He exchanged a luxury restaurant for street food: It’s really hard work, but worth it

Michal Konrád talks about his cooking experiences and what it’s like to cook in a nomad kitchen.

Michal Konrád (Source: SME)

Michal Konrád was the star of the Fou Zoo restaurant with Asian cuisine, listed as the best restaurant in Slovakia by the Gault Millau restaurant guide.

However, he decided to leave the place after nine years and focus on street gastronomy instead. Together with two companions, he launched the Bao Brothers project this year.

In his opinion, bao buns are similar to Slovak knedľa (dumpling), while their traditional Asian fillings are very close to our tastes.

“There is pork and flitch, only sour cabbage is missing,” Konrád laughs.

How has Slovak gastronomy changed in the past 10 years? Can it be compared to western cuisine?
Since I returned to Slovakia from abroad nine years ago, it has progressed a lot, both in terms of chefs’ quality and what is cooked here and how.

Moreover, recent years have demonstrated that many chefs want to cook from quality ingredients. Unlike colloquial cafeterias, where they put anything on the plate, these chefs are trying to be creative with the food.

I don’t know whether we can compare it to the West, where the history and development are different, but I perceive it positively.

Which city abroad had the biggest impression on you?
Probably in Japan, where I spent three weeks at an internship in a small restaurant in Tokyo. The local chef had experience from working in the renowned El Bulli restaurant.

I was impressed by the people, environment, the ingredients they were using and how it was all set up. They had good meat from the inland, either Wagyu beef or various pork breeds, as well as a selection of fruits, vegetables and sea food.

From my point of view, it’s the mecca of Asian cuisine.

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