What do you get when you combine an outrageously handsome man with delectable culinary skills, a spirit of philanthropy, and a sense of adventure and fun? Philip Vakos.
Selected in the Top 24 of Masterchef Australia 2010 and nominated for the Cleo Bachelor of the Year Award 2011, Philip’s visible traits are easy to spot. But this soulful chef runs a lot deeper than people may imagine. In an effort to please his family, he attended University and received a degree in Accounting, then worked in the profession for four years. But the lure of the pungent spices and cherished dishes that his grandmother taught him to make as a child, just wouldn’t leave him be.
The scents and traditions of his grandmother’s cooking swirled around him day after day, as he dutifully crunched away the numbers in his job. He would go home at night and immediately begin creating gastronomic delights, for the sheer fun of it. It was as if he never felt truly himself unless he was attending to his foodie instincts. So he decided to leave accounting and has since entered the world as a professional chef, instructor and speaker with great style.
It all started with Masterchef Australia, but his career has evolved quickly. Philip has raised over $30,000 for charities such as the Make a Wish Foundation, A Fighting Chance and the National Breast Cancer Foundation. He devotes his own time and skills to the Kitchen Garden Foundation, where he interacts with kids in community programs by putting on cooking classes.
In addition to charitable events, Philip has delighted audiences with cooking demonstrations that show off his mastery of Greek cuisine at high profile events & venues such as Pooley’s Vineyard Tasmania, Antipodes Greek Festival, the Sustainable Living Expo, the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival and the Lewis Marine Boat Show. Philip has also hosted special food segments on Tasmania’s SEA Fm radio, where he satisfied listeners’ auditory palates with his passion and knowledge of food.
A great chef can be found easily enough, but a great chef with charisma enough to delight audiences, a heart that constantly seeks to give back to the community and a passion for food strong enough to cause him to abandon years of college education so he could cook, well…that only comes around once in a great while.
Phillip’s belief that as long as you have good Greek food everything will be fine, is perhaps an attitude we should all aspire to. Dolmades anyone?