TV chef and Polish food pioneer, Damian Wawrzyniak, has announced plans for his first eponymous restaurant celebrating ‘the last undiscovered frontier’ on the British food scene.
The news follows a busy 12 months for the chef in which he wowed the queen of Bake Off, Mary Berry, at her own Easter Feast (pictured), cooked up a storm in the pop-up kitchen at Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen earlier this summer and appeared on BBC Breakfast.
He will next be seen in a BBC documentary series filmed in the wake of Brexit ahead of his first book release in summer 2017 and a food tour of Britain next spring.
Amid all this, plans for Wawrzyniak’s own kitchen have been running full steam ahead with three sites under consideration in Hertfordshire. The restaurant will fuse traditional Polish flavours, with a modern twist, all set to a warm, family-style backdrop – no gimmicks, no hustle, just delicious food and drink from local farmers, suppliers and brewers.
Wawrzyniak said, “I want to create a place where people can come, sit down at my table and discover the flavours of Poland – it’s a modern take on Polish cuisine because Polish food really is the last undiscovered frontier. Dishes are packed with hidden gems that are all about the flavour and not about the fuss. I grew up on a farm and have been around the kitchen, restaurants, food and ingredients my whole life. I will use a number of different techniques and serve food in a modern way but I will keep the traditional tastes which I still remember from cooking with my Grandma and my parents.
The restaurant opening will be the final act in Wawrzyniak’s Polish Food Tour of Britain – an epic eight-date gourmet whirlwind which will see the London-based chef travel around the country, taking over eight restaurants to serve up traditional Polish fare from the freshest British ingredients. The tour will take in Birmingham, Peterborough, Shrewsbury, Usk, Cambridge, London and Skegness before culminating in the new restaurant.
“Being pretty active in British Food industry for nearly 12 years now, I have made some really good contacts, met some lovely people and very experienced specialists. One of them recently asked me if I was ever going to build my own kitchen and, the answer was yes! I’ve been dreaming about opening my own restaurant for a long while and feel that now, finally is the time,” he said.
A crowdfunding campaign has been launched to raise investment to support the restaurant opening.