For Honza, this will be another challenge where he will have the chance to make use of his creative talents. He will enjoy creating various delicacies that will only be made from quality ingredients, in such a way that he will be able to help guests achieve a balance between body and mind. This year he will also be sure to surprise his fans, for example with the natural scent and taste of his original pine-needle-scented cake from the St. George Forest with salted caramel. When creating this cake, Honza was inspired by the St. George Forest which surrounds Chateau Mcely. As Honza admits, he himself loves the scent of fallen leaves, wet grass, summer hay and herbs from the surrounding meadows. Being fascinated by the aroma of freshly torn needles, which intensifies when he crushes them between his fingers, he has decided to make this irresistible scent a part of his dishes
Honza and his team will be presenting a Label Rouge organic smoked salmon appetizer with homemade orange-ginger marmalade. Although they will be working with imported ingredients, they have found a way to inject a bit of Mcely into the dishes. The salmon will be smoked right here in our own smokehouse, which has been set up in the English park at Chateau Mcely. This type of salmon dish has quickly become a favorite part of the castle gastronomy and bears witness to both spirit and a personal approach.
The main course will be venison with organic red potatoes from a local farmer with sour cream and rosemary sauce from the chateau’s garden. The dish selection respects the historical hunting tradition of the former owners, the Thurn-Taxis family, but also modern lightweight gastronomy.
The dishes will be suitably accompanied by wine from famous winemaker Jiří Hort, who has prepared a unique wine for the chateau - Chateau Mcely 2008 Sur Lie, Chardonnay & Pinot Blanc. This wine is made from different barrique barrels from Chardonnay (85%) and Pinot Blanc (15%) varieties. Honza selected this wine together with the chateau’s sommelier in order to create the ultimate experience and pamper taste buds.
During the culinary show, Honza will personally demonstrate to visitors of the festival how to prepare local trout from clean ponds in the surrounding forests, including hoew to debone. He will show them how to easily prepare an excellent inexpensive dinner in just 10 minutes. All of the aforementioned will be complemented with light roasted vegetables from local farmers and a simple dressing flavored with peppermint from the chateau. Among other things, in his garden in the English park Honza grows six types of mint, with which he loves to experiment in his dishes. Everything will be topped off with a unique homemade parsley jam, one of the many bona fide jams which are made at the chateau only from freshly picked ingredients, without preservatives or coloring. Our fruit comes exclusively from local sources, either directly from the adjacent park, or from the surrounding area. In addition to preparing jams, Honza is also planning the distribution of organic honey directly from Mcely from a local beekeeper.
Honza is also proud of his own chateau truffles with the quaint taste of raspberries, vanilla, coffee, nuts, mint, orange, pistachio and classic nougat, which the kitchen team manufactures itself with enthusiasm from high quality Michel Cluizel French chocolate. A popular type of refreshment at the chateau is the Nine Flowers of the St. George Forest regeneration drink, which the team prepares for our guests based on an old recipe from Mrs. Světla Dudková from Mcely from nine local solstice herbs. Since the end of 2012 guests have had the opportunity to purchase a dried version of this tea in a stylish package and our secret herbal recipe has now been made public.
You can look forward to all of the aforementioned delicacies at the Prague Food Festival.
Chef Honza Štěrba has a close relationship with Chateau Mcely both in terms of his culinary philosophy, and the fact that he comes from nearby Nymburk. Honza has been a member of the culinary team essentially since Chateau Mcely opened its doors, and because he has gained valuable experience from his time here, he has worked his way up to head chef. He continues to lead the Piano Nobile restaurant team through a popular combination of traditional recipes from the Thurn-Taxis family and Italian inspiration from grandmother Cusumano. Honza’s rich experience with Italian cuisine stems from the time he spent in the Gatteo Mare area in Italy. In addition to creating new innovations for our seasonal menu, Honza endeavors every day to find local suppliers of the highest quality materials.
“The thing I enjoy most about cooking is that it is not monotonous work. These days people no longer cook based on precise recipes, it is necessary to improvise based on available materials and ingredients. The individual wishes of each guest are also important - we do our best to accommodate their needs, and that is why every day at work is different.”