For many years, the Belvedere Restaurant has been known for its high requirements set before new team members. How come does it more and more often open its doors to young, talented people who want to win the market of Polish gastronomy?
Artur Zymerman: The words “more and more often” suggest that there has been a revolt in this regard lately (laughter). Actually, Belvedere’s doors have always been open to young, ambitious people. We adhere to a very simple philosophy – as in life, so in cooking – the enthusiasm of youth should be combined with a steady hand of more experienced master chefs. This gives an invariably inspirational result whose main beneficiaries are the Guests of our restaurant.
Further members of the Belvedere team are selected very carefully. What requirements does a person have to meet to get a chance to learn from the best?
A.Z.: First of all, the willingness to learn and a certain idea on how does a work in a restaurant look like. I like to think of Belvedere as a perfect mechanism, in which every, even the smallest cog is important. A customer who comes to us is primarily interested in the unique taste of the dishes; however, he or she also pays attention to how a dish is served, the quality of the service as well as the particular interior of the restaurant. A new employee is first of all required to understand this holistic mission we are trying to seduce our guests with.
What made you choose Sebastian Olma from among the many candidates applying to become the Belvedere Restaurant Creative Chef?
A.Z.: Sebastian is a young and incredibly dynamic person; he never does, however, forget about his roots, that is Polish cuisine. As I mentioned earlier, it is precisely the combination of similar features that we have in Belvedere. The menu prepared by the new Creative Chef will be both elegant and modern.
Please tell us whether we should expect a revolution in the menu, or did you continue the course set by Marcin Przybysz, the previous Creative Chef of the restaurant.
A.Z.: I do not know whether I should reveal such a secret (laughter)! I would not call Sebastian Olma’s cuisine revolutionary, at least not in the traditional sense of the word. His menu is a tribute to Polish cuisine at its best. But if I were to say that we should not expect any surprises… well, I would really underestimate it.
What three words would you use to describe the menu inspired by Sebastian Olma’s ideas? What are the first words that come to your mind?
A.Z.: Taste, abundance and elegance. The feast awaits not only our palates. Also the form of the dishes served will be unique. Sebastian is a perfectionist for whom every detail is extremely important. Our guests can certainly expect a menu that will satisfy even the most sophisticated tastes.