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23.04.2019

Volodymyr Potapenko, the chef of 11 Mirrors Rooftop Restaurant

EXPERIENCE

Volodymyr, tell us about your origins – at what age did you realize that you want to become a chef and why?

It happened at an age too young to have any mature thoughts of a future career, however, I was definitely already leaning in that direction. When I claimed to have a desire to pursue cooking no one really took me seriously – assumed it was a childhood fantasy.


Do you have role models among international or Ukrainian chefs that inspire you?

Of course, it is quite engaging to follow the career of someone, who has achieved remarkable heights – observe their techniques and methods.

However, I believe that it is much more challenging and, therefore, more interesting to maintain your own style. Acquire a personal arsenal of skills across your professional experience and refine it to a reasonable perfection.


What was your first professional experience?

I was 14 when I got my first job as a cook. It was a small restaurant not far from my house, where I would go after school and work for 3-4 hours.

It was the beginning of my growth as a cook and formation of my kitchen discipline. The restaurant was a place where I learned basic processes, techniques and got accustomed to products. It was undeniably tough, but everything requires patience and will.

After a year of diligent work, I got accepted to college and sent to a restaurant “Lipinskiy Osobnya” for practice (at the time it was a relatively famous establishment). When I entered the room of this enormous kitchen my eyes nearly popped out. I couldn’t imagine how a chef could manage such a “machine”. That was the moment I realized – I have to become a chef!


Was there a singular turning point in your career or were you progressing gradually?

Generally, it was a step by step progression. There was a moment when I thought I would never enter a kitchen again. That was when I worked as a sous-chef. Then, I gathered my thoughts, picked myself up and submitted myself as a chef.

That has been both a breaking and a turning point of my career.

TEAM


What’s the atmosphere like in your team?

A concentrated work environment, nothing more, nothing less.


At 11 Mirrors the kitchen and the bar are equally represented. What is the current relationship between the teams?

We are in a world class hotel and must adhere to its standards, both in its cocktail culture and when it comes to the food. We are doing everything we can to ensure that the F&B elements are well balanced.

Now we are collaborating with the bar team to create a menu of fingerfood that will go along the cocktails.


What are your goals for the upcoming season?

The restaurant is rather young; it is quite hard to demand something at this point. The main goal is to provide our guests with an exceptional product, a gastronomic orgasm, that will be worthy of their time.


TASTE


What is your favorite dish to cook?

I absolutely love working with meat and fish. It doesn’t matter whether its going to be an aperitive or a main dish. What’s important is its taste and which emotion it’s going to evoke in a guest.


Which cuisine interests you the most and why?

I like Basque cuisine because it unites Spanish and French cuisines. It is also known for using contemporary techniques and texture during the cooking process.

I also like Patagonia cuisine (region in Argentina) for their ancient cooking method in a pit, covered with a cloth, dirt and coals. In addition, they bake dishes while covering them in clay.


Could you describe the cuisine at 11 Mirrors Rooftop Restaurant in a few words?

A cuisine that encompasses an assortment of dishes from various countries around the globe and won’t leave anyone indifferent. The restaurant also offers a few classics of Ukrainian cuisine served in a contemporary fashion. Look forward to seeing you at 11 Mirrors Rooftop Restaurant!