For the second year running, chef Damian Wawrzyniak has been named one the planet’s ten most influential chefs in the food service industry.
Rubbing shoulders with household names such as Gordon Ramsay and Nigella Lawson, as well as global superstars such as José Andrés and Andrew Zimmern, the Polish chef was ranked in an international study conducted by Just Food magazine using Twitter statistics gathered from the GlobalData Influencer platform.
His latest triumph caps a remarkable career that saw the Pole start out by scrubbing kitchen floors in France. Moving to the UK in 2005, his star has continued to soar; becoming the first Polish chef to ever be awarded The Knight’s Cross by the President, Wawrzyniak has also cooked for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and been named by BBC’s Good Food magazine as one of the country’s Top 10 Food Pioneers.
However, just as he was plotting an aggressive expansion of his Pierogi Kiosk concept, covid-19 hit and left the global gastronomy industry reeling. His response to the pandemic became one of the key reasons for his latest award.
Harnessing the power of social media to the maximum, Wawrzyniak sought to present answers to the crisis rather than wallowing in defeat.
“Social media is vital,” he says. “It’s the way forward. I wanted to show people that, yes, we have issues, but here’s a way out. I don’t think it’s the right medium for negativity, so instead I wanted to use it to demonstrate positivity and solutions.”
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