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The Warsaw Voice » Special Sections » April 26, 2012
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Keeping Traditions Alive
April 26, 2012   
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Wojciech Modest Amaro talks to Bożenna Osucha.

Atelier Amaro, your restaurant, was the first in Poland to get a Michelin Rising Star. Was this in some part due to your having worked at many elite establishments in Poland and other countries?
I think it is a reflection of my work and not the result of the places where I’ve worked. Remember that 60-70 people work at Noma or elBulli, but that doesn’t mean all of them will get special treatment. Michelin evaluates food, products, techniques and the quality of dishes. Of course time spent working at such places does improve my qualifications, but nothing happens automatically.

Creative cuisine, blending nature with science, molecular gastronomy and conscious cooking are concepts that people increasingly often associate with your name. Could you tell our readers more about them?
Contemporary cuisine takes advantage of many benefits of science, enabling us to gain a better understanding of the processes occurring during cooking. Then, knowing about them, we can apply the appropriate technique to every product. That’s conscious cooking. Elements of molecular gastronomy can be a tool for creative experiments on the plate. It’s a paradox that the more we know scientifically, the closer we get to the essence and nature of a product. Hence such a blend.

Nature remains unchanging, so what happens when we prepare products according to the old rules? We could lose the natural properties of products such as tenderness, juiciness, aroma and flavor. To me it’s essential to use techniques to present a given ingredient better and better…

Your book Natura kuchni polskiej (The Nature of Polish Cuisine) ranked fourth in the World Cookbook Awards. What message did you want to get across in it?
Above all, I wanted to highlight the unutilized potential of the Polish natural environment, the richness of nature, the diversity of products and excellent traditions that are slowly disappearing. Showing all this in a new light in the book was meant to make sure they are not lost. The book gained recognition precisely for this kind of approach and for its unique contents. This is a huge success proving this potential has to be utilized…
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