A former bartender who learned to cook during the lockdown has revealed how he quit his job and published a recipe book after going viral on TikTok.
Known only as Bartek, the 25-year-old who lives in London was bored when he took a bartending job last April and decided to try his hand at cooking and making a cheesecake for the first time.
His younger sister Tosia, 16, was so impressed that she encouraged him to post a video of the cake online, and his second post – Creamy Garlic and Parmesan Chicken – went viral, reaching 500,000 people overnight.
The budding chef, who goes by the username Letsmunch, was so successful that he finally gave up his job as a bartender and has now published his own recipe book called Let’s Munch: The Chronicles.
Bartek, 25, who lives in London and learned to cook during the lockdown, has revealed how he quit his job and published a recipe book after going viral on TikTok
His delicious recipes include avocado toast with bacon, hollandaise sauce and poached egg (left) and delicious cheesecake brownies
The budding chef was so successful that he was finally able to give up his job as a bartender in August 2021 and has now published his own recipe book called Let’s Munch: The Chronicles
The TikTok chef with currently 580,000 loyal followers fell in love with food for the first time when he watched his mom Mariola prepare traditional Polish recipes – but only started to cook for himself last year.
“I was always in the kitchen with my mother, so she taught me a lot, but I only really got into cooking because of the lockdown,” said Bartek.
“I shot my first video and taught myself from there – I didn’t study for hours.”
It was fun experimenting with new flavors – including fried chorizo mac and cheese balls, flavorful mango margarita shrimp, and steak and eggs benedict – Bartek continued to post videos, film the process on his phone, and edit the clips himself.
On the left, Bartek’s breakfast roll with caramelized onions, cheese, egg and bacon on a brioche roll. Right, his Korean BBQ Corn Dogs
“I never thought I’d be artistic or creative in any way, but since I started cooking, I’ve just put on a little music, give myself two or three hours [to try out a recipe] and I’m in the zone. It’s like a time outside of my own head.
“At TikTok, I came into the game at a very good time when everyone could cook at home, which made it easier for my audience to grow.
“It all happened so quickly – about four months after I started I had a real following and people started making my recipes from scratch.
“I filmed a recipe over the lockdown and the next day 10 people made it. I just took things day in and day out and fell for it. ‘
Bartek, who previously flipped burgers at a gourmet burger kitchen restaurant, believes his success is due not only to the food but also to his image.
The TikTok chef, who currently has 580,000 followers, first fell in love with food while watching his mother Mariola prepare traditional Polish recipes
Bartek’s recipes include baked French toast (left) and delicious hearty dishes (right)
He said, “There aren’t many chefs these days that the younger generation can identify with.
“You have Gordon Ramsay and Jamie Oliver, but not a lot of younger people – mostly from London.
“I think young people see me as a London boy who does that and the way she talks and think, ‘Yeah, maybe I can do something like that’.”
Bartek originally got a degree in economics, but quickly realized that it wasn’t for him – admitted his new career path comes as a complete surprise.
Bartek originally got an economics degree, but quickly realized it wasn’t for him. Pictured: Bartek at work as a bartender
Bartek, who previously flipped burgers at a gourmet burger kitchen restaurant, believes his success is due not only to the food but also to his image
He said, “I enjoy it a lot, so it’s not really difficult for me, and I can make most of the recipes on the first try.
“Now I’m doing this full-time, I have a lot more time to do everything from scratch. I like making a lot of different recipes and being varied and I think that’s what attracts people. ‘
Now he’s released his recipe book that features some of his favorite dishes – including Korean beef bulgogi, buffalo chicken alfredo, and reasonably priced ramen.
Each dish contains not only physical copies of the recipes, but also a QR code so that fans can cook together with the home cook.
A new hit on TikTok was his filled French toast, which garnered 800,000 likes and was viewed more than 4.5 million times.
Since it was fun to experiment with new flavors – including fried chorizo mac and cheese balls, spicy mango margarita prawns, and steak and eggs benedict – Bartek continued to post videos, film the process on his phone, and edit the clips himself
The secret? Soaking a brioche loaf in custard before filling it with indulgent marshmallow spread and frying it – and the simple mince went down well with its followers.
Meanwhile, his recipe for stacked burgers was also a hit, with more than 175,000 people liking the contribution.
One person commented, ‘It’s a 10/10 from me.’
“Oh, that looks so good,” said another viewer.
Another added, “I tried it and it was sooooo good.” [sic]
“Looks incredibly delicious,” agreed another user.
A new hit on TikTok was his filled French toast, which garnered 800,000 likes and viewed more than 4.5 million times
Now he’s released his recipe book that features some of his favorite dishes – including creamy garlic parmesan chicken and a sriracha chicken sandwich with honey
In other posts, viewers said “Gordon Ramsay would like this” and commented that Bartek should have his own cooking show.
Commenting on his career change and his fame at TikTok, Bartek said, “It was a bit of a shock, but I’ve got used to it pretty well.
“I don’t like to focus on the numbers so I don’t make a video just to make it go viral – I want to keep it, of course.
“I just take things every day and enjoy it.”