Chef / Owner
Andreas Anastassakis started in the food service industry in 1993 at age 14, working a hot dog stand at a flea market outside of Toronto, Canada. In 1998, he started at his family’s restaurant, Barnaby’s, running the kitchen and attending college at the same time. By 2003, at the age of 24, Andreas was in charge of the whole Barnaby’s operation.
After selling Barnaby’s in 2004, Andreas entered into a partnership to open the Hilltop Restaurant and Banquet Hall. His first order of business was to oversee a six-month renovation of the three-story property. Andreas then managed both the 80-seat white-tablecloth restaurant and the 120-seat banquet hall, hosting many weddings and other private functions there. Eager to expand his organization, he designed, built, and operated the Preston Pub in 2008 in the basement of the Hilltop. For two more years Andreas ran all three businesses in the same building. In October of 2009, following the death of his father Philip Anastassakis, Andreas was approached by Jimmy Koikos to come to the Bright Star Restaurant. By February of 2010, Andreas had married his lovely wife, Katie, moved to Birmingham, and officially started at the Bright Star.
Over the last six years, Andreas has learned all about Southern cuisine from the seasoned chefs at the Bright Star. Through Jimmy and Nicky Koikos’s longstanding ties to the New Orleans restaurant community, Andreas has been able to bring to the Bright Star such guest chefs as Tory McPhail of Commander’s Palace, Richard Bickford of Tujague’s, and Chris Sherrill of the Flora-Bama Yacht Club. All of these opportunities have given Andreas the knowledge and experience to take the next step in his culinary career by starting the Bright Star Catering Company. With this venture, Andreas hopes to continue the Bright Star’s 109-year-old legacy of customer satisfaction by delivering superb food to the Bessemer, Birmingham, and Tuscaloosa communities.