Tomáš Karpíšek started to write it in 1995 in his first restaurant on Mánesova Street. The former chef from Liberec gathered around him a group of people for whom the customer is the boss. This is still true today, and many other unique features have been added that define Ambiente.
Through our Mexican, Italian and Brazilian concepts, our chefs have come to understand that they know Czech cuisine the best – intimately. So in 2005, Café Savoy started to serve duck or schnitzel with potato salad for the first time, a year later Lokál started serving perfectly poured Pilsner, and Eska has been baking Czech bread since 2016.
Thanks to the discovery of an old Czech cookbook by Marie B. Svobodová and the foreign inspiration of chef Oldřich Sahajdák, the Michelin-star-awarded restaurant La Degustation Bohême Bourgeoise came into being, founded on the principles of our heritage cuisine.
Since what’s freshest is also what’s tastiest, we started relationships with our local farmers. Localism is not a trend for us, it’s common sense. Why bring ingredients halfway around the world when we can cook with what grows around us?
The critical moment for us was the decision to have our own meat. We stared to work with butchers and farmers, and together we found a way to feed Czech mottled cattle (Fleckvieh) and to age beef. We learned to make our own sausages and have brought the meat of heritage Preštice pigs back on to plates.
We are proud of Czech beer and traditional pub culture, so we opened our Lokál pubs. They are dominated by a stainless steel and glass bar and a bartender in a leather apron. They self-sanitize the pipes so that beer can go as cleanly and as shortly as possible from the tank straight into the glass. The regular customer (štamgast) is our master so we always have a dedicated table for them.
They work directly in our concepts or participate in giving them their form. Aleš Najbrt creates the graphic design. Architects Tereza Froňková, Václav Červenka, Šimon Brnada and Rudolf Netík design the interiors. The chandelier in Bokovka, Myšák and La Degustation Bohême Bourgeoise are the work of Studio Olgoj Chorchoj. Leading Czech illustrators, photographers and writers prepare our magazine.
Before a new restaurant is born, the owner meets with the future staff, architect, marketing team and other professionals. A team of about thirty people is involved in the implementation of each concept. As a rule, nine months will pass before the first customers are welcomed.
We brought a pizza oven from Naples, went to São Paulo for passadors, drank in Parisian wine bars before we opened Bokovka, and criss-crossed London for Eska.
To keep moving forward, we need to draw inspiration even from behind the scenes of restaurants. That’s why we are sending our chefs out to the world. The information they receive is shared with us and we share it with you, even online on our blog Jídlo a radost.
Thanks to social media, you can see all the way into our kitchen. Because we respect the principle of truthfulness, we don’t embellish anything and put what you see in the photo on your plate. But we are not infallible! Complaints are an opportunity for us – they help us to improve and also strengthen our relationships with our customers.
A lot has changed in Ambiente over the last 20 years. But two things have remained the same. All of this is only possible because we enjoy our work. And our #1 priority is a satisfied returning customer. That’s why it’s not possible to buy out one of our concepts.