Bottiglieria 1881 and its boss Przemek Klima made the news in 2020 when they received a Michelin star as the first restaurant in Krakow. In June this year, they found themselves in the media headlines again as the most successful restaurant in Poland with two Michelin stars.

Who is the winner of the most prestigious culinary distinction? In his kitchen, Przemek Klima focuses on localness, authenticity and traditional  Polish products. His dishes surprise with original combinations and refined simplicity.

Klima rarely agrees to be interviewed on camera but made an exception for the PLAY KUCHNIA team. In a wide-ranging conversation, he talks about the philosophy that guides his work, the distinctiveness of Polish cuisine and about Krakow he returned to after many years.

‘I am very happy that we are creating this story in my Krakow, which is so erratic when it comes to gastronomy. And it is also undiscovered. ‘When I came here 3-4 years ago, I said that this is a Wild West of sorts – we have excellent mountains, beautiful facilities close to the mountains, forests, river, we have a top-class product.’

According to Klima, cuisine starts in the field and the chef’s task is to show off forgotten products in a way that makes them least processed, the way they are in the natural environment: ‘One has to catch the product, extract it and issue it on a plate in the truest form possible. Because eating connects people and shows truthfulness.

The first star was a surprise for Przemek Klima and his team.

‘There were emotions, laughing, craziness… Incredible, nobody expected it, nobody was thinking about us in these terms, this was quite an event. It is really nice to be first but it was not my goal. I just wanted to be a good chef, manage an excellent team and have fun with how I work, what I do and how I become fulfilled. The award was not about luck, it resulted from the hard work of my team and mine. Each person from the kitchen, the hall, to the dishwasher and to the supplier is very important. Without this team, I am just a chef. Together we comprise a great collective, a team that can win great stars…

The interview will be available from the PLAY KRAKÓW city platform ( starting at noon on Friday, 30 June. Przemek Klima talks to Bartosz Wilczyński, a culinary journalist, podcaster, the author of the first wine and cuisine podcast in Poland entitled Radio Kulinarne.

The PLAY KUCHNIA series is about people and places creating the culinary panorama of Krakow.