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Bistro v časopise Nový Prostor
Kwon Brian and McMurtry Avery for Youth Included Team
Goal: sense of homeliness and comfort
Before going to Fair Food Club Bistro, I, like many people, had no idea what to expect from Georgian cuisine. Despite my unfamiliarity, I was wonderfully surprised by my experience at the bistro. Fair Food Club Bistro is located at U Nemocnice 4, Praha 2. On our way there, we walked passed the building before finding it. It is quietly tucked away off of the street, giving it a quiet secluded feeling in the best way possible. Upon entering, there is an area to order, with food out on display and a big chalkboard displaying the menu on the wall. The main dining area almost resembles a greenhouse; its ceiling and right side are made of glass, drenching the space in natural light. This is all the more refreshing as the weather begins to cool down and less and less time is spent outdoors. The walls are painted white as well, enhancing the feeling of brightness and light created by the sunshine. Plants lined the windowsills along the length of the room and ink illustrations are hung on the walls.
The rich decorations gave the sense that a great deal of care had been put into the restaurant environment. I immediately felt a sense of homeliness and comfort in the bistro, which I later learned was the goal of the owner, Lela Kukava. "Everywhere, I'm trying to make the atmosphere of home. After all this history I had with the migration and so forth, I'm trying to make it as home-y as possible. Basically, this is not a restaurant, this is a canteen. I wanted to make it like a modern canteen, and that's why I put up all the curtains, tablecloth, all this stuff, so that it looks like home. So that a person who's coming, even if he's not buying the food, he can still feel at least rested for a while and enjoy this feeling of home." Lela strives to not only make a comfortable and welcoming place for her customers, but for her employees as well. At her previous place of employment, she witnessed women getting only one-time catering jobs, which she wanted to change.
"I was dreaming if I could make something of my own, where the women would have a normal, permanent, full-time job, and once in a while they could get a one-time order. That was basically the reason why I started this kind of social entrepreneurship with this place." "The women who are working here, they got not just employment but safe employment. We have a very good atmosphere here, and I'm really proud that we have done that."
The service was friendly, attentive, and kind. I felt welcome as soon as I walked in. The restaurant staff recommended their favorite dishes to us and we sat down. Everything we had to eat was delicious. The quiche was rich and filling. The vegetable risotto was delicious and unexpectedly hearty for a vegetarian dish. We also got a large serving of mushroom soup which has to be the best soup we have tasted in Prague. My favorite dish was the bread filled with Balkan cheese. It was served warm and was dangerously tasty. As for dessert, we had baklava that was to-die-for.
The food at the bistro is a blend of many different cuisines, which Lela attributes to the diversity of her employees: "We have a lady who is from Afghanistan, a lady from Georgia, a lady from Ukraine, and it's kind of like a mixture of different cuisines here. And we even have some Czech cuisine, but it is not very traditional because we're trying to do something a little bit healthier."
I believe what makes the Fair Food Club Bistro special is not only is it a great restaurant, but it is founded in high ideals: a place that feels like home and where the customer and employees are treated not only fairly, but with a great deal of genuine care as well.
"We are making it carefully and with love, so the person who is coming here is not getting food with chemicals or nothing. It's very carefully and properly done. The idea is that the person who is coming here is eating like he's getting food from home. And at home, you are usually not trying to save on the ingredients. So this was the original idea."
Authors: Kwon Brian and McMurtry Avery
With Small Steps Changing the World