Pano Karatassos

Years of Participation

A pioneer of Atlanta’s prominent dining scene, Pano I. Karatassos is executive chef of Kyma, corporate executive chef for Buckhead Life Restaurant Group, and author of a Greek-inspired cookbook, Modern Greek Cooking, debuted in September 2018.

Karatassos grew up in the kitchen – from watching and listening to his Yiayia (grandmother) work magic with Greek recipes, to cooking in his father’s celebrated Atlanta restaurants as a teenager. Following formal training at the Culinary Institute of America, Karatassos started his career under the tutelage of three of America’s best chefs, including chef Thomas Keller at Michelin three-star restaurant, The French Laundry, chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten at Jean-Georges and chef Eric Ripert at Le Bernardin. After five years in these prestigious kitchens, he returned to Atlanta working for the company founded by his father, Buckhead Life Restaurant Group.

In December 2001, the family opened Kyma, an upscale Greek restaurant featuring contemporary and traditional Greek food. Garnering national attention since opening, Kyma was named one of the top 20 restaurants in the country by Esquire in 2002, along with coverage in Food & Wine, Food Arts, Gourmet, Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast, Nation’s Restaurant News, Cooking Light and In Style. Internationally, Kyma received praise from noted Greek author, celebrated food critic and television host, Diane Kochilas, in Greek publications including Ta Nea, Odyssey, Vogue Greece and Keresma.

Fast-forward 17 years and Modern Greek Cooking hit shelves for a home-chef friendly taste of approachable and authentic recipes inspired by Greece. The book can be purchased at bookstores nationwide.