Thanasis Vassilenas, the current owner, was born in Piraeus in 1964. He studied Economics at the Athens University of Economics and Business and did postgraduate studies in Statistics at the University of Sorbonne.
Growing up in the family restaurant, he was groomed in the art of haute cuisine and hospitality from an early age and even demonstrated his culinary skills by representing Greece through “Vassilenas” in a competition for European fish recipes rich in Omega 3.
In 2005, after the death of his father, Thanasis took over the baton and responsibility of continuing the legacy of this iconic family institution. Devoted to the same successful principle of always using only premium ingredients, the restaurant has been a standard bearer for gourmet Greek cuisine, winning numerous accolades and much critical acclaim.
A close observer of trends in wine-making, Thanasis trained at the WSPC wine institute as he believes that wine is an integral part of every good meal and completes the culinary experience in a restaurant. With experienced wine connoisseurs lending their expertise, “Vassilenas” is now one of the most important wine restaurants in Athens with a rich wine cellar stocked with premium Greek labels as well as international varieties.
Born in 1982, Manos Garnelis has been the chef at “Vassilenas” since the restaurant relocated from Piraeus to Athens and he has singularly lent a refined, contemporary touch to the menu.
A graduate of the “Le Monde Institute of Hotel and Tourism Studies”, Manos began his career as a pastry chef and quickly worked alongside high-profile names such as Chrysanthos Karamolengos and Dimitris Dimitriadis.
He has cooked at well-known restaurants such as “Aleria” and the Michelin-starred “Varoulko” where he stayed for four years, initially as sous chef, and then as chef to Lefteris Lazarou. His deep knowledge of fish and seafood has earned him his rightful place as chef in the “Vassilenas” kitchen.