Economics in Poland to Cooking in Edinburgh
Chef Tomasz Goljat is every bit the dark horse, with a degree in Economics, success in publishing while still at school(!) and an in-depth knowledge of herbal medicines.
Coming to Scotland in 2009, Tomasz wanted to earn some money in the Italian restaurant at Aviemore where his brother is Head Chef, before going back to University in Gdańsk a year later. He started as a kitchen porter but came back every summer and gradually built up his skills, moving on to plate desserts and finally work Front of House before leaving the mountains in 2013.
That was not before a lot of exploring around the great outdoors of Cairngorms National Park on days off, as well as meeting his future wife in town too. Moving to Edinburgh for a wider range of opportunities and activities, Tomasz went back into the kitchen, first in an Indian restaurant and then a French bistro as Chef de Partie, overseeing starters, sides and desserts.
Presentation, presentation and … taste!
Then came Aizle, the famous Scottish bistro ranked 3rd of all the restaurants in Edinburgh on TripAdvisor! Here Tomasz spent more than two years building on his experience and in particular learning how to plate food very nicely indeed. The reviews for Aizle say it all, with one recently saying “Presentation of the dishes is the best I’ve ever came across; absolutely stunning!”
Ready to try something new, Tomasz joined us here last September and is often in full charge of the kitchen, ensuring the food served is not only up to Head Chef Sam’s high standards in quality and taste, but also in presentation!
Right now he is also perfecting some of his own dishes ready to be tested for the menu, presenting an idea for each dish, cooking it, plating it and serving it to the office team. Keep a look out for new Eastern European dishes … if something sounds Polish, Russian or Lithuanian, it’s almost certainly Tomasz’s recipe.
Herbs, publishing, web design …
So what happened to the economics and herbal medicine? Tomasz’s parents both work for large pharmaceutical firms in Poland and have always been far from enthusiastic about the use of artificial drugs. As a result, Tomasz enjoyed a childhood free from antibiotics … and he also developed a keen interest in the healing qualities of herbs.
Amazingly he started to publish and edit his own online magazine covering herbal remedies while at school, writing the articles himself, selling advertising space and even getting a few of his pieces published in newspapers across the border into Germany!
Before he finished high school Tomasz landed a job as PR manager for a big chain of shops selling herbal medicines. He managed an online message board for them, liaised with media and wrote more articles. In between all that he also did some programming and web design: he is truly a man of many talents.
Finally choosing between a career in economics or the kitchen, Tomasz had no trouble choosing food over spreadsheets!
Out on the Trail
Outside of work he loves nature and as a child was lucky to have spent two and a half months each summer with his grandparents in the forest of Bory Tucholskie. This woodland covers a huge 3000 sq km, and provided a wonderful environment for Tomasz to forage regularly for berries and mushrooms. He also spent many happy days there building the family house with his Dad.
He is still out enjoying nature whenever he has the opportunity and travelling extensively in Europe too, so keep an eye out for him if you enjoy your hiking!