with Chef Kasia
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself – how did you get where you are today?
I’m originally from Poland and arrived in Birmingham in 2010 to study Culinary Arts Management. Since I was a teenager, my dream was to open a restaurant. I enjoyed the aspects of the course at University College Birmingham which combined practical cookery and managerial aspects of running a business, as there was nothing like this available back home. I met my partner, Ben, at culinary college and decided to stay in England for good. After University, I worked in Front of House and Manager roles at a few city centre restaurants. However, I was always drawn to the kitchen and realised that I really missed working there. During lockdown, we were given the opportunity to put some thought into what our own place might look like. We started with a pop up business and soon after found the premises that became Tropea.
What’s on the pass right now?
Our Burrata, Courgette Flowers and Pappardelle with Ragu always sell amazingly well.
Where do you eat on your day off?
Gaijin Sushi in Birmingham’s Southside District.
If being a chef were not possible, what would your dream job be?
I would be an Environmental Scientist or have a job in Horticulture.
What are the most important considerations when crafting your menu?
Looking at what is currently in season and keeping things simple. We keep our menu very seasonal and we are always changing our dishes based on what’s best. This is especially true of the fresh produce we buy from the Milan markets.
Do your personal preferences influence your menu?
I think they do for any chef! I’m not a huge fan of onion so our dishes are not very allium-heavy, although I do make sure I consider guests’ tastes, so we do use them.
What do you think is the most overrated food trend?
I’m not a fan of ‘smashed’ Instagram burgers or ‘dirty’ everything.
What dish are you most proud of and why?
Fresh pasta is always such an important part of our menu and it’s definitely a labour of love. We often have guests saying that it’s the best pasta they’ve ever had and that’s the thing that makes me proud.