Thanks to its geographical location, Czech gastronomy always quickly adopted influences from the surrounding cuisines and recreated them into original recipes. Its development, however, was halted for several decades by the communist regime. In the period of nationalization and assigning restaurants into five “price groups,” all creativity of chefs and restaurateurs disappeared. The reversal that occurred after the revolution in 1989 was rapid and spontaneous. The society was hungry for all that was new, and the influence of world cuisine began to flow across borders again besides new capital. The pace of development of the Czech gastronomy accelerated even more after the year 2000.
It is not only about selling dishes to fill stomachs anymore; people now really desire to “experience” food. The Czech cuisine is getting its lost confidence and identity back, and new techniques and experiments appear. Forgotten techniques or old recipes of our ancestors are getting to the spotlight. Quality gastronomy has its value and it is becoming an integral part of life.
New stylish venues with original atmosphere, where restaurateurs and chefs come up with fresh thinking and ideas – both in cooking, and in design and architecture – have been growing on a renewed foundation of the Czech culinary art. Some businesses rely on sentiment and old-fashioned charm of the last century, others prefer a cosmopolitan boom spiced with Prague’s unique genius loci. Creative chefs along with designers complete the uniqueness of the environment, which is still looking for its identity a bit but is definitely not losing its face.
The current shape of the Czech gastronomy design is demonstrated by the creations of applied arts and photographs of restaurants selected by the Olgoj Chorchoj Design Studio. All represent different aspects of the Czech cuisine modestly but confidently. They show what is happening on the tables of Prague restaurants and how the designers help to create their typical atmosphere.
You can see Czech glass, china, kitchenware, and lighting here. For example, the glass chandelier called Consommé by the Olgoj Chorchoj Studio in the Michelin-star restaurant La Degustation Bohême Bourgeois, inspired by animal bones that are left in broth. It thus combines the symbolism of European cuisine with the exceptional skill and tradition of Czech glassmakers. The exhibition also presents a kitchen set called Jumbo by Daniel González or porcelain by the Křehký Studio, the so called “Poor cookware set” illustrated by Michal Bačák, or “Nudibranch” jars by Yveta Kroupová. Applied design is accompanied by photographs of Prague restaurants – for example, restaurant and bakery “Eska,” wine bar “Bokovka,” and butcher's “Naše Maso,” illustrating the vivid picture of the contemporary gastronomic scene and its trends.
The exhibition was prepared by the Olgoj Chorchoj Studio with the contribution of the Ambiente Group – Prague network of restaurants, shops, and cafés. The graphics were created by the Najbrt Studio.