"We wanted to create a restaurant that became a part of your life, where you would be happy to eat everyday"
Chef Yianni Koufodontis prepares his dishes with a careful eye on healthy, low-fat, low cholesterol and always-natural ingredients.
For Chef Yianni, cooking is more than an art form, it is a way of life. Eating is the focal point of all Greek family gatherings, and Yianni grew up cooking daily with his mother and grandmother. His talents in the kitchen were unmistakable, even as a young man.
Yianni obtained his formal culinary training at the prestigious California Culinary Academy in San Francisco. After graduation he worked under his first culinary mentor, Chef Daniel Boulod, a James Beard Award-winning chef, cookbook author and restaurateur at Restaurant Daniel in Manhattan.
Just two years later, Yianni was asked to join Chef Wolfgang Puck's team at Spago in Beverly Hills, where he worked closely with world cuisine chef Lee Hefter, and Wolfgang Puck.
In 2005, Yianni was brought in to open Petro's Greek Cuisine, where he served as Executive Chef. With much press and praise for Petro's Greek, and his knowledge and passion for Mediterranean foods rekindled, Yianni decided it was time to open a restaurant of his own.
In 2008, together with his partner George Makridis, Yianni opened the first Olive Pit Grill in Brea, California. The restaurant's success was immediate, and in order to keep up with demand, they opened their second location in Huntington Beach, California two years later.