Once upon a time…
…a baby boy (a bit larger than most babies) was born into a poor family somewhere in Prague.
Since his childhood, he loved to cook… and he cooked all of the time. As he got older, he knew he had to chase his dreams of being a great chef… bringing wonderful and delicious food to as many people as possible.
So he did just that. And now, in his own words, comes the story of Zed – the founder of Bejzment and the Burgerfest King 🙂
“I found my first big job” after my apprenticeship in a factory kitchen making food for the factory employees. This was a cool experience for someone who wanted to learn Czech cuisine properly.
In the 1990’s after the apprenticeship and the school of life, and the factory and Congress Centre experiences, I felt I needed something different. So I bought a plane ticket, packed my small backpack with my precious chef’s knife, some basic necessities, and flew off to the wild world of opportunity – the USA.
Me and my girlfriend landed in Atlanta, Georgia the heart of the south and the home to some of the finest southern cuisine… and cuisine generally, I came to learn. I learned that people from all over the world lived in Atlanta: Mexicans, Indians, Russians, Polish, Czechs, and Asians were there…and many others. As well, Atlanta has some of the world’s most famous chefs and restaurants and a large variety of cuisine from all over the world. It was perfect.
Everyone came to Gold America to make the big bucks, and to return home nasty rich. Most of them had two to three jobs to feed their family AND to save money. My intention was originally the same, but in my head, I decided to return home to my lovely Czech Republic and to bring back what I experienced and do something special with it.
So after nine years of my great “edu-vacation” in the United States, I returned home. My first opportunity back in Prague came from a company looking for someone to lead the kitchen who could also work in English. Eventually, we opened two restaurants in Prague’s Palladium.
Then came my Dream Job. I was hired as the Kitchen Manager for Prague’s Hard Rock Cafe. It was a great experience and great training in how to handle a large operation focused on classic American cuisine. Not caring for the corporate world, I left after 1 1/2 years to see what I could do on my own.
With my personal life mantra, “Do the best you can do!”… I finally did it. I opened my own restaurant. And Bejzment was born… Me and my friends agreed to work together. We found a good location in Břevnov close to the Prague Castle. When the question came ‘What kind of cuisine?’, I only had to look around to see what was missing and what people craved… and it happened to be what I really love to cook – GREAT BURGERS!
We then opened Bejzment with a vision of making a place that brought all the great feelings of Americana into a hot and fun burger joint.
From there, I could see that there was still a larger desire for people all over Prague and the surrounding regions to experience this growing Burger-mania… and other types of meats too. So I founded what turned out to become the most famous meat-lover festival in the region – Burgerfest.
And now you know it… the story behind Bejzment and Burgerfest. Other than my precious daughters, Lulu and Kiki, these are the other loves in my life. I live to this day to serve you all and to bring great burgers and the American experience to all of you here in Prague.
And for this I’m very grateful. Thank you for allowing me to do what I love.