A Pioneer, An Experimenter, A Rebel

I’ve always stood out. Initially because of my height. Then because of what I did. Or what I didn’t do. Yet being different was never my goal. I can’t make compromises. I’m a fiery cocktail of strong-headedness and perfectionism with a weak spot for minimalistic design.
  • The first Czech cookbooks that emphasised the link between visual presentation, open binding, and quirky recipe names (2005)
  • The first Czech cookbooks to ever be awarded the International Gourmet Cookbook Award (2008)
  • The first report in a Czech culinary magazine about the manufacture of a product based on first-hand experience (Apetit, 2008)
  • The first Czech cooking classes, or get-togethers, organised at home (2008 – 2013)
  • The first pumpkin butter on the Czech market (2011)
  • The first Czech novel combining food and erotica (2014)
  • The first Czech cookbook based on a novel (2014)

Photo by Lucie Robinson for magazine Ona Dnes

About Lenka Požárová

My love for food was obvious from my early childhood, when I would stand next to guests at costume parties for as long as it took for them to give me a bite from their plate. My parents have often had to rescue me from choking on soil from the plant pot, glass shards, or some sort of insect.

Unsure of what I wanted to do, I enrolled in a business academy, which equipped me with lightning-speed typing skills. These came in very handy later, allowing me to effortlessly record all the ideas germinating in my head.

A Ghastly Experiment
After unsuccessfully applying to study literature, theatre, and film at university, I signed up for a two-year experimental project at the Austrian Business Academy. By all appearances, the experiment was not a huge success, and was discontinued after our year.

My stint as an automated milking machine merchant for the renowned Miele company was brief but memorable, and I soon shed my overalls in favour of a master’s programme in economics at the Masaryk University in Brno. In my second year, I passed the exam to become a member of the Chamber of Tax Consultants.

Following my scholarship-endorsed studies in Vienna and Bremen, I started building a career as a tax consultant in Prague. I landed a superb salary, awesome bosses, and, after some five years, a case of burn-out syndrome. Pulling the emergency brake, I waved adieu to my speedily departing profession, and plunged head-first into the unknown. The only light that was illuminating my crazy mind was that I had finally found what it was that I wanted to do. And I was going to do it.

Many people discouraged me. But their reasoning was obviously not frightening enough, because they didn’t succeed. Meanwhile, in the five years that followed, I managed to publish 14 instalments of my own cookbook series How About Some… , plus 3 special editions, and win the Best Cookbook Series Award in an international competition.

How I Ate (My Way Through) The World
Roughly at that time, I had to put cookbook publishing on the back burner in order to defend my author’s rights at court. I needed a breather, and I also needed to travel, since there wasn’t much time for that in the midst of my cookbook series marathon. The result was my next book, How I Ate (My Way Through) The World.

After I helped a journalist improve the title of one of my interviews, I was offered the job of writing regular columns in a magazine. For two years, I contributed culinary reports and photographs to a major business daily and wrote for other publications.

Writing With Spices
The outcome of my next travels surprised even me, because it was a novel. Coffee Man, Cinnamon Girl. Naturally, food plays a significant part in it. The novel was followed by a cookbook with recipes featured in the story.

I’ve never subscribed to well-paid advertising or to churning out cheap cookbooks just to make money. To make a living, I do what I love – I cook, I photograph, I travel, I write – despite not having studied any of it.

Last years I spent living abroad. First six months my home was in Norway where I start waitressing (should be part of my adventure and was still close to food). Another year and something I spent in England, mostly London, doing the same but putting my nose more into the kitchen.

Watch me being interviewed by the Czech Republic’s most popular talk show host (Czech only)
Watch me speaking at the “Career Restart” Conference in 2015 (Czech only)

Magazine Interviews

TV Interviews

Radio Interviews

Some Of My Projects

  • Judge, International Private Label Manufacturer Association (PLMA) Exhibition in Amsterdam (2015)
  • Guest Speaker, “Career Restart” Conference (2015)
  • Guest Lecturer, course on travel journalism at Charles University in Prague (2014)
  • Guest Lecturer, Nottingham BIBS MBA Programme, example of a start-up enterprise (2014)
  • Creator of low-energy recipes for the “Otylka” project (2013 – 2015)
  • Organiser of cooking courses, or get-togethers, hosted in my home (2008 – 2013)
  • Menu curator and host at the renowned Café Fara near Brno (2012)
  • Caterer, American Professor Janine Benus’ lecture on biomimicry in Prague (2011)
  • Caterer, Montessori School in Duhovka (2011)
  • Menu curator for the Food Up Close festival at the La Bouchée restaurant in Prague (2010)
  • Guest, Cooking Show at the International London Book Fair (2009)

Satisfied clients that I’ve created recipes for