With the spirit of cupid in the air, the Insider speaks to Agnieszka Amaro, wife of chef Wojciech Modest Amaro, and the brain behind their award winning restaurant Atelier…
How did you two get together?
I went to dinner with a friend from Corsica and Modest was working in the restaurant as chef. My friend owns a Michelin restaurant, so I always say Modest and I have had stars with us from the beginning! It was love at first sight – I was so smitten with him I don’t even remember the food.
How did your first date go…
The next day he left Warsaw for a week but we were calling each other the whole time. We decided on the phone to spend the rest of our lives together! Within five days I went to visit him and we’ve been together ever since!
How did Wojciech propose?
With perfect timing! I wanted to tell him I was pregnant but he proposed before I was able to do so. He calls me ‘my little flower’, so the ring was flower shaped.
What’s the way to a woman’s heart, and is there a gift that stands out as particularly romantic?
The only way to a woman’s heart is through true love. As for the most romantic gift – well, Modest played me an Ive Mendes song: “look at the stars, look how they shine for you.” Next he gave me a certificate for a real star and said, “you’re my only star!”
You’re both lead high pressure lives. How do you make the relationship work?
We’re lucky to have each other, and it’s great we work together. We also travel everywhere. Even if Modest is away, he’ll always try to come back to sleep at home – we just can’t live separately. We enjoy every moment, and that’s what inspired the name of our menu in Atelier: ‘Moments’.
Atelier won Poland’s first Michelin star last year – tell me more!
Wow, every time I think about that day I’m so happy – and even more so for Modest, for his hard work, passion and dreams. It was his fixation, and nobody except me believed it was possible. On the day we celebrated with the whole team, renting an English bus and driving around Warsaw screaming and laughing. It was the most amazing day of our lives. Of course, we’re waiting for the 2014 announcement, but we’re in the middle of so many other projects like the Forgotten Fields Festival. Modest made history, but that doesn’t mean he’s going to stop.
How is your cooking? And if you were to cook a romantic meal at home, what would you serve?
Over the past few years my knowledge and experience in relation to food has grown enormously. I’ve had the chance to eat in some of the best restaurants in the world, and also discover native cuisines in other countries. My palate has changed, and I’m now keen to try different things and draw inspiration from them in my own cooking. As a mother I cook frequently and my favorite influences are Asian. As for a romantic meal, I’d prepare a cod marinated in miso with banana leaves.
What’s Warsaw’s most romantic street?
I was born here, and I really love my city. There’s so many fantastic places, but nothing beats the street Atelier is on: ul. Agrykola. It’s surrounded with trees from the Royal Park, and shrouded with the kind of mists you see in Sherlock Holmes. It’s the only street with gas lanterns, and they’re lit each night by a lamplighter just like in 1856. The warm glow creates such a special, timeless atmosphere…