Member of the Month February 2018: Onik Minasian

The  Staff Canteen

Here at The Staff Canteen, we felt it would be a great idea to show our appreciation to our loyal users, so to honour this we will be featuring a different member every month who we think deserves to be celebrated - this month’s winner is Onik Minasian.

As a member who regularly contributes to our site via the app Chef+, Onik will receive a signed copy of Onwards and Upwards by Paul Askew and The Staff Canteen mug.

Ginger & Fred restaurant, Jiráskovo náměstí 6 Praha 2-Nové Město
Ginger & Fred Restaurant

Current place of work, position and a brief overview of where you have worked before.

I used to live in Tunbridge Wells but I’ve lived in the Czech Republic for six years now. I am currently working as a sous chef at Ginger & Fred Restaurant in Nové Město.

The restaurant is named after Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, but the actual building in Czech is called ‘Tančící dům’ which means The Dancing House. It used to be a French-based restaurant but they changed the concept to more modern international.

I started as a KP in Salomons Estate - my best friend’s dad got me the job there! I started cooking at school and then I asked them if they had any jobs with cooking and they gave me an apprenticeship there.

I went to West Kent College to do NVQ Level 1 and 2 and I worked there for two years along side my studies.

Then, I moved on to The Spa Hotel – a two AA Rosette hotel in Tunbridge Wells with classic British cuisine. Then I worked at The Griffin Inn in Fletching, which I really enjoyed, because you could always get fresh produce there like courgette flowers, game etc. That’s where I really started finding my own style, with the local ingredients available.

Sea bass, spice aubergine,red pepper, mussels, shiitake mushrooms by chef Onik Minasian, Ginger & Fred restaurant, Czech Republic

Sea bass, spice aubergine, red


mussels, shiitake mushrooms

What is your cooking style and what can people expect from the food on your menu?

I like classic British cooking, because that’s what I was brought up on but infused with some of the flavours of the

Mediterranean. But a lot of the Czech people don’t like English-style food over here so much so we have to adapt to different cooking styles.  Another problem here is getting fresh seafood, but we are very big on river fish like pike, sturgeon and trout, freshly caught from the Vltava next door.

What do you like about The Staff Canteen app and website? 

For me, it’s like an Instagram that’s only for chefs! It opens your eyes to see what’s going on in the industry. They’re constantly updating you on what’s new in the game and it’s a good place to see what your chef friends are doing. A lot of places don’t do that at the moment.

Half a year ago, I wasn’t big on social media and then The Staff Canteen have shared a few of my photos on their feed and I’ve got great feedback!

What is your favourite dish to cook?

My favourite dish at the moment is my roast sea bass with spice aubergine, mussels, shiitake mushrooms, red pepper and pickled kohlrabi. I like cooking duck and poultry but I think that sea bass dish got the best response, online and in the restaurant. I actually had a friend of mine come over from Germany [Michael Jones] who saw it on Instagram and I cooked the dish for him and he enjoyed it very much! It represents the freestyle chef in me.

Duck breast, Confit leg & foie gras croquette, salt backed beetroot, apple, almond by chef Onik Minasian, Ginger and Fred restaurant, Czech Republic

Duck breast, Confit leg &

foie gras croquette,

salt backed beetroot, apple, almond

Guilty pleasure: list food item / dish / ingredient that aren’t considered ‘cheffy’ but you love to eat

I’m a very big fan of Mexican food! I like to go out and eat at fine-dining restaurants but if I go out to a Mexican restaurant and order some fajitas and a nice cocktail… I’m set.

What are your plans for the future?

I have a five-year-old daughter over here so I’ll be staying in the Czech Republic. My plan is to put my all into the restaurant.

I’ll be taking on more responsibilities at Ginger & Fred so I want to raise the levels in the kitchen and help push the team to be the best that we can be.

Do you want to be the next Member of the Month? Download the app now for free and start sharing your images, videos and recipes and interacting with other members to be in with a chance of winning!

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 1st March 2018

Member of the Month February 2018: Onik Minasian