Alumni Feature | Tom Giannakopoulos, Class of 2017

July 3, 2020

After his first year at the Stratford Chefs School, Tom Giannakopoulos (Class of 2017) said

I now know what I don’t know.”

Tom had cooking experience gained through his family’s restaurants in Stratford, the city in which he grew up. “From the time I was 13 years old, I’ve been working in restaurants,” Giannakopoulos says, adding that attending the School was a natural progression from what he’d already been doing.

What might be called serial entrepreneurs in the food and hospitality industry, his family’s current business is Pizza Bistro, along with its four boutique suites in the Wellington Street Inn, which has been operating for more than five years. It’s small business in the truest sense of the phrase.

It’s my father and I,” Giannakopoulos says. “We work as a two-man team in the kitchen. It’s a pizzeria and a bistro where we do Greek-style cooking with some other Mediterranean influences. It’s a niche we’ve tried to pick out for ourselves.” Rather than stick strictly to only traditional recipes, Tom says they’re influenced by flavours, too. “We don’t call ourselves a traditional Greek restaurant, so that leaves us with lots of room for creative thinking to come up with any dish we want.”

Giannakopoulos sees his time at Stratford Chefs School as having provided him with key components for building his skills and understanding business. “The School teaches you how to be a restaurateur, from the theory classes to the cooking classes. You’re being exposed to things you haven’t seen before and classical techniques. It gave me a very good foundation.”


Alumni Feature text is excerpted from:

Farm To Table:
Celebrating Stratford Chefs School Alumni, Recipes & Perth County Producers

By Andrew Coppolino  Photos by Terry Manzo
















Since the School’s beginning in 1983, our intensive, entrepreneurial program has provided grads like Tom a solid foundation to pursue employment opportunities in diverse areas of the Hospitality, Food and Beverage industry, and beyond!

Read More About the Program

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