What’s the new Romanian fine cuisine all about: reinterpreted or reinvented?
Focusing on simple ingredients, techniques, seasonal menu courses, special ambiance and an authentic service, the contemporary Romanian cuisine found a new home in the heart of Bucharest, being more attractive to both Romanian and foreign food lovers. But what is the culture of New Romanian Cuisine all about, and how are owners and Chefs making it memorable?
Romania has always had amazing ingredients due to its natural setting and Romanian chefs are starting to focus more on them. But what has developed less in time has been its cuisine and the country’s ability to manufacture added-value products. Yet, with a wave of new Chefs and restaurant owners willing to bet on unexpected combinations, this is beginning to change.
Sourcing ingredients such as radish, carrot, beetroot, celeriac, chicken, perch from producers that restaurant chefs or owners know personally is one of the basic layers of Romanian contemporary cuisine.
The mix between creative and innovative techniques that bring surprising tastes in unique recipes is the second layer of the story. Then comes the context one – how dishes are presented and how the entire experience matches the food quality. Food is a form of creative expression and a form of instant gratification that is very easy to reach.
“Our main approach is fundamentally about simple ingredients that are presented in an original context. Our belief is that once cuisine is taken to a certain level, it provides a great tool for reflecting on some of our biggest challenges,” says Catalin Bejenariu, chef at Kané Restaurant.
It’s not just about the food. It’s about eating locally and about how essential farmers are for this ecosystem. It’s also about how Chefs and service staff are playing an essential role in making a place like Bucharest much more livable and about the importance of architectural heritage.
“Food tastes better if the entire experience matches the quality of the food you are served: the smell that is surrounding you, the quality of the music, the plates, the quality of the service,” says Razvan Crisan, Co-owner Kané Group. He believes more in shaping what they believe Romanian cuisine should look like from now on, rather than reinventing anything taken from the past.
Young Romanian chefs want to create a future for a cuisine that has not been allowed to expand and to be fully explored. A Romanian cuisine that has been historically influenced by the culinary heritage of other countries in the region, such as Turkey, Austria or Hungary.
So how does one make people interested in the New Romanian Cuisine? “The mindset we are trying to awake in our guests’ minds is: I am curious to see what it’s all about. From the team’s creativity to the story and the concept. We hope Romanians will bring their foreign friends to discover what a contemporary-visionary Romanian team has to offer in terms of atmosphere and cuisine,” says Razvan Crisan, Co-owner Kané Group.
The story of the place tends to mix with the food story – on top of menus that change with the seasons and culinary innovation, the New Romanian Cuisine bets on bringing back to life architecture gems that also combine elements of Romanian tradition in a contemporary way. Guests are given tours of the place - a renovated 1910 Bucharest historic house that combines shades of black, ultramarine blue huge painting, patterns of stone and many more, hoping to create a memorable experience that pushes Romanian cuisine up the list of preferences.