25.10.2016

PURO Q & A: Weronika Lewandowska

People and spaces create the essence of a city. Architecture, unusual places and objects, strange nooks, well-known paths, emotions, and memories. In PURO Q&A we ask inspiring artists, designers, and creators of the contemporary urban world about their ways of creating and experiencing cities.

She is the one who can fish out the most tempting tastes out of the urban maze. In her work, she connects the sensitivity of her taste buds, the power of intuition, and the reliability of marketing knowledge. Meet Weronika Lewandowska*, the artistic director of Restaurant Week**, the largest restaurant-related festival in the country. Its next edition is right around the corner, waiting to provide food lovers in 11 Polish cities with an exceptional experience.

 

I experience a city…

Through walks. Regardless of the time of day or the weather I do my best to walk through a city as much as possible. I avoid cars and public transportation. I try not to take the main streets. When I pass by an open gate to a tenement house I always go inside to see the courtyard, peek into the nooks and look for shortcuts to save time while walking from one place to another. Thanks to my stubborn insistence to go to places I perhaps should not go to I have managed to visit some truly interesting spots concealed from the eyes of the passers-by.

 

When I want to meet people…

I walk towards Savior Square where I can always find some familiar faces.

 

When I want to relax…

I go to the National Museum and visit the gallery of the 19th cent. art. On my way back, I walk along the river bank. I am lucky enough to have such places as Elizeum on my way – they always resonate with a kind of unique energy.

 

 

I go for walks…

As often as possible!

 

I discover…

My greatest urban discovery is how much is still waiting to be discovered. Exploring the city is like a never-ending search for secrets in a computer game – new ones pop up all the time.

 

I find treasures…

Everywhere I go. Everything may be seen as an urban treasure – shiny red chestnuts, sun reflections in the windows of old houses or a conversation with a shop assistant crowned with an exchange of smiles.

 

 

I taste…

I love Warsaw’s restaurant scene. To be able to work for it is a real honor. Recently, the restaurants in the capital went through a revival period and now they can boast a truly high standard and diversity. I have 3 favorite spots: Solec 44, Przegryź and Lokal Vegan Bistro. They have one thing in common – honesty. To me, this is the key determinant of a good cuisine.

 

Things I always have on me…

A charged cell phone. Working on Restaurant Week requires constant availability and contact with Guests. It’s a day-long work that has totally merged with my life.

 

A must-have item in my suitcase…

I can’t pack. I do it chaotically and often forget about the most important things, but there are two things I always remember about – pyjamas and a notebook.

 

 

 

*Weronika Lewandowska – artistic director of Restaurant Week – the festival of the best restaurants – co-responsible for the promotion of the event. In the past she worked as a restaurant marketing specialist, journalist, and a trend researcher. In her free time, she indulges in admiring art.

 

**About the upcoming edition of RESTAURANT WEEK:

The upcoming edition of the Festival for the best Restaurants will take place from October 21-30, with 300 restaurants from eleven Polish cities taking part in it. Guests may book a three-course experience (starter, main course, dessert) via www.restaurantweek.pl. This edition’s leading theme is “Sociability is health!” – according to the latest research, sociable people who meet regularly, be it to eat something or gossip, have a greater chance of living a longer life than those who have given up smoking, lost weight or exercised regularly.

 

Future plans:

On November 15 there will be a premiere of the first book published by Restaurant Week – “Najlepsze PRZEPISY najlepszych RESTAURACJI” [The best recipes from the best restaurants]. The book – a unique invitation to the so-far-unreachable world – discloses in front of the reader’s eyes the culinary mysteries of the finest Polish Restaurants and takes the reader behind the Kitchen door – a place usually unattainable to the public. On the pages of this exceptional book, Chefs share the yet unpublished recipes for their flagship dishes. Restaurateurs, on the other hand, unfold their stories and the secrets of hospitality that makes their Restaurants successful and famous. No need to wait long for the next national edition of the Festival – it will take place in spring!

 

photo: Igor Haloszka (portrait), Weronika Lewandowska's archive

 

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