Karol Okrasa is the head chef at the restaurant Platter in Warsaw and one of the most talented and recognisable Polish chefs. He was born in 1978.
He has been a television host in various culinary programmes for more than a decade. Viewers appreciate him for unveiling culinary secrets in such shows as Kuchnia z Okrasą (Cooking with Okrasa), Okrasa łamie przepisy (Okrasa Breaks Recipes), and Smak czasu z Karolem Okrasą (Taste of Time with Karol Okrasa). Each episode brings culinary inspirations to millions of Poles and has an educational value, familiarising the average viewer with the history of Polish cuisine. Okrasa is keen on looking for and using old and often forgotten recipes. He is fascinated with regional Polish products of highest quality which he promotes in his programmes.
Okrasa is a graduate of the Faculty of Human Nutrition and Consumer Sciences at the Warsaw University of Life Sciences – SGGW. He gained his first professional experience at Jan III Sobieski Hotel (now Radisson Blu Sobieski) and later at the renowned Bristol Hotel, where he worked for eleven years, becoming the head chef after a few. He owes his success to hard work and consistency. As he recalls, it was a time of extremely exhausting work – to make it on time for work at the restaurant, he had to get up at 3 in the morning.
In 2005 he was a laureate of the prestigious ‘Culinary Oscar’ in the Culinary Personality category. A few years later, in 2008, he received the Chef de L'Avenir award given by the International Academy of Gastronomy to the most talented young chefs. In 2011 he was awarded the Bene Merito Honorary Badge for the promotion of Polish culture in Poland and abroad. He was also the host of Podróże kulinarne z Karolem Okrasą (Culinary Journeys with Karol Okrasa), a series of culinary workshops organised for the spouses of ambassadors accredited in Poland. The aim of the programme was to promote Polish cuisine and culinary customs.
After years of working at Bristol Hotel he decided it was time for a change. For the past few years he has been working at the Intercontinental Warsaw as the head chef of the restaurant Platter. Gault & Millau inspectors have given the restaurant two chef hats. The main accent is placed on sophisticated Polish cuisine, which, in Okrasa’s hands, is fresh, healthy, and enriched with international elements. In surprising dishes, he joins traditional ingredients with modern techniques of preparing food.
Author: Magdalena Kasprzyk – Chevriaux, November 2016, translated by AW, November 2016.