Slow Food Mover Slow Food Mover

No intro needed! Step foreword Aleksander Baron of Solec 44…

A former graffiti artist, amateur boxer and one-time student of the Academy of Fine Arts (until he was chucked out), Aleksander Baron carries all the baggage of a rebel chef. While the hellraising may have come to an end, his restaurant reflects the complex character of a man who doesn’t bend to form. Not that you’d really call Solec 44 a restaurant…

Diners cross off their order on a piece of paper, before queuing up to hand it in at a bar stocked with craft beer and weird jars. And in the background, there’s noise – the sound of people getting drunk, playing board games and larking around. It is the sound of people having fun.

To some, that Solec doesn’t adhere to Warsaw norms has a tendency to eclipse what happens in the kitchen. This is a mistake. A crusader for Polish slow food, Baron was one of the first to put regional produce on our tables. “Good food needs good ingredients,” he shrugs by way of explanation, “you can’t make something good out of something bad.” As mystifying as it sounds, it’s a point that evades quite a few.

“I believe there’s ‘energy’ in free range,” he continues, “I want to eat animals that have seen the sky, that have seen the grass.” Practicing this philosophy way before it came into fashion, this is a chef Warsaw should salute.

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