Kyma is a contemporary seafood tavern with an inventive yet approachable menu that stays true to its Mediterranean origins. Kyma’s dazzling constellation display on the deep blue ceiling, white marble columns and bold fresh fish display are dramatic while the inviting patio offers an ideal setting for savoring a glass of Greek wine. Fresh, healthy food, attentive Mediterranean hospitality and festive atmosphere await at Kyma.
Pano I. Karatassos
Executive Chef of Kyma
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 father's business, Buckhead Life Restaurant Group - founded by his father, legendary restaurateur, 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 came 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 Michelin 3-Star French Laundry in Napa Valley and two years as Saucier under Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten at the Michelin 3-Star Jean-Georges in New York City. He also spent two and a half years under Chef Eric Ripert at the Michelin 3-Star Le Bernardin also in New York City. Pano completed every kitchen station at Le Bernardin and finished as Tournant.
Before his training in California and New York, Pano cooked in 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.
Today, Pano is internationally known for his modern take on the Greek Cuisine at Kyma. Pano describes his personal style of cooking as one with a respect for his intense French training while staying true to his roots and authenticity of Greece. In Greece, Pano is well known from his features in Ta Nea, Odyssey, Vogue Greece and Keresma.
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’s national fame started with restaurant critic, John Marianni, as one of the top 20 restaurants in the country by Esquire in 2002. Since then, Kyma has been featured in national magazines such as Food & Wine, Food Arts, Gourmet, Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast, Nation’s Restaurant News, Cooking Light, and In Style. For three years, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution designated a top ten best restaurants in Atlanta during the years 2004, 2005 and 2006 and Kyma made the list each year. To this day, the AJC recognizes Kyma as a four star restaurant.
Noted authors of Greek cookbooks, celebrated food critics and television hosts, have shown great support for Chef Pano’s modern take on the Greek Cuisine. Pano has cooked with both Diane Kochilas and Susanna Hoffman at the restaurant and abroad. Following Ms. Kochilas’s first visit to Kyma in 2002, she featured Kyma in Ta Nea, the largest national Greek newspaper, as well as Odyssey, a national Greek magazine. “Kyma has surely brought a new wave to the Greek restaurant business in the United States,” she wrote in Ta Nea. David Rosengarten of The Rosengarten Report, names Kyma “the best Greek restaurant in America”.
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, and the Share Our Strength Taste of the Nation in Baltimore in 2005. In 2006, he served as guest chef at the esteemed Epcot Food & Wine Festival in Orlando. In 2007 Pano was the only American Chef hand selected by the Greek export organization, Keresma, as the featured Chef of the Sante Symposium in Vermont, guest chef and panelist in the Aspen Food and Wine Festival and the second annual Keresma conference in Crete where he and other Greek chefs from around the world paired with the likes of guests chef Gordon Ramsey to educate and enhance the knowledge of Greek Cuisine. Pano participates in a variety of community fund raising efforts for organizations such as Share Our Strength, Atlanta Community Food Bank and March of Dimes.
Kyma, which is the twelfth restaurant within Buckhead Life Restaurant Group, is an upscale Greek restaurant featuring contemporary and traditional Greek food, with special emphasis on seafood from the Aegean Sea. 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.
Pano currently resides in Atlanta with his three children Pano, Lucas and Sophia.