After I started working at the Jitřenka mountain cottage in Pec pod Sněžkou in the Krkonoše in 1996, I gradually started to discover local gastronomy. I fully made use of this experience after I had left Jitřenka and started working at Chalupa na Rozcestí in 2010 (www.chalupanarozcesti.cz).
I always start with basic ingredients that are inseparable from the mountains – mushrooms, potatoes, cabbage, pulses, and blueberries. I draw inspiration mainly from the recipes from a collection by Jiří Marhold, and people from the Krkonoše who remember the good old days.
I focused on blueberries as it was the real local ingredient for me.
Already at Jitřenka, we were serving the traditional sweet dumplings. By way of innovation – and out of laziness, I have to admit – I started making one big dumpling instead of the usual few smaller ones, and I filled it with blueberries and poured over with curd, which, I dare say, is still successful today. Soon enough, I left baking blueberry desserts to my wife after I had to admit that hers were tastier than mine. I also try to engage in various experiments in the kitchen, such as my blueberry chicken; some of them are successful, some of them not so much. I also make home-made lemonade from blueberries.
Then we started to macerate the blueberries in fruit spirits. After years of testing, we decided to enter the market with our own product. The owner of Chalupa na Rozcestí and I started a company called Krkonošská borůvka to offer our guests, but also others, our very own and original liqueur.
Since we try to think ecologically (not to be confused with environmental activism) and we live and work in the highest parts of the Krkonoše, we respect the rules. Therefore, the blueberries we use are not from the picking forbidden areas, and are picked in a gentle manner.