While doing a Ph.D. at the University of Technology, she considered cooking a passion. After winning the 2nd edition of Polish Master Chef, she decided to devote her life to the culinary world. She is now a Chef and co-owner of Młoda Polska Bistro. Traditional Polish cuisine is her great inspiration.
The Best Chef: How did you become a Chef?
Beata Śniechowska: I did a Ph.D. and graduated from the University of Technology, but I have always loved cooking. So a couple of years ago I took part in the second edition of Polish Master Chef and I won it. That was my turning point. Everything changed. I traveled a lot, I worked with amazing chefs and 3 years ago I opened my own restaurant. And here we are.
The Best Chef: Was it Master Chef that changed your life or you already knew that you wanted to be a Chef?
Beata Śniechowska: I always wanted to become a chef and always wanted to have my bistro. Master Chef allowed it. You know, I worked at the University of Technology, but my job wasn’t connected to gastronomy. It was my biggest dream – to be a cook, to be a chef.
The Best Chef: How did your family react to this big change in your career?
Beata Śniechowska: I think that in the beginning, my family wasn’t very happy about me choosing to be a chef. But I’m a free bird – I can live my own life. In the end, they approved my decision. I think 😀
The Best Chef: Was it very difficult combining being a Chef and being on TV?
Beata Śniechowska: I think that it is possible to combine being a chef with being in the world of TV. Hard but possible. You have to plan everything, be focused… Of course, I couldn’t do it without the support of many people who are standing behind me. I have a great team.
The Best Chef: What is so appealing to you about being a chef?
Beata Śniechowska: I always wanted to be a chef. To be a cook. For as long as I can remember. It is my passion – a great, huge passion. And I like showing the truth, I like it when my dishes are crystal clear, when the kitchen is really honest. Our life is too short to do things that we don’t like. It’s my way of living and I feel free in the kitchen. That’s why I chose it.
The Best Chef: Being a Chef means a lot of stress, long working hours, difficult time managing the team… What are the advantages?
Beata Śniechowska: Yes, it is really hard work, you have to be always focused on everything. But when I worked at the University of Technology, I waited for the results of my work for sometimes even half a year. It’s different here. When I cook something, I can see the results after a few days, hours, sometimes even minutes. This is so catchy for me, so important. I feel grateful and I think that I’m lucky that I have my own harvest. I can talk to my head gardener, we plan something and she plants the crops. We wait and after days or months, we can feed people with it. It’s beautiful to me!
The Best Chef: Can you explain the idea behind the name Młoda Polska?
Beata Śniechowska: Of course! At Młoda Polska we show respect for Polish tradition and Polish cuisine but in our own, very unique way. So I would like to take what was the best from the past and bring it to today’s world. To show my vision of Polish cuisine. In my kitchen, we use amazing ingredients. All year long we use fresh vegetables, micro leaves, herbs from our own harvest, and preserves… The greatest art is not to destroy the goodness of nature. So, this is a challenge and this is really important for me: to treat ingredients with full respect and show the best of them. The dishes that we serve in Młoda Polska must show the truth and the flavor must be balanced. Plates should be crystal clear. I like when plates show the truth. That’s the story about Młoda Polska.
The Best Chef: How important is tradition to you? Traditional dishes, recipes?
Beata Śniechowska: To me, tradition is really important, but I like showing my version of it. I’m inspired by nature, I’m inspired by my childhood, and I’m inspired by tradition. Memories of taste are really important and I would like to transfer taste from the past and bring it to today’s world. That’s why I have my very own harvest: to keep the same flavor, I’m looking for amazing ingredients, local ingredients. That’s why I have milky ice cream: when I was a child, I always ate simple milky ice cream with my grandma. And I think that today we have too many powders and chemicals in the kitchen, so I like straight, natural products and to transfer them to my plates. Simplicity is the key and simple is the best.
The Best Chef: How do you see the role of women in Polish gastronomy?
Beata Śniechowska: For me a chef’s gender is not relevant, it’s all about hard work, so if you have the heart to do this job, you can do it.
The Best Chef: How do you create your menu? What is your inspiration?
Beata Śniechowska: I create the menu in a simple way – seasons make the borders. We use our crops. When we’re out of them, we change the menu, if we have too much – we preserve them and use them differently in another menu. Our menu is dictated by nature, not by me 🙂