What was the inspiration for starting The Potato Project?
The Potato Project is the brainchild of Russian Sommelier Ksenia Karpenko, previously of Four to Eight in Covent Garden & currently consulting the best wine bar in Moscow called Wine Religion. Ksenia & her business partner had an opportunity to acquire great space in Noel Street and were planning to open a wine bar however there wasn’t enough room. Both loved jacket potatoes & after thorough market analysis have decided to take old-fashioned jacket potatoes to a new gastronomic level.
We want to show the nation that the humble potato can be more than just something you have with beans! I’ve been working in gastronomy for over 10 years and it has been an incredible journey. The combination of tastes, the mix of ingredients, the change of perception towards food is extremely interesting to work with. Potatoes are key elements in many cuisines but rarely considered sexy. At The Potato Project we show how exciting, delicious & super attractive street food of London can be.
Describe a typical day at The Potato Project HQ?
We open at 10am everyday and my team is focused in the morning on mise-enplace and preparing corporate orders. In the meanwhile I’m busy meeting potential food & drink partners, brainstorming new ideas for PR & Marketing.
Usually we are packed from 12pm to 3pm with hungry line-up on site. Footfall gets quieter after lunch however pre-booked orders from offices & nearby businesses keep us busy all day long. My after-lunch-hours are dedicated to tastings of new dishes & culinary creativity!
Where do you see The Potato Project in 5 years time?
Seven months ago we have started our Potato Revolution with just one site! Our plan is to expand into other areas of London and to conquer more foodie hearts in the next five years! Next stop is the new site opening in September 2016 with focus on innovation, passion for the product and a desire to inspire population to eat fresh, healthy & well-prepared food everyday.
What do you think will be the 3 biggest food trends of 2016?
The single-dish restaurants are in fashion these days. We are happy to be in the list of the most exciting single-dish restaurants and plan to stay on food radar with our unique offering. Healthy food & raw-food-based-restaurants are in trend as well.
What do you like to eat/drink?
I’m utterly in love with greatest wines of the world! I’m very passionate about the very simple & honest food with a creative twist produced from fresh ingredients. Healthy food has originally been one of key destinations for us and the superfood jackets we introduced this spring prove the public appetite for it.
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