Nowadays a cook is not only someone, who knows how to cook, it is a real creator of flavor that stands behind the success of a particular restaurant, where he or she works. They combine different tastes bravely and experiment, get inspired by nature and know how to innovate traditional recipes. It is exactly our Head Chef – Patryk Paszke.
October 20th is an International Chef Day. It is a perfect occasion to introduce you to Head Chef of the Akademia Restaurant, Patryk Paszke, who is a leader of the team of our talented team. He is the person, who every day takes care, that our Guests would leave the Akademia full and satisfied.
How did you came up with the idea of becoming a cook?
The idea of becoming a cook came up during my stay in Scotland, where I was gotten a proposition to try my hand at cooking in the restaurant that I was working at a time.
As I was cooking since a little kid, I made my way in the kitchen immediately.
I have been watching Italians as they were cooking and I tried recreating those meals at home, just out of curiosity how they taste. So, to their surprise, I have known over half of the menu even before getting into the kitchen for the first time.
Do you think that everybody who knows how to cook can be a chef?
Almost everybody can be a cook, a better or worse one. Only the ability of consistent repeating particular actions, with keeping the same quality at the same time is the one factor that differs good cooks from the worse ones.
You need to like the fast pace of this job, its unpredictability and have nerves of steel in order to succeed in this profession.
What are the personality traits that a Head Chef need to be characterized with?
In the gastronomy, as in any other industry, there are some periodical trends. What are the tendencies now?
Trends have a way of changing very often, while a restaurant should has its own specific character and style, and be true to it, rather than change it depending on the current trends.
What I really like about gastronomy at the moment is simplicity. Of course, there are still restaurants where the dishes look like they have been made by a crazy chemist, not a cook, but both critics and Guests more and more often appreciate places, where simple but still delicious food is served. The best example is Shanghai, where two street restaurants were awarded with Michelin stars – you can buy food for 3 dollars there. And it is beautiful!
What is your favorite food to serve your family and friends?
For my family and friends I try to prepare their favorite dishes, rather than mine. When I finally manager to have some time to cook at home I do my best to prepare what my wife ask me to, whenever possible. Luckily we like very similar dishes, so there are no conflicts.
During Autumn the pumpkin reigns. Could you please share a simple recipe with pumpkin as the main ingredient?
Autumn is associated with cold and runny nose, that is why I will propose a warming pumpkin cream soup with ginger, chili and coconut milk.
Firstly, peel the pumpkin, dice it, season with salt, pepper and fresh thyme.
Add some Garlic, chili pepper (the quantity depends on how spicy you want the soup to be), cover everything with aluminium foil and bake until soft.
In the meantime fry in the pot some onion with ginger and one big potato cut into small pieces.
Baked pumpkin put into the pot, pour the coconut milk and braise all the ingredients for about 15 minutes, until the potato becomes soft.
Next, take the thyme springs away, blend everything and pour in into the clean pot through the sieve. Add some salt and pepper for more flavor. Serve with roasted pumpkin seeds and pumpkin oil.