Ambassador Dzintars Kristovskis
Chef at Valmiermuiža’s Embassy in Riga Dzintars Kristovskis, who is an expert in natural food products, has been chosen as a European Region of Gastronomy regional ambassador, as his philosophy is in accordance with the project’s concept - “Wild at Palete“
As the master of herbs and spices points out, he spends multiple hours in wooded areas, fields and meadows gathering and ‘taste-testing’ uncharted flora, unique only to Latvia, to in turn be served in corresponding style in restaurants.
As Kristovskis explains, “technology and cooking is so advanced that I feel the urge to go back to the roots. The concept devised by Riga-Gauja Region is a distinct reflection of this – products and ingredients that our people have gathered, savored, featured in meals for hundreds of years – straight from our forests, meadows, streams and lakes.”
Dzintars has been professionally in the kitchen for eleven years, marking the last four as the most fruitful. During this period, he has diligently delved into what specifically the wilderness of Latvia has to offer food-wise - the creation of a ‘pure regional cuisine’. This encompasses all that grows and is edible in forests, game and local recipe beverages that can all be considered legitimate for a feast (or for inclusion on a restaurant’s menu). Here the chef is focused on pure, natural, organic fare and ingredients; maximum flavor effect with minimal combinations.
“If we look at several of the world’s most iconic kitchens and draw parallels, then what they all have in common is that they are made of products from that specific region. We also used to have our own basic values in our cuisine, but at one point we began to drift away from them. This is why it must be understood that what we are trying to create is not a new trend, but a return to the roots. We are returning to the distinctive tastes which come from the land in this region.”