Head chef at Michelin-starred Field, Radek Kašpárek is fanatical about the quality of the ingredients he uses and their provenance. Opting for produce that’s sourced mostly from his native Czech Republic, Kašpárek creates simple dishes that are not only wholly delicious but thought-provoking as well. Here, he talks to us about traditional Czech cuisine and its emergence into modern gastronomy.
What were your first experiences of Czech cuisine growing up?
My childhood memories go back to my Mother and Grandmother´s cuisine, plus my Grandfather was a butcher, so I guess the link to food and cooking is in my genes.
How did you come up with the concept for Field?
I wanted to create something special, which wasn’t in the Czech Republic. I wanted to create “nature on a plate”, with fresh and local ingredients from farmers with a touch of inspiration from Scandanavian cuisine.
Besides Field, what other restaurants in Prague do you always recommend to friends that are visiting the city?
La Degustation Bohême Bourgeoise for Michelin starred fine dining, Maso a kobliha, which is Prague’s answer to a locally sourced gastropub, and Lokál for authentic Czech beer and hearty fare. The entire “Lokál” network is ideal for foreigners who want to get to know Czech cuisine.
What ingredients do you most enjoy cooking with at the moment?
I’m currently really enjoying experimenting with chives and lovage. Also fish and marrow combined together create an interesting combination.
Who are the chefs that most inspire you?
Probably Danish chef Esben Holmboe Bang of Maaemo in Oslo and the pioneering and thought provoking attitude of Scandinavian cooking in general.
If you had to pick one dish from the Field menu that you are most proud of, what would it be?
I’m proud of all the dishes, but I guess it would be our signature dish, goose livers. It’s served with berries, peanut and tonka bean.
What are the local delicacies that you believe visitors must try whilst in Prague?
As Czech people, we take great pride in our cuisine and are delighted for visitors to try as much of it as possible. I would recommend trying a traditional dish of roast pork, goose or duck with steamed Czech dumplings and sauerkraut or cabbage as well as one of our rich fricasseed soups. Guests must also try some pickled camembert and pickled sausages (small sausages with onion in a sweet and sour pickle), which are the ‘evergreens’ of Czech cuisine.