Every Ingredient Has Its Own Story! Imagine you are in the vibrant Prague centre slightly tired from exploring the city and suddenly you got the munchies to try something typically Czech. Zdeněk Vinař, a chef at angelo by Vienna House Prague, is really the right person to whom to go to satisfy all your tastes, for example by his extraordinary home-made Bohemian tapas.
Zdeněk, I know that you have a new concept at the Jazz Bar – Bohemian Tapas. Could you please share more details?
We have been looking for the new and relevant concept for several months. As we are a colourful vibrant hotel restaurant with a cosy fireplace and evenings with live jazz music, we really wanted to find something that would fit into our atmosphere but differentiate us from others around us. Bohemian Tapas (or small food) are exactly it, based on local cuisine, a well-balanced diet, fresh, home-made or carefully selected at the neighboured farmers. Our guests can look forward to local cheese, our in-house pickled vegetables, smoked fish or lamb rib, or syrečky, traditional Czech mature cheese made of skimmed (non-fat) milk, and more.
Could you please tell us more about your career journey?
I have always liked cooking. When I was a child, I used to be in the kitchen and help my mother. So I went to study cooking and later, I graduated from the Hospitality Secondary School. After I had finished school, I started to work in the hotel kitchen, first I did just elementary food preparation, such as peeling potatoes, but later I was becoming more and more important and finally became a professional chef at several hotels within the Czech Republic. I also opened my own rock club with a restaurant, a very successful one. But since I am not too much into managing a club and prefer cooking, I handled it to my partner and moved back to the hospitality business.
How long are you member of Vienna House Czech Republic team and why did you choose us?
I joined Vienna House (Vienna International in those days) in 2011 as a chef de cuisine, so I am here 5 years already. Actually, I was looking for a job and my friend (a chef at andel’s by Vienna House Prague back then and now a chef at the Vienna House Diplomat Prague) recommended me this company. I checked it online and I fell in love with the hotel immediately. So I applied for a job and luckily, I am still hereJ. I really appreciate the team spirit, the homey atmosphere throughout the hotel, and also the fact that we can be ourselves – personalities with our own opinion, comments, and new ideas.
I know that you also communicate with our guest very often, get feedback from them and find out about their needs…
Yes, this is absolutely true. I think that this is a very important part of our business. I can easily get honest feedback and what more, I can tell our guests how I chose the ingredients. Every single ingredient has its own story and I am totally willing to share it with our guests. For example, I reveal how I travelled from farm to farm to find the right cheese producer. Without exaggeration, I can say that I know all the cows or sheep from whose milk the cheese is made J. In my opinion, right and carefully selected ingredients are a very significant part of all meals.
Will you let us in on a little secret – what do you prefer to cook?
I prefer uncomplicated meals from vegetables, cheese, couscous, gratin potatoes, etc., which I can prepare and combine with refinement and with some innovative approach. I really like playing with all different flavours and putting them together into the “masterpiece” that can be served to our guests. The real example of that kind of dish is definitely quiche – it is simple, but it can be modified into many variations satisfying all the tastes.
I also really enjoy preparing tailor-made coffee breaks with a creative approach reflecting the wishes of our guests and allowing new ways of serving. Recently we have made, for example, “The Beach Coffee Break” or “The White Coffee Break” with white chocolate, etc.
Thanks for your time and the interview, Zdeněk!
More about Zdeněk
Zdeněk is married with two children. Even though he is work addicted and loves to be in direct touch with the guests, he also pays attention to work and life balance. He spends all his free time with his family and he engages in sports, especially horse riding and hiking, he also likes travelling.
His 8 most favourite…
- Hobby: Motorbikes and repairing the old ones
- Food: Czech Cuisine
- Drink: Tea
- Book: The Game of Thrones
- Film/series: Does not watch TV that often, just Documents and „Večerníček“ a bedtime TV stories for kids
- Best vacation place: North Germany
- Best place for living: Prague of courseJ
- Personal motto: Everything is possible!