IT is one Poznan’s few true Italian street food restaurants and what better place than Jeżyce to open it. We heard that the owners went on a two-month road trip around Italy to get inspired by Italy’s diverse street food concoctions and bring them back to Poland.
Hi. So why the name IT? Does it mean something?
It’s short for Italy but also sounds like the word ‘eat’ in English. So we are sort of playing with the words a bit.
Are you a trained chef?
Yes. I went to gastronomy school in Poznań.
Where did you work previously?
I have been around. I worked in a few places in France and also in a bakery in Chavignon which is 100km northeast of Lyon.
Is there a big difference between the food in France and Poland?
Surprisingly it’s quite similar. Poland has caught up quite a bit over the last 5 or 6 years.
So why do you focus on Italian food right now?
It’s a simple food. I can focus more on ingredients rather than technique like they do in France. In my opinion, technique is important but shouldn’t be the first thing.
Are you business partners? How did you two meet?
We are, but also life partners. ? [We met] At this restaurant actually about two years ago! Paulina was a friend of my brother’s and they both came to watch a hockey game. We were televising and we sort of hit it off straight away.
Paulina, how did you end up being business partners?
I was studying psychology and was looking for a job to earn some extra money and Kacper offered me something at IT.
So you can tell when he’s lying, right?
Hahaha. I know him for a while now so it’s not just my psychology skills. Although, it might help a little! ?
Kacper, I heard that you have also worked with Dai Suke Mori who now has a 1 Michelin star restaurant in China called Takumi.
Yes. I worked with him in Jadalnia in Poznań as a sous chef.
What important lessons did you learn from him?
A chef is always learning. I learned various new techniques including molecular [gastronomy]. He was also a great organizer of the kitchen.
So what is IT? A bistro, a cafe etc?
Actually its an Italian Streetfood restaurant. You can find such things here as Trapizino which is focaccia with various fillings. We have fillings such as beef cheek or tounge which makes us very unique.
Where did you get the ideas for Italian street food?
Well, we went on an Italian road trip for two months. It was an incredible experience and we found some incredible places. It was a great inspiration for us to create our menu.
Wow! That sounds amazing. Was it really work or a holiday?
Hahaha. Let’s say it was 70% work and 30% holiday ?
Where did you go?
We started at Lake Garda, then Verona, Bologna, Parma, Tuscany, Pisa. We covered thousands of kilometers staying in some amazing campsites along the way. In fact, we are planning to go again this year!
For two months?
Hahaha. Not this time. Just for 2 weeks.
What are some examples of Italian street food you serve?
Arancino which is a fried rice ball with mozzarella cheese and vegetables. They are fried and served with seafood on a plate. Porchetta Romana and Scagliozze with vegetables and prosciutto is also a popular one. We also recently added the cannoli with lemon cream and walnut. We add new things all the time and keep updating our menu so there’s a good chance next time you come we will have something different. Of course, we also have some great pizzas. Margherita di Bufala is very popular.
So your coffee must be Italian also, right?
oops! Actually no. That’s the only thing that’s not Italian. Our coffee is from Barcelona and is my personal choice as I think its amazing coffee. Its 80% Arabica 20% Robusta.
Its been a pleasure speaking with you guys. Finally, whats your favorite dish on the menu right now?
Kacper – Arancini for sure
Paulina – I love the spaghetti al’Olio. Its a really simple dish but I think Kacper has really mastered how to get the full flavor out of it. I love it!!!
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