David Tsirekas Biography — 1821 Executive Chef
Before David started his journey in the hospitality industry, he was a swim and water polo coach. He would supplement his meager earnings in the pool or as a lifeguard on the beach with casual jobs in the hospitality industry where he picked up basic skills.
In 1998 he was offered his sisters partnership at an inner west classic restaurant called Perama. At this stage his skills and knowledge of Greek cooking were very basic and his knowledge was primitive.
David began his journey of understanding Greek cuisine by going back through history and reading ancient literary texts to help build the picture of where Greek cuisine had come from, what path it has travelled and how it has evolved to where it was then.
In essence David’s Greek cooking depicts Greece through the ages, portraying elements of all these periods.
Perama got its first Sydney Morning Herald good food guide hat in 2001 and kept it until 2011 when he then moved to Xanthi in Westfields. He continued the trend of doing Greek outside the box but with traditional foundations. At Xanthi David also received a hat each year until we finally closed the doors in 2014.
David has been executive chef at Universal Hotels since the project 1821 was announced in January 2015. He has worked on the conception, the development and construction of 1821 with Jim Kospetas, the founder of Universal Hotels. He has worked closely with the family to implement a quality of cuisine throughout all its venues and continues to develop the different food offerings within the organisation.
Janni Kyritsis — legendary Greek chef
One of the most innovative chefs in Australia, Janni combines solid techniques with traditional ingredients and bold, full-bodied Mediterranean tastes.
Janni Kyritsis came to professional cookery relatively late in life. He was born in Kavala Northern Greece, where he trained and worked as an electrician.
In 1970, at the age of 23, he came to Australia to work at the Melbourne Zoo. In his home kitchen he taught himself recipes from cookbooks, developing a passion for food that soon became an obsession. Around the age of 30 he successfully applied for a job with Stephanie Alexander where he remained for five years.
He then moved to Sydney and spent 14 years working with Gay Bilson, first at the Berowra Waters Inn, and later at Bennelong at the Opera House.
In 1997, at the age of 50, he finally bought his first restaurant: the MG Garage in Sydney , which doubled as a showroom for MG cars – winning 3 chef’s hats in his first year.
He is one of Australias most lauded chefs earning more than 50 hats over his career.