Already established as Warsaws best Spanish fine dining experience, we spoke to Casa Pablo’s recently appointed head chef about his culinary journey and his amazing Rib eye!
Why did you get into gastronomy?
My mother definitely had a big influence. She is the best cook in the world, very creative and passionate every time she cooked something. I remember also my grandfather letting me stir the pot when I was 2 or 3 years old. I was so excited every single time! So I suppose I fell in love with food from an early age ?
Did you go to culinary school?
Yes. I had to make a decision on either sports or cooking. I was big into volleyball in those days and I also had dreams to be a sportsman.
So why did you choose cooking over sports?
I loved both at the time but I made a calculated decision.
The right decision?
Of course! I’m very happy with what I do although sport is still an important part of my life…as a spectator ?
So how did you end up in Casa Pablo?
After a few years working in various restaurants including in an amazing Japanese restaurant in Jersey, UK, I came back to Poland for a break and to spend more time with my girlfriend. I also wanted some time to decide what to do next. I was very close to going to London actually. I more or less had my bags packed.
So why didn’t you go?
I was doing some research in Warsaw. I had been away for a few years and I wanted to see how things had changed in Poland. Just by chance, I saw an advert looking for a chef de partie position at CasaPablo. I wasn’t looking for a job in Poland but I decided to try and see what happens. I’m not sure why I went. Probably because it was something different and the owners and chef were Spanish.
And what happened?
I remember Pablo and his chef Gonzalo de Salas interviewing me and I was really impressed. I wasn’t nervous because like I said I had my heart was set on London so it wasn’t so important if I got the job or not.
Was it hard to accept the job offer considering your plans?
Not at all. It was a simple decision. I really felt the vibe in Casa Pablo and it all just felt right. They impressed me so much that I wanted to be a part of what they were doing.
So your girlfriend was happy that you were staying close to her in Warsaw!
Definitely! In fact, we got married a few years after I accepted the job. Maybe it was meant to be this way ?
And now you’re the head chef!
Yup. We also opened a Tapas Gastro Bar a few years ago and recently Boca Boca in Madrid. Gonzalo is running the show in Madrid right now so they made me head chef ? He is an amazing teacher and mentor and taught me the fundamentals of Spanish cooking.
So tell me about this Ribeye you made for me…
Sure. It’s Rubia Galega which is a breed of cattle native to Galicia in north-western Spain. It is raised mainly for meat and has an amazing taste and is dry aged for 21 days. This beef is known for its subtle marbling. Marbling is the fat between the muscles, intramuscular fat and has a spicy and a little salty taste. This meat has this wonderful taste because of the natural and free life of the cattle. We are very proud to have it in Casa Pablo!
It is delicious. I can’t taste much seasoning though. Is that how its meant to be served?
Of course! Gonzalo once told me ‘If you have a good fish or meat you only need a little salt’. The meat you are eating right now is less than 1 month old so we want you to appreciate the natural flavor. Because of the quality of the meat and the way we treat it, salt is the only seasoning we use, nothing else is necessary.
French cuisine is generally regarded as the best in the world. Do you agree?
I think Spanish cuisine is on a par with French cuisine. Spain and its various regions have so much to offer and without being snobbish. Also, I think apart from Asian food, Spanish food is the only cuisine where nothing goes to waste! Even the balls of the bull are a delicacy!
Do you have bull balls on the menu?
Hahaha. No. I don’t think Poland is ready for bull balls just yet!
So what next?
I’m in love with Spanish culture and cuisine right now so I’m in the perfect place!
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