George Pagonis is executive chef and partner at Mike Isabella's first Greek restaurant, Kapnos, in Washington, DC. The upscale restaurant put inland Greek cuisine, including daily whole animal roasting, on the map in the nation’s capital when it opened in 2013. Before opening Kapnos, Pagonis served as chef de cuisine at Mike Isabella’s Italian-inspired flagship, Graffiato, also in Washington, DC. Prior to joining Graffiato, Chef George cooked at Aureole in New York under Christophe Bellanca and Marcus Ware. Before that, the fluent Greek-speaker worked at Jose Andres’ Zaytinya, where he first cooked under Mike Isabella. His first tour of duty in a fine dining kitchen was at New York’s Le Cirque. Chef George attended the University of Mary Washington and though he followed that up with a degree from the Culinary Institute of America, he first earned his kitchen stripes at The Four Seasons, a Greek diner owner by his father in an Alexandria, Virginia.
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