Try the seasonal cuisine with local ingredients at the Szikra restaurant

Try the seasonal cuisine with local ingredients at the Szikra restaurant

The Szikra restaurant in Saint George awaits its guests with the special ingredients of Covasna County, and raises awareness about the principles of "zero food waste". We asked the owner and chef of the restaurant, Mădălina Santa, about the uniqueness of the place and the seasonal cuisine.

You use local ingredients on the menu, how do you incorporate them into a recipe?

They are incorporated just like any other ingredient. However, we have some difficulty with the acquisition, sometimes it happens that we order an ingredient and the local producer cannot deliver it, so we have to order it from elsewhere. In this case the taste will differ, as an example at the cheese croquettes, if I can't get it from my usual supplier, I have to make a different cheese mix and the guest may say that the last time he ate here this dish had a smokier taste, but I always explain to them why is it so and they understand.

It sounds good to have a restaurant that follows the principles of "zero food waste ". How difficult is to imply these principles?

Not at all difficult, everyone should try it. For example, we dry the remaining bread and turn it into breadcrumb. But we also keep the apple peel, which we make into syrup or powder. Vegetable peel will also make excellent ingredients, we roast it in the oven and use it in vegan menus for example.

You prepare seasonal menu, what do you recommend for the winter season?

My kitchen, or in general, the kitchen should be very simple. What we have in the pantry, that should be used in the kitchen - as the old people used to live, and restaurants should also follow this principle. If we consider sustainability, it doesn`t seem to me fair to bring avocados from the other side of the world, and let the apple we have here be wasted. There are pears or chestnuts, but we don`t use them, we rather use mango, kiwi, avocado and so on, though it is much more easy to work with the seasonal products, it is very simple to make cakes and soups from them, for example, we make apple soup with parsnips, which is again typical of the winter season. Take it like a game, you go into the pantry, see what you have, and what can you make of it. We have a lot of beets, onions, beans, pumpkins, mainly root vegetables. I have guests who come and ask if there is salad? I say no, it will be in the spring. It's better to say no, than to go and buy a salad imported from China, and make a salad that has no taste at all. I'm rather honest with myself and with my guests, than to sell them something that's not part of my philosophy.

Visit the Szikra restaurant in Sfântu Gheorghe and taste the real flavors of Covasna County.
Article published in 2020 

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