Polish-Jamaican Chef Duo
Mateusz A Zurek & Jahmarley Grant
At first it may sound like we tried to open the most bizarre cuisine combination restaurant in the world. In fact - we did, but just for the sake of being bizarre. We have a strong belief that cooking is about being honest to yourself, your memories, and your heritage. Our menus aim to shine new light on our culinary heritage past and create new future. One based on collaboration and equality.
Polish and Jamaican... How did we meet?
We met in Poland in 2018. At the time both finished with the classic restaurant setup and sure that we would not return to the kitchen anytime soon. The long working hours, big teams, and high volume business plans resulted in being completely burnt out and decide to leave the professional kitchen.
Together we decided to focus on culinary consulting and training restaurant teams. Very soon we realized how much we missed the pleasure of cooking for guests. There was a large difference between training professionals and serving your food simply to be eaten. We were sure that we needed a change and that we would like to serve guests, but this time on our terms.
In the latter part of 2018 we have started our dining club dedicated to sustainability and being a more responsible meat-eater. The dinners were served in unusual locations and sometimes in different cities. Serving a tasting menu gave us the possibility to design dinner as a holistic experience.
The popularity of our dining club showed us that we should continue in this direction. At that moment we knew we should open a permanent dining room. That’s when we created our “anti-restaurant” project. A place where our guests always experience hosted by the chefs. A concept where discarded our least favourite parts of running a restaurant and all that remained are those that we love. This is how BYWA Tasting Room came to be.
Overcoming many challenges we opened in the first half of 2020 in Wrocław (Breslau), Poland. A place dedicated to serving the tasting menu and natural wines. We called it a Tasting Room, to put emphasis on the most important part of our work: the taste. We believe that all cooking techniques, beautiful ceramics, and presentation don’t matter if there is no taste. Our unique taste is the reason why we love to share our food with other people.
At the beginning of 2021 we decided to make yet another big change and moved to Portugal. We reopened our ‘anti-restaurant’ concept in Lisbon, with hopes to grow our culinary dreams.
“Bywa” is a Polish word which means “it happens”. Now it happens in Lisbon.