Hotel Personal - Hotel Elizabeth Trenčín

Hotel Personal

Learn more about the team of the Hotel Elizabeth

We' decided that this year we will introduce you to the management of our hotel. We will progressively move through each position. Every month - one person, who works with us, because we work mainly for you in hotel services.

Lukáš Kováčik - chef of the Hotel Elizabeth

Lukáš Kováčik

Chef

Many of you know and regularly taste good food in our restaurant or café. But not all of you know who is behind this whole art in the hotel kitchen. It is our chef Lukáš Kováčik, whom we would like to introduce you this month. We dared ask him a few questions.

Many of you know and regularly taste good food in our restaurant or café. But not all of you know who is behind this whole art in the hotel kitchen. It is our chef Lukáš Kováčik, whom we would like to introduce you this month. We dared ask him a few questions.

- Lukáš, how did you get to the craft of the cook? Have you been close to cooking since you were a kid?

- I was close to the craft from when I was a little boy, and I was inspired by my mother and grandmother, who cooked with love and filled our home with the scent of sweet cakes and flavors of homemade honest food. Already then I knew that one day I would become a cook, which led me to the application for a secondary hotel school in Trenčín. During school, I was regularly involved in cooking and later, when I learned this craft, I completely replaced my "cook instructors" in the kitchen and the little student suddenly became their teacher.

- What practices have you completed during school, and what is your previous experience in gastronomy?

- During my studies, I had experience in restaurants, but also in canteens, where I learned "typical Slovak cuisine" and after graduation, my first work steps led to a restaurant with different gastronomy focus. From lunch chef, where we cooked 500 lunches daily, to chef in pizzeria and restaurant. But I knew that, despite the experience that gave me these jobs, it wasn't "real nut" as they say. I wanted more from my professional life and to learn how to cook experience gastronomy like cooking celebrities. Upon admission to the hotel restaurant, my professional life took the direction I wanted it to take. After the change cook experience, I was given the opportunity to become a chef in one of the best 4 star boutique hotels in our region. Followed by various trainings with the best slovak chefs. I graduated from the Thuries Academy cooking school in Bratislava with a prestigious french chef. I must not forget that I also benefited from internships abroad, in a 5 star hotel in the beautiful tourist area of ​​the Dolomites Alpe di Siusi in Italy, in a 4 star restaurant in Prague, and also in Hungary. A great benefit and inspiration for me was and always will be visits to Michelin restaurants, where I experienced what is called top gastronomy. Currently I work as a chef in the hotel restaurant of the best city hotel, which has won various awards. Looking back, I am grateful for every single job I had the opportunity to try, because they all formed me in my professional life, and that's why I'm here now.

- What you enjoy and what fulfills you the most at this work?

- What I like most about this work is the opportunity to discover and experience new tastes of food that I have never known before and to make various combinations of ingredients and that is when I experience the feeling of freedom that as a chef I create something beautiful and artistic as a painter or composer. And what fulfills me in this work? Satisfied customers who keep coming back to us and are eagerly awaiting what will be born in our kitchen again. Working with people is very challenging because people are more demanding and really expect a lot from a 4 star restaurant, but that's what makes it interesting that these people are pushing me forward. Therefore, the greatest success for me is when I confront a group of people who have been tasting my work and hear the praise that they have experienced a real gastronomy, I see their happy faces, and as it happens, sometimes I also experience applause. It's a beautiful feeling, satisfaction for the hard work. I work with my team every day, and then I realize we're doing it really well!

- And now, on the contrary, what do you see as the biggest "pitfalls" of this work?

- The pitfalls of this work are the risks that arise in our workplace every day. That is to say, whenever even one member of my team falls out, either temporarily or permanently, it is really difficult to replace him / her, because the quality cooks are getting less and less. I appreciate anyone who does this work from my representatives to the kitchen assistants because I know how demanding this work is, which requires discipline in the workplace, because one small mistake and a big problem can arise. Working in the kitchen is a teamwork, so the first thing is coherence, friendly environment but above all authority, which requires control of employees and myself to be an example.

- Where do you get the inspiration for new recipes and cooking in general?

- I see inspiration almost everywhere around me. In the summer months it is in the garden where I try to grow my own natural products such as vegetables, fruits or chili. When I go with my wife for a walk in the woods for mushrooms, herbs or medicinal plants, or in the vegetable market, when I look at those colorful goodies, I immediately imagine what I would cook and make my second half happy. Of course, the main inspiration is literature, but also social networks such as Instagram and Facebook, visits to famous restaurants where cook the best of the best, but certainly the greatest benefit are training associated with their own imagination.

- Do you have any new vision challenges for 2020 as part of your work at the Elizabeth Hotel?

- New challenges come almost every day. Whether it's organizing a big corporate event or a private dinner with unusual specific requirements. It keeps us moving forward, and we have to keep improving and developing this "culinary art" so that we don't fall asleep on our laurels, because the competition is great, and we enjoy it! We have goals that we set each year and we do everything we can to meet them.

- Do you care about the choice and freshness of food? How does the raw material selection work?

- Of course, the quality of the raw materials really matters. Even the best chef will not cook good and delicious food unless we have good ingredients. We cooperate especially with local suppliers, which we have chosen based on testing their products and who have proven themselves with us. We especially prefer domestic producers, from whom we expect the highest quality and we care about the composition of food and whether it is really organic products. Their flexibility and helpfulness in solving even the smallest problem is also important. We also have a supplier who specializes in growing various herbs, shoots and edible flowers, which are an essential part of the food decoration. During the year I create two seasonal menus where it is really important interplay with suppliers, with whom I deal with the availability of the raw materials I require, whose quality we are testing while preparing. When we and my team agree on what would be best after tasting and discussing the planned meals, we will contact the supplier for cooperation. A´la carte menu as well as another seasonal menu, which is based on a season of different ingredients, is always a teamwork of the whole kitchen and I care about the opinion of each of my chefs, but I have the last word! Everything has a sequence and I care that the food not only taste good, but also beautiful and imaginative.

- Is there anything else you'd like to try in gastronomy?

- Gastronomy as such is perfect in that it is still moving forward, and even in Slovakia is no longer in "diapers" as it was 20 years ago. If a cook wants to move forward, he has to learn and improve every day, because the trends in the world are constantly changing, and it is no different in gastronomy. I would certainly like to improve my molecular gastronomy and confectionery craft, because chocolate is a separate chapter in the life of a cook.

- What can visitors to the restaurant look forward to this year?

- This year we would like to focus mainly on the production of domestic products. Since I refuse to cook from semi-finished products whose taste or quality does not meet my expectations, we are currently making our own products such as homemade bread, and desserts from making our confectionery, making homemade pasta, varied and molecular culinary, for example, our own caviar. We would like to focus on growing our own herbs, making our own granola, homemade jams and the like. As every year, our customers can look forward to our culinary specialties.

Lukáš, thank you very much for the interview and wish you every success and many happy customers!

Dušan Hrúza - director of the Hotel Elizabeth

Dušan Hrúza

Director

In the new year we will start with our new director, whom we will briefly introduce to you. But let's go step by step:

This job was destined for me, because I was very excited about working in the this area during my studies. I had great practice at the Holiday Inn Hotel in Bratislava, where I learned a lot. At that time, I was very proud "kellner", it was a great prestige. The job suited me and I found myself in it. The hotel industry has grown to my heart and it continues to this day

Dušan Hrúza has been in the hotel business for several years, after school since 2000, he started as a waiter. After a few years he worked as a F&B manager and event manager, later he received an interesting offer for the position of a hotel manager, and after a few months, he recieved the general manager's offer in a prestigious mansion, it was year of 2011. In December of 2019, he became director of the award-winning Elizabeth Hotel in Trenčín.

We couldn't resist, so we asked the director some additional questions:

- Working in a hotel is largely about working with people, what makes you the most comfortable at work?

- Working with people is the most difficult thing in our industry, we need to be very careful here, sensible, without great ego, humane, but at the same time strict. You have to be a psychologist, a friend, a colleague, a boss... But you also need to be able to set boundaries. At the same time, it is the best and liveliest thing in this work. I follow the principle that it's all about communication...

- Is there anything you would like to innovate / change at Hotel Elizabeth?

- Hmm .... I'd like to say it's perfect here, but there is always room for improvement. It can always be moved forward. I have several visions and projects in my head, but I would not like to overtake, everything has its time. Anyway, there's something to look forward to!

When you meet our director at the hotel reception or in the hotel café, restaurant or hotel lobby, do not hesitate to greet him and speak. Tell him what was good and what you liked here, or what you would improve in the hotel. He likes to hear and he appreciates every opinion and evaluation, because that is what moves us further.

We thank the director for a short interview, and we are looking forward to seeing you in our hotel!