You have been cooking for many years, you have visible successes behind you. But what do you think is the hardest thing about being a chef?
“The hardest? I don’t see anything difficult there. But probably if you come at eight in the morning and come home at eleven or twelve at night. So I guess the standing work.’
Can you tell me what your favorite food is?
“There are so many of them! Every day when you wake up, you want something different. But I think it’s probably a steak. Sunday is from the word schnitzel.” (laughs)
What is key for you when choosing the winner of the MasterChef competition? Often those who triumph arouse quite a lot of emotions among the spectators…
“The most important thing is how well he can cook. And also how he cooks that particular day, because things don’t always go well. So it’s also very much about the moment and how the contestants focus on that particular dish.”
You’ve been judging for a few years now, do you still enjoy it?
“Well of course it is! Otherwise I wouldn’t be doing it!”
How do you handle criticism? Even if you are decorated with prizes, you probably can’t avoid it, right?
“Criticism is a healthy thing, especially when it’s constructive criticism. Then I’ll gladly accept it and think about it. Well, if it’s bullshit, I’ll throw it under the table.’
The “renegades” came to MasterChef again.
You run a successful U Matěje restaurant, are you planning to open another one?
“No, I’m not planning anything! I plan to keep what is here and now, the aforementioned restaurant U Matěje, because we are full and I wish it to continue to be so. I like to walk through a restaurant and see nothing but empty plates on the tables.”
Some time ago you lost an incredible 26 kilos. Are you managing to maintain your weight?
“It goes up and down. Of course, it is about the fact that one must have an extremely developed strong will. And I have an extremely weak will.” (laughs)
So now you have answered my question. Since you say you have a weak will, do you manage to work on it somehow?
“On that weak will? No, I do not want to. I like it.” (laughs)
How time went with the MasterChef competition. What happened to the winners of previous years?
HOW THE INTERVIEW ARISED
With chef Jan Punčochář we met in his restaurant U Matěje, at the launch of the new project extrakurzy.cz, of which he is the main face. The conversation was carried on in a great bustle, but in a pleasant spirit. Jan was very pleasant, with a smile on his face and it was evident that he literally lives by cooking. I also had the opportunity to taste something from him and I have to admit that it was really worth it!
You can find the entire interview in the printed form of the newspaper Aha! (5/11/2022)