Before opening Kapnos, Chef Pagonis served as chef de cuisine at Mike Isabella’s Italian-inspired flagship, Graffiato, also in Washington, D.C. Prior to joining Graffiato, Chef Pagonis cooked at Aureole in New York under Christophe Bellanca and Marcus Ware. The fluent Greek-speaker also worked at Jose Andres’ Zaytinya, where he first cooked under Mike Isabella. His first tour of duty in a fine dining kitchen was at New York’s Le Cirque.
Chef Pagonis attended the University of Mary Washington and followed that up with a degree from the Culinary Institute of America. But he first earned his kitchen stripes at The Four Seasons, an Alexandria, Virginia, Greek diner owner by his father.