Chef at Horváth
Michelin Starred Chef
I do not like to learn and teach. Or if to be precise, I do not like being taught. More precisely, I cannot stand stereotyped program that aim at punishment, humiliation and imposing a single correct opinion instead of growing students’ zeal, interest and encouragement. It was like that at my school. And you know what? I quitted the school at 13 years old with a decision to abandon accepted stereotypes. So, thank you, my school years! My current success is due to that experience.
My name is Sebastian Frank, I’m the worst student, a chef and an owner of Horváth restaurant.
I was growing up a very obedient and independent boy. It was not possible otherwise, as I was the youngest of three sons in our family. My mother was always at work. As soon as one finished, she ran to the other that we had food and clothing. Mom brought us not only responsible for our actions, but also for each other. While being very young, I warmed the cooked food and served it to other family members. Over time, I began to cook myself, often experimented, thus I became more and more convinced in my professional future – to become a chef.
It was an easy decision to leave the school. I would even say I did it with joy. Mom, of course, was not excited about that. But I must pay tribute to her wisdom. She always dreamed that I would receive a higher education, will take pride of position and become a respectable gentleman. Yet she took calmly my impulse to go to the culinary school.
I was so serious about my decision that immediately went to the nearest hotel, where I asked to work at the kitchen. It was during the Easter holidays, after that I did not return to the school. All that I had to do was dish washing and, in rare cases, cleaning the vegetables. Still I was happy to do something on my own, it brought a sense of self-importance and usefulness. And what was most importantly – I was happy that I finally realized my further life direction.
Could I imagine how unbearably difficult and sometimes monotonously boring will be my first academic year at the culinary school? Of course not. Did I regret about the chosen path? Of course not. Loud and bright, tedious and very quickly my three years of study passed. It is difficult to formulate in a couple of sentences that in addition to the cooking skills, I became an adult, learnt to work in team, to predict the result and accept defeat. I both studied at the school and continued working in the hotel kitchen.
This work is very different from the everyday cooking routine in restaurants and cafes shown in movies. A hotel is a kind of a beehive that never sleeps. Every hour there is something you need to do and everything should be done quickly and smoothly, otherwise there would be a problem. So I worked like that for a few years, when I realized how tired I became and felt ready to work in a small team under the patronage of the master. And what do you think? I joined such team. However, my expectations were not justified.
I worked in a small team under the direction of one person, whose opinion, to put it mildly, was not discussed. But I learned to carry out the tasks, be creative within set limits and not to be afraid of difficulties.
With this kind of background, we together with my wife came to the idea of our own restaurant. At first, I was invited to Horváth as a chef, and after a couple of years, we bought the ownership rights. There was lots of interesting and unexpected things, there were periods of devastation and incredible moments of inspiration. But for me this is the life. It must boil as rich broth!
How not to sink in all this? I do not know. I have a wonderful support – my family. They are my main incentives, motivators and support. I love spending time with the kids, we have two of them. I appreciate a lot our personal time with the wife and really enjoy the family get-together evenings at home. I may sounds as an old man, so be it! It’s my emotion, and my magic of a happy life and great food.
Yes, it is true! In my restaurant we treat our guests with dishes of bright Austrian notes. However, it is not just a national food, I would call our dishes folk, original and authentic. We have deliberately refused to use imported products, uncharacteristic for Austria. Moreover, even in cooking techniques, we prefer our grandmothers’ methods, the time-tested and historically tasty.
Of course, it is hard to imagine how I relax. But I do. Most of all I enjoy a round of golf. Only in solitude. Or fishing. Yes, once again alone. Sometimes, I need to be alone, to arrange thoughts in order to analyze something and enjoy the peace in the end. If you want to succeed, you should learn how to relax!
For the project I have cooked three dishes, which, in my opinion, reflect the rich palette of Austrian cuisine and culture in general, as well as the philosophy of Horvath restaurant: new flavors of simple products. So these dishes are: Zucchini cooked in the poultry fat with fried vegetables, then deep-fried celery with the sauce made of duck liver, dill and cucumber jelly and Serbian paprika mousse with fried onions and crash of sauerkraut and white grapes.
Adress: Restaurant Horvath, Paul-Lincke-Ufer 44a, 10999 Berlin
Facebook: Restaurant Horvath