Pano I. Karatassos, executive chef of Kyma, Atlanta’s most exciting Greek restaurant concept, has an inherent passion for food. A celebrated young talent in the culinary industry, Pano has made significant contributions to his family’s business, Buckhead Life Restaurant Group - founded by his father I. Pano Karatassos – and to fine dining throughout the country. Training under three of America’s best chefs and at the renowned Culinary Institute of America, his culinary journey has come full circle – with a return to his roots in Atlanta’s fine dining scene.

Prior to assuming the role of Executive Chef at Kyma and leadership within Buckhead Life Restaurant Group, Pano worked at prestigious restaurants around the country. He spent one year as Saucier under Chef Thomas Keller at the Mobil 5-Star French Laundry in Napa Valley and two years as Saucier under Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten at Jean-Georges in New York City. He also spent two and a half years at Le Bernardin in New York, where he did his culinary externship and then continued after graduation. Under Chef Eric Ripert at Le Bernadin, Pano completed every kitchen station and finished as Tournant.

Before his training in New York and California, Pano cooked at his father’s Atlanta restaurants since he was 16. From his experience at Pano’s & Paul’s to The Fish Market at Lenox Square to 103 West, Pano learned the basic fundamentals of cooking. Pano graduated from The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York in 1996, and from Florida International University (FIU) in 1993 with a degree in Hospitality Management, following coursework at Florida State University.

Kyma, which means “wave” in Greek, opened in December 2001. In a short time, Chef Pano’s cooking garnered much attention for the restaurant. Kyma was named one of the top 20 restaurants in the country by Esquire in 2002 and has been featured in Wine Spectator, Cooking Light, Gourmet and In Style magazines. Kyma’s sister restaurants include Pano’s & Paul’s, 103 West, Buckhead Diner, Chops / Lobster Bar, Pricci, Veni Vidi Vici, Atlanta Fish Market, Corner Café / Buckhead Bread Company, Nava and Bluepointe.

Chef Pano served as one of four national spokespeople for the American Lamb Board in 2003 and was selected as the featured guest chef in the acclaimed Telluride Food & Wine Festival in 2004. He participates in a variety of community fund raising efforts for organizations such as Share Our Strength, Atlanta Community Food Bank and The Atlanta Speech School. Today, Pano and his wife, Angela, reside in Atlanta with their sons, Pano and Lucas.






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