Paweł Maria Kwiatkowski
I have three passions: yachting, music and good food. The third of these resulted in it becoming a dream of mine to open a restaurant of my own – a place where one could delight in cuisine of the highest quality, in an intimate and elegant atmosphere. Consequently, I developed the concept of creating a locale in Warsaw, unlike any that had ever previously existed here.
PAWEŁ MARIA KWIATKOWSKI
Modern sous-vide cuisine, with everything slow-cooked at low temperatures (certain meats for as long as more than ten hours, etc.), only the finest produce, always fresh (we don’t even own a freezer!), a menu that’s brief, yet frequently changed – and by the way, this is what we have our biggest problem with, as our regular customers have come to enjoy certain dishes to such an extent that they simply demand to have them, whether they’re on the menu or not.
Along the way, of course, there was the search for a location, and the bid that we basically won for space in the Chopin Centre – that’s how the restaurant, café and wine bar Tamka 43 came to be. Obviously, the division of tasks was clear from the very beginning: The head chef creates the cuisine and manages the kitchen, and I organise the rest. Supervision of the dining room was entrusted to a good manager and sommelier, and only people with a genuine passion for their work were hired as shift managers, waiters and bartenders.
Creation of the interior décor was a true pleasure. I had several architects prepare drafts, but ended up going with my own design, which entailed simply ‘warming up’ the dining room a bit, by sheathing its concrete pillars with Italian chamois leather, keeping the lighting subdued, and leaving areas of antique masonry exposed on the walls. I had very comfortable chairs and tables custom-made especially for Tamka 43, and the tableware and utensils were purchased abroad, with a full array of fine glasses, carafes, and cutlery that’s elegant without being unnecessarily ornate. Downstairs in the café, I had the tables finished in a combination of wood and exotic stonework. There are paintings hanging upstairs as well, which enhances the overall colour scheme of the place, and we’re planning to arrange graphics and photography displays on a periodic basis downstairs, thanks to which Tamka 43 will continue to change and retain a lively air.
We have excellent coffee, brewed from a blend formulated by our own barista, and coffee bearing our logo is delivered to us from the finest European roasters. The wine list, in turn – which was compiled by our sommelier, with some humble participation on my part – includes over 100 varieties from every part of the world, with a broad selection of fine cognacs, liqueurs and Armagnac brandies to round it out. A full assortment of the finest quality Polish vodkas is on hand as well.
This all looks pretty and seems simple, but opening and operating a restaurant is a huge challenge. I must admit that if not for my 20 years of experience organising major concerts and events where, on a daily basis, I have to deal with complex issues involving the coordination of hundreds of various elements, we would have given up at the very beginning because, in terms of the Polish market, this restaurant is essentially an experiment. Of course, I handled the marketing and PR, in which my 20 years of experience in the show business industry also proved invaluable. A sizeable database and personal contacts of mine in elite circles of business and culture were useful as well, and translated excellently into a considerable number of guests, practically from the first month. Tamka 43 began to attract regular customers immediately, and their number is increasing every year. Something that has enjoyed immense popularity has been our tasting menu, which consists of 6 or 9 dishes – and frequent changes are introduced here as well, based on the seasonality of the produce.