Who is Mister Kuhmistr?
Our guests are greeted at the entrance by the real Kuhmistr! The German word Kuchenmeister means “master of kitchen”. It was used in the times of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth to denote chefs. These chefs, commanding the royal and princely kitchens, were initially invited from Italy and France. But gradually they were replaced by their local colleagues. We believe that our cooks strictly follow the testament of Stanislaw Czerniecki. This famous chef of the XVII century demanded that the model cook should always be:
“accurate, sober, diligent, faithful, always loyal and polite to his master, and fast”.
Our Kuhmistr, dressed according to the fashion of the turn of the XVIII–XIX centuries, represents the collective image of the famous Polish/Lithuanian masters of kitchen. But, above all – that of the famous Paul Tremo. Or “the top Europe’s chef” as he was frequently called. He doesn’t mind against your selfies with him, by the way 🙂
In praise of Paul Tremo…
Paul Tremo was born in Berlin in 1734. In 1762, he was recruited as a court chef to Stanisław Poniatowski. Who was elected and crowned king of Poland two years later. As the king’s favourite cook, he was responsible for the culinary side of royal banquets. Including famous Thursday Dinners to which the last king invited the leading intellectuals of the time. He followed the king to Grodno and Saint Petersburg after the latter’s abdication in 1795. But returned to Warsaw after his death in 1798.
His cooking style combined Polish/Lithuanian, French, German and other west European influences. Following contemporary French models, Tremo drastically reduced the density and caloric value of the food. And reduced the enormous amount of spices that were traditionally put into the “Sarmatian” dishes. He introduced into the menu dishes of minced meat and soups. Both were almost absent at the noble tables until his notable reforms.
… and Tremo’s followers
Paul Tremo also helped to raise and educate the next generation of Polish/Lithuanian chefs, many of whom worked with him as apprentices. One of them was Jan Szyttler, who went on to become a prolific food writer. Szyttler is best known as an author of the first printed cookbooks published in Lithuania and Belarus. These cookbooks pioneered for their time on the whole territory of the former Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and the Russian Empire. Famous classic books of the mid-XIX century, Lithuanian Cook and Lithuanian Housewife, were based largely on Szyttler’s writings.