Expect the unexpected from the man who baked for Mary Berry
D amian Wawrzyniak is chef patron at House of Feasts in Peterborough Road, Eye Green, which celebrated its first anniversary recently.
There he serves “rustic” food, which he has developed over the years while working in France, Scandinavia, Poland and the UK.
His style of cooking centres around preserving, pickled vegetables and cured meats and fish.
Two years ago he appeared on Mary Berry’s Easter Feast programme on the BBC and pops up occasionally on BBC Breakfast and other cooking shows.
He is currently working on his new culinary book called “I am a Cook” which will be available in late Autumn 2018!
What and w ho got you into the kitchen?
My dad, he is also a chef. My earliest kitchen memories are helping my dad on summer break at school.
Greatest success in the kitchen?
BBC Good Food listed me as UK Top 10 Food Pioneer.
Greatest fail in the kitchen?
I was working 16-18 hours a day, collapsed and ended up in hospital – it was my longest holiday ever!
Proudest culinary moment?
I received the Knights Cross (the equivalent of an OBE) from the President of Poland Mr Andrzej Duda for promoting Polish cuisine worldwide.
Hardest food to make work?
Sourdough bread - it took me three months to develop the perfect recipe and still with temperature and humidity change the recipe needs to be amended.
Who does the cooking at home?
Both me and my partner, also my kids who are now cooking and folding bread together.
Favourite celebration meal?
Babka!! Traditional Easter Cake.
Best food to impress?
Smalec, pickles and sourdough bread. We have served smalec to Prince William and he was impressed.
How important is the team around you?
The team creates the whole restaurant, and without each other nothing would be in the position where we are now. We always support each other in many different aspects just to make sure the work if nice and smooth and to make sure we will deliver the highest quality food and service as we can.
Is recruitment difficult?
If you find the right people, it is not, you just need to know how to talk to people and how to resolve all kind of problems within the recruitment sector.
What can people expect from your menus?
The menu is different compared to any other restaurant in the area. Also, the menu represents a great mixture of Polish recipes with British ingredients. Our slogan is “expect the unexpected’, this shows that we always surprise our guests with the flavours and texture of served food.
What was the first dish you put on a menu - and what is the most recent?
The first dish that I put on the menu was short rib of beef and the most recent one is chump of lamb, a mixture of worldwide flavours.
Favourite dish on the menu at the moment - and why?
Pierogi, because they represent Eastern European roots with great vegetables sourced from Cambridgeshire.
What gives you most pleasure working in a restaurant?
Connection with people and never-ending stress this is something that drives me and makes me still want to be a chef.