So what’s the origin of Krem?
I was inspired by the crémeries, typical French shops with cheese, eggs and milk. They mostly, but not only, sell dairy products, but you can also get a good sausage there. In Paris the crémeries are all refined, they look fabulous! Our place is similar, just look at the cheese, kumpiak ham na baguettes lying on the bar.
You are known as the owner of Monsieur Léon, a tiny French bistro near the Łazienki park, where you served cheese, bread, wine and sometimes oysters. Is Krem a so to speak continuation of this place?Will Monsieur Leon close?
Currently it is closed for the winter season, and then we will see!
Well yes, you were always there behind the bar, and now you are here all the time in the open kitchen of Krem. The idea of this bistro is that the chef is always at the place?
For the moment yes. I really enjoy this adrenaline and the challenge. I’ve been preparing myself to open Krem for three years. Monsieur Léon was like a training, a general rehearsal.
You are a qualified lawyer, you also studied management. Where does this passion for cooking come from?
My brother is a cook and so is my uncle, so this gastronomic gene had been somehow running in the family. And when I was studying law in Paris I was working at a bistro. I think it was at that time that I became keen on cooking. The restaurant could sit 60 people, we were three people in the service, one at the bar, one in the kitchen and one in the main room. It was crazy!
Seems like this place could be running crazy as well, you have small kitchen and yet quite a long menu. Salads, sandwiches, croque madame, croque monsieur, pain perdu, raclette… the classics of the French cuisine!
Indeed it is pretty classic now but as soon as we get settled, we will introduce something new. But what is most important we are serving products of excellent quality. Our own pâté, roast beef. When we close Krem we cook and bake after hours, it is our second life – the preparation for the service.
Yes it was really delicious, I had a sandwich with pâté – a big piece of baguette, a solid slice of home-made pâté. Surprisingly uncomplicated and surprisingly tasty.
We concentrate on quality and honesty. What is written in menu is then served on the plate. There can be no mistakes like something isn’t deliver or has changed.
The great food is completed with the lovely, modern interior. Who was it designed by?
Jerzy Ruszkowski. He doesn’t specialise in restaurants, he mostly designs appartments. We wanted the interior to be in Warsaw rather than French style. Monsieur Léon was a classic French bistro and I met there so many interesting people.
One of them was Jacek Kołodziejski whose modern photograph decorates Krem today.
We are friends, I love Jacek’s works. I didn’t want the walls decorated with French posters but something made by an artist from our generation. Here and now – Warsaw 2017.
Have you two been discussing about the selection of the photo?
Oh yes, we spent two days talking through different options. And this is what I like about Krem – the discussions, the life, the modernity. This is what this place is about.
Intrview by Monika Brzywczy, photos: Krzysztof Kozanowski/USTA Magazine
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