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DC's Next Famous Chef

Washington DC Dining DC

You'll see a familiar face when Season 12 of Top Chef premieres on Oct. 15. Kapnos executive chef and partner George Pagonis joins the list of DMV chefs who have competed, including Mike Isabella, Carla Hall, the Voltaggio brothers, Bart Vandaele, and Spike Mendelsohn

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We nabbed George for a quick Q&A

Q. How did this amazing opportunity come about?
A. Mike Isabella and I are business partners and he's been in the Top Chef family for a while. He made the introduction, but the rest was up to me. He told me, "Be yourself, you have a great personality; make sure you show it." 

Q. What is your style of cooking that you tried to get across during the show? 
A. At Kapnos, I've really developed modern Greek cuisine by applying the French techniques I acquired working in Manhattan

Q. What were you nervous about cooking?
A. Asian cuisine is my weak spot. Especially because the show always has a few chefs that excel at Asian cuisine. 

Q. Which judge were you most excited to meet?
A. Tom Colicchio. He has such a tremendous reputation. I have all of his cookbooks and a whole lot of respect for him. I was also the most nervous about meeting Tom. The show's all about his palette, and as a chef, the last thing you want to do is serve him something that isn't 100%.

Q. Who has been in your corner cheering you on?
A. My girlfriend Helen Kokorelis and, of course, my brother Nick. They've held everything together while I've been away in isolation.