked me to join him at a restaurant in UK before both of us moved to the Gulf.
What is it like working with him?
He is extremely creative. He also not only allows, but also encourages freedom for each person working with him to discover new flavours. He’s always working on new recipes and is a true inspiration.
What dish do you love making the most here?
The highlight for me is all the marinades which allow our meats to burst with flavour. The Périgueux sauce used in several
dishes at IZU and the homemade gnocchi, which is the first thing I learned to make over ten years ago, are what I love making the most here.
Your favourite cuisine and why?
Greek Mediterranean is close to my heart as I am born in Xanthi, Greece. It is cuisine I’ve learned from chef Izu over the years as well.
The one person who you’ve always looked up to when it comes to cooking?
Chef Izu, of course. When working with him, cooking becomes all about making people happy and connecting with them through the dishes we make.