Kuhmistr – in translation from German – “master, or the owner of the kitchen” – is the same as today’s chef. So called in the old Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, including the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the chief cooks who commanded the royal, princely and countish cuisines, who were first invited from Italy and France, but gradually replaced them by local students.
We call ourselves a restaurant of Belarusian and Litvin cuisine. If the Belarusian cuisine is already an established stereotype (peasant cuisine, predominantly in Eastern Belarus, with predominance of dishes from potatoes, pork, mushrooms), then the designation “Litvinskaya” requires explanations. This is the kitchen of the gentry, townspeople, the clergy of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, to some extent prosperous peasantry, more characteristic for the north-west of Belarus, for the space between the two ancient capitals – Vilnia and Novogrudok, fanned by thousands of legends. However, between these two kitchens there is absolutely no sharp border, they always exerted influence on each other. For example, the original Orthodox Christmas dish – Kutia – became a cult for the Catholics of Lithuania and Belarus, and the Lithuanian gentry horseshoe, kumpyak, and kyndzuk firmly entered the menu of Orthodox Belarusians. And this interpenetration continues in our days: we can say that the restaurant “Kuhmistr” is in its very center.
We try to be open to all the culinary traditions of the Grand Duchy, not excluding the remarkable minorities, which also left a bright mark in our history – Jews and Tatars.
We also made sure that the music and video atmosphere of our restaurant corresponded to our menu, so that you did not just eat deliciously, but left a holistic impression about the history and culture of our country, which for centuries has been at the junction of the two civilizations, and the former hospitable home for many religions and cultures.
So, armed with a knife and fork, we will go on an exciting journey through time and space, through Belarus and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, from the gentry folwark to the peasant hut, from the marching Tartar yurt to the Jewish tavern! Our friendly but unobtrusive staff will be pleased to be your guide. Bon Appetit!