Chris Christou, Executive Chef at NERAI, was inspired to pursue a culinary career by a series of chance events, and some light guidance by his father. At 20 years old, Chris opened Fisherman’s Grill, a small fish and chips shop in his native South Africa that he ran with his father. Six months after opening, one of the Chefs from neighboring Prue Leith College of Culinary Arts walks into the shop and piques Chris’s interest so much that he enrolls in the Culinary school a week later.
Having graduated culinary school, and finding himself in London, Chris walks into Gordon Ramsay’s Savoy Grill, and asks for a job. Chef Ramsay with all his eccentricity is so stunned at such a basic approach to asking for a job under him, that he takes Chris on as a cook. After spending 3 years working every inch of the line at the Savoy, Gordon Ramsay brings Chris to New York to be his Sous Chef at The London. Since then Chris has worked as a cook under Thomas Keller at Per Se, at Corton with Paul Liebrandt, as Sous Chef with John Frasier at Dovetail, and with the opening team at Ai Fiori under Michael White.
In 2010, asked by a friend to interview at Buddakan, Chris accepts the job as Chef de Cuisine, where for the first time in his career he is tested to temper the artistic techniques he’s learned with the scorching volume of one of the busiest kitchens in all of Manhattan. A master in his craft, in late 2013, he is approached by the owners of NERAI, and has since elevated NY’s perception of Greek Cuisine.