When he started as a cook for the Paphos Beach Hotel in 1978, there was only one other hotel on the harbour.
When he started as a cook for the Paphos Beach Hotel in 1978, there was only one other hotel on the harbour. ‘The harbour was mostly a fishing village then, and housing was very hard to find,’ executive chef Nikos Kimonos recalls. The hotel was smaller then—it had only two restaurants and its northern wing had not yet been built. As the town developed into a major tourist destination over the years, so too did the Paphos Beach Hotel grow. Kimonos was promoted to executive chef in 1987. Trained in the French culinary tradition, he oversaw menus that used its techniques to prepare locally sourced seafood, meat, and produce. Big changes came in 2003 with a major renovation and the rechristening of the hotel as Almyra. The renovation expanded the number of restaurants on site to four. The addition of Notios, with its distinctive Mediterranean-Japanese fusion cuisine, required training in Japanese techniques by experts from the famed restaurant Nobu; now the hotel has three sushi chefs on staff. The addition of Almyraspa in 2007 also brought another restaurant, Eauzone, with a menu focusing on wellness. After forty years on property, Kimonos continues to see growth opportunities ahead: ‘Now we are preparing more Cypriot cuisine, using fresh local herbs in the process.’ And despite the dramatic growth of Pafos, he appreciates that it retains some of the village charm that greeted him in 1978: ‘I have only a five-minute walk to work.’