Lidovky.cz: You often mention that oil is like ketchup. Can you explain?
This is just a marketing shorthand to give people a quick idea of what you can do with crispy chili oil. At the same time, I am the friend of the metaphor, which generates fun and energy. In addition, Ketchup 3000 which is full of imagery also reflects my business vision. Place your condiments on each table alongside ketchup, mustard or ketchup. You just use my seasoning for everything.
Lidovky.cz: What do you think is interesting about oil as a flavoring agent?
Several things. First of all – it represents a balance between subtle heat and additional layers of flavour. My chili oil is also for people who don’t like heat. Flavored oils are complex flavor profiles. Thanks to the double hot infusion, a lot of aromatic and taste elements go into the product, and thanks to this, chili oil will start to please you. It is also a medium oil in itself. Even small doses are able to seep into food with a spectrum of aroma and taste. By the fact that you can “adjust” the heat to your liking. It depends on you whether you take a teaspoon or three. Equally important, there are also many crunchy particles contained in a glass of oil. That’s complete.
Lidovky.cz: The first time you make a flavoring out of plain oil it’s so good it gets dusty after the first batch. So how did you get the idea to open your own bistro?
This is an origin bistro and is a by-product of all my endeavors. I want a small house, a place where I can feel calm. Some business plans are created to take advantage of space outside of production. The bistro turned out to be a winning choice. I realized that working with my hands, creating real objects, and repetitive activities like putting noodles in a pan give me deep joy and a sense of being alive in the moment. That’s great value. That’s how it started. And I have to tell you that the chapter of the amazing flavor adventure that comes with it is incredibly exciting and fun.
Lidovky.cz: How much of your “oil” do you offer today?
Its product portfolio is still relatively small. We have original crispy chili oil and shallot & garlic variant. Just before Christmas, I completed the development of a new wonton sauce, which became the sibling of the original wonton sauce. It has a very different dynamic of taste experience and people love it, which makes me very happy. The third jar product is Ou,mami Spice Mix – a loose spice mix with a subtle flavor profile and a hint of heat. There is also a Habanero infusion on offer, which adds a decent kick to its aromatic profile. And then we have the pure infusion of Szechuan pepper, which gives it a citrusy, electrifying, mouth-numbing effect. At work, we call it “disco in the mouth.” Interesting news and collaborations are also being developed.
Lidovky.cz: How should one use your “crispy flavouring”?
I hope people come up with their own plans and creations, but I’m more than happy to provide instructions. Crispy chili oil and wonton sauce is a premium flavoring, use more of it in ready meals or in last minute cooking. I’ll pick a few favorite combinations. With morning eggs, with rice, combined with mayonnaise, with pumpkin soup, with sauerkraut, but of course there are many more variations. Imagination is the only limit.
Lidovky.cz: At the bistro, you make handmade wide noodles, gyoza dumplings and belly with rice. When did you learn to cook?
I’m always learning how to cook. I started my college days cooking soy cubes with frozen vegetables and gradually explored global inspiration. I like to get inspired on Youtube, which for me is like an academy of technological procedures, the discovery of new raw materials and the possibilities of their use. This was later converted into more or less successful procedures and prescriptions. I recently found out that I’ve been honing my abs for almost ten years. It develops organically. An important factor in this is discovering and experiencing new things.
Lidovky.cz: How do Czechs like gyoza dumplings?
Considering we are a nation of dumplings, I’d say a lot. But I dare not generalize completely. When I refer the question to my production, I think people are very satisfied. We devote a lot of time to our dumplings. At the level of the dough we pay attention to the pleasant elasticity, in the way of preparation we give it a soft taste on the top and a crunchy bottom. That’s the best combination for me. We make the filling rich and juicy. I dreamed about it and found a way to offer it to people. Our gyoza are extra large and handmade. They are cats.
Lidovky.cz: Which dishes from your menu would you recommend and why?
A taste for sure, but seriously now. To be honest, it’s hard. Each dish on the menu has its own menu. I would recommend dumplings for their juicy filling, people praise our handmade noodles and say they are unique. They are thick, but very pleasant in the mouth. Abs is probably our bestseller. This is a meal I started at a street food event. Finely sliced, tender, aggressively marinated roast belly, with chili mayo, salad and rice. Even though it may not seem like it, it is a fitness food. And it reflects the proven “good with good” strategy.
Lidovky.cz: You took part in the MasterChef event, was it a milestone for you, did it move you?
It was truly an experience. Seeing and experiencing a TV production is simply amazing. I also put up a really good food plating competition there, though it didn’t work out. I dropped out at first, more or less messed things up and got knocked out like a toy. At that time, I left the pulpit with the idea that I would devote myself one hundred percent to the adventure called oil. Being MasterChef isn’t exactly an achievement, it’s just that he probably got the most likes of his life with this Facebook status.
Lidovky.cz: You have a bistro, you also have your own brand. Anyone know what to do next?
I have many ideas. If I take the concrete, I want my products to reach more people in the Czech Republic and Central Europe. I also want to strengthen his presentation. I view all my entrepreneurial activities holistically, for me that is life. And more and more I started to trust my intuition and things just happened. A lot has happened in the last six months. I really didn’t expect so much energy, new contacts, experiences and opportunities. There will be a new branch in Letná, hopefully we can finally complete the illustration of the new brand. There are so many, I don’t know all of them myself.
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