JK with his horses, Rambler and Biscuit, at the Gryzybow Farma on the Germany/Poland border in Slubice.
Name: JK Assar
Location: Warsaw, Poland
Years in the Studio: Three years
Sections I write for: Food
I’m usually working hard, but when I’m hardly working, you can find me…
In the gym. Working out is fundamental to who I am, the second love of my life. My workouts comprise a lot of compound lifts and sprinting, nothing fancy, just work = force x distance. There’s something about challenging gravity with iron and battling friction with self-propulsion that’s akin to spirituality. The weights in your hands and the track under your feet don’t respond to excuses, reasoning or apologies, and when you challenge them and succeed the rewards are both immediate and long term, tangible and provable. Plus, girls like abs.
JK, “working for food, booze and a place to stay at the Mountain Hotel in the Swiss Alps.”
If I ruled the world for a day I would…
Extend my reign indefinitely. But on the first day, I would teach the world to cook. Nothing fancy, just the basic techniques needed to prepare wholesome, tasty meals using whole foods. The reliance on fast and convenient foods as a sole nutrition source would lessen, obesity rates would drop globally and self esteem would increase individually. The world would be a happier place.
The greatest risk I ever took was…
Leaving America with only a backpack and a gauzy vision of what I wanted for myself. I was burning out as a chef, and rather than watch the respect I have for the kitchen erode, I left the industry. I moved abroad before I started freelancing, so I had learn a diverse set of life and social skills in a short amount of time to survive. Before I settled in Poland a couple years ago, I earned my stay at more than one hostel by offering the establishment my cooking and bartending skills. I’m not advising to just pack up and go as I did — you have to have a little bit of crazy in you to do that — but everyone should travel abroad alone for one year for introspection and personal development.
My favorite movie of all time is…
Ratatouille, an engaging research film about life in the professional kitchen. It should be mandatory viewing for anyone nihilistic enough to want to be a chef.
Check out some of JK’s best work…
How to Cook a Ribeye Steak Medium-Rare on a Griddle
How to Cook an English Cut Beef Chuck Shoulder Roast
How to Cook Souvlaki in the Oven