Project Description

Sergei Ponomariov

Chef at Prague Restaurant

Kyiv, Ukraine

Just today I’ve turned 36. You’ve got on my birthday.

I’ve been working in a restaurant business for 20 years. I dreamt of being a sailor and attended Young Sailor Club when I was a child. But I never studied, as I couldn’t find maritime college in Kiev.

My father advised me to study for a cook. I entered training school, and I liked it a lot. I was the best among the students of my year, and right after I passed my exams I started working at a young pioneer camp. I was only 15 then. Young pioneer camp is a very good place to learn. We had to do everything by ourselves: from separating carcasses to baking.

Then I achieved my dream to become a sailor and first worked as a cook at a barge, and later at a Dnepr cruising launch. Then I served in the army, where I continued cooking.

I entered university, the hotel and catering business faculty. Higher education when you have a huge work experience is much more effective than when you come young right after finishing school. You manage to understand the essence, which can be combined with your experience.

After graduating from the university I came to Odessa, where I was invited to become a chef in Steakhouse. From here my history as a chef begins. This was a very difficult period of my life, I wanted to change my profession, but at some point I understood that I liked being a chef, and then I decided to become one of the best in my business. I read a lot, communicated with other cooks, attended trainings. We didn’t use the Internet at that time and could get information only from books and rarely from newspaper articles.

From Odessa I went back to Kiev, worked there for a year, and then I was invited back to Odessa to “Kompot”.

I travel around Ukraine a lot. I’m invited as a consultant for organization of work process in the kitchen. Very often future restaurant-keepers build huge and posh restaurants, but pay no attention to the kitchen itself. Sometimes the things are so bad that it is impossible to fix them.

What I like about my job is that it is creative. The most difficult thing is to make common food tasty and nice. I don’t like to cook complicated dishes. Only minimalism and simple local products can make dish sparkle. Pasta in Italy and pasta in Ukraine are two completely different dishes.

I don’t cook, until I can’t see where I cook for. Food is cooked depending on the atmosphere. One won’t eat dishes of fine dining sitting on a wooden creaking country chair, and vice versa.

A cook must travel. Only then a cook can understand peculiarities of a national cuisine. Only after I went to Italy, I understood what olive oil is, how they cook there, and what the difference between ravioli, cooked in Italy, and ravioli cooked in Ukraine is.

In Ukraine people are not ready to pay only for food. In our country people pay for a set of things: interior, plates and fraget. In Europe, on the contrary, people understand that the dish was prepared by at least 10 persons, that’s why it costs a lot.

My favourite cuisine is Italian. I like pasta and meat. At home, I like homemade food.

My hobby is sailing. I also like to work with wood, to carve something. I like to read culinary books and to learn something new.

The dish in the picture is interesting, because it is like a construction kit. There are three separate components: tuna, tomato and avocado. You can combine the dish to your taste. You can make it more spicy or sourish rich. Or everything can be softened with avocado. That’s why you can enjoy this dish in every mood.

See all recipes from this chef

About Restaurant:

Sergei Ponomariov - Chef at Prague Restaurant_rest

Prague Restaurant

Blvd Akademika Glushkova, 1, Kiev
Tel: 044 526 99 90

The restaurant is located in the heart of parkland on the picturesque shore of the lake, where swim white, almost tame swans.

Rooms, full of light and immaculate kitchen, nice music and terrace directly on the lake, clear unobtrusive service and an overwhelming sense of comfort create the unique atmosphere of the unique restaurant Prague …

For its uniqueness we answer our good name and to prove it is the main and most pleasant mission for us.