Kyrkos Zisis was born in 1983 at Ano Kouklesi, a mountain village in the region of Ioannina, Greece. As a child, he would often follow his father trekking and hunting in the mountain lands, getting familiar early on with the surrounding habitat, its tastes and smells: wild boars, ringdoves, hares, partridges, wild mushrooms and greens, asparagus and herbs.
Both his parents’ worked in the tourism industry so for many years, Kyrkos spent summers at the Greek island of Skiathos, at a hotel near the sea. The island is where he got his first job in hospitality and also the place where he would first discover the precious offerings of the sea: fresh fish, callista (vernis faure), sea urchins, octopus and calamari.
At age 17, he began his training as a bartender at the State School of Tourism at Galaxidi, continuing with courses on Food and Beverage Management at the Institute of Hotel & Tourism Studies LE MONDE and a participation in the Panhellenic competition “Classic Bartender”.
In 2001, he moved to Athens. At the prestigious «Rooms» Cocktail-Cigar Bar in Kolonaki, he was responsible for preparing drinks to order and putting together fancy cocktails. Chef Konstantinos Garyfallou was so impressed by Kyrkos’ imagination and ideas that he asked him to create cocktail-based dressings to accompany the cold dishes served by the kitchen.
Garyfallou was convinced of Kyrkos' culinary skills, and offered him a place as a chef de commis at the “Pure Red” restaurant, in the suites of the “Georgios Karaiskakis” stadium, the home ground of Olympiacos F.C.
Later, a brief passage from the “Aristera-Dexia” restaurant at Gazi (Athens, Greece), under the culinary guidance of chef Chrysanthos Karamolengos, would bring him to meet his future wife, Sophia.
In 2005, as chef de partie at the “Balthazar” restaurant, Kyrkos learned the art of homemade fresh pasta with chef George Tsiaktsiras. He was then accepted into the team of the world-renowned French chef, Jérôme Serres at “Iridanos” in Athens, the same year that the restaurant received a Michelin star.
In 2008, Serres asked Kyrkos to join his team at “Pil Poul”, as an “unofficial” sous-chef, serving modern French cuisine on a romantic Acropolis-view roof terrace at Thisseion. Within a year, “Pil Poul” also received a Michelin star.
When Serres set up the noted restaurant "Groot-Bijgaarden" in 2009, near the castle of the city of Dilbeek in Belgium and asks Kyrkos to join him as an official sous-chef. The restaurant was once again awarded with a Michelin star.
Returning to Greece and “Pil Poul” the following year, Kyrkos took on the role of executive chef and presented his own menu at the restaurant under Serres’ consulting. He then followed Serres as executive sous-chef to the seaside of Jounieh, Lebanon, where they set up the menu for the restaurant “U-bay Tablefine”.
Kyrkos was hired as the main chef of a luxury private yacht based in Italy, offering an exclusive menu to celebrity guests such as, his personal favourite, Kate Moss.
From 2011 until today, Kyrkos is the corporate chef at The Vasilicos, Caldera Heritage Suites at Santorini Island, Greece, offering a tailor-made menu to the guests of the hotel based on local, fresh, seasonal ingredients.
In 2012, Kyrkos was hired as the chef de cuisine of the boutique hotel “Macakizi” at Bodrum, Turkey, where he gathered a team able to present refined Mediterranean dishes using the French technique.
In 2016, he returned to Belgium, this time to Brussels, to work as a chef de partie at the 2-star Michelin restaurant “Le Chalet de la Foret” in Uccle.
In 2017, he worked as a sous-chef at "Toucan Brussels" in Ixelles at Jean Michel Hamon's enterprise.
Stages and collaborations
Chef Giancarlo Gottargo, Divan Hotel Group, Istanbul Turkey
Chef Christine Manfield, Australia
Chef David Toutain, restaurant David Toutain 1-star Michelin, Paris, France
Chef Anthony Genovese, Ristorante “Il Pagliaccio”, 2-star Michelin, Roma, Italy
Pastry Chef Dimitris Chronopoulos, Valrhona corporate pastry Chef in Greece
Pastry Chef Brian Joyeux, Atelier Brian Joyeux Brussels Belgium
Chef Toshitaka Omiya, alliance restaurant 1-star Michelin Paris France
Chef Jean Pierre Bruneau, Bruneau, 1-star Michelin Brussels Belgium
Chef Maksut Askar, neolokal, Istanbul Turkey
Chef Aret Sahakyan, Macakizi, Bodrum, Turkey
Chef Pascal Devalkeneer, Le Chalet de la Forêt, 2-star Michelin, Brussels, Belgium
As a Guest chef
August 2018, Chef Aret Sahakyan, Macakizi, Bodrum, Turkey
September 2017, Chef Yiannis Dikeoulakos, Yiamas gastro bar, Kalamata, Greece
September 2015, Chef Giancarlo Gottargo, Divan Hotel Group, Istanbul Turkey
January 2013, Chef Maksut Askar, Sekizistabul Istanbul, Turkey
July 2011, The Vasilicos, Caldera Heritage Suites, Santorini Island, Greece