SPONSORED: Arán – bread from heaven in the bistro that’s the talk of Kilkenny
BART Pawlukojc’s family journey took him from Poland to Kilkenny where he found the place he has come to love.
His career journey took him to Copenhagen where he found the woman he loves. And their married journey brought Bart and Nicole back to Kilkenny where they have opened Arán, the artisan bakery and bistro that everyone loves – and everyone is talking about.
On its first day of business, the beautiful bistro in Barrack Street completely sold out of all its breakfasts and by mid-afternoon the cupboards were bare.
“Sold out by lunch,” recalls Nicole. “Incredible. We were absolutely speechless.”
The couple have fine-tuned their system since then to meet a demand which has, if anything, increased as word spread about the outstanding food, in particular the wonderful sourdough bread.
It’s a terrific success story. But behind it is another story, one of hard work and of experience gained in some of Europe’s top food destinations.
Bart and Nicole both trained at Noma, the two-Michelin-star restaurant that put Copenhagen on the map for fine dining.
“We met, worked our butts off, fell in love and now we’re happily married,” says Bart.
After the internship, Nicole moved to Mielcke & Hurtigkarl, another Michelin-starred restaurant in Copenhagen, where she worked for the next four years and progressed to Senior Sous Chef.
Bart worked in some of Copenhagen’s best bistros. He made charcuterie for the world-famous chef, Christian Puglisi, at restaurant Bæst, and became banqueting head chef and Research and Development chef for Mielcke & Hurtigkarl.
Fortunately for Kilkenny, the couple decided to bring their talent back home.
“We decided to move back and settle down in Kilkenny because of the amazing produce and wonderful, warm people,” says Bart. “Kilkenny is surrounded by some of the best produce we have ever worked with and we were ready to take on the challenge of working with these amazing products and putting our own personal touch to them.”
Unsurprisingly, for a restaurant called Arán, bread was a driving factor.
“As fate would have had it, we just so happened to be living next to one of the most amazing mills, the Little Mill in Bennetsbridge who work with local heritage grains,” explains Bart. “After seeing the endless possibilities and the sheer quality of the wheat, we decided it was a no-brainer and that we had to work with this product and get it out there.”
And so was born Arán, an artisan bakery, café and bistro. All its breads are stone-baked daily in the bread oven and contain nothing but salt, water, flour and natural leaven or a fresh yeast culture; no preservatives, no chemicals, just nature.
All the flours are grown locally and milled at The Little Mill.
“We use as much local produce as possible,” says Nicole. “Around 80% of the items on our menu come from local farmers and producers. And because we are big believers and advocates of seasonality and local produce, our menus are like the weather – they can change from day to day.”
Arán offers a takeaway service. High chairs are available, the WiFi is free and, unusually for an Irish restaurant, you are welcome to bring your dog – just another reason why everyone loves Arán.
For more information, log on to: www.arankilkenny.ie