Articles in Food Culture
‘Shado’s interviews are more of a conversation than a straight Q&A. The interview will be about the book; how it came about and what it deals with. From depression to social phobia to meditation, celibacy, etc,’ SAfm Otherwise producer Hazel Makuzeni said. I was blown away that Otherwise host Shado Twala had read my book (Cravings: A Zen-inspired memoir…)—and liked it. And, might I say, ”got it”—in the sense that one writes memoir (“one” meaning “I”, natch…) to reach and express one’s truths. Knowing that it will speak to some people. Not to others. Hoping it will speak to “the right people” in an affirming, empowering way…
Warsaw is rich in culinary luminaries. One of them is Joanna Mróz, prolific founder-author of Poland’s popular food blog, FroBlog, “FRO” being the acronym for Fine Restaurants Only. She is also co-founder of Warsaw Foodie, which follows and comments on Warsaw’s culinary scene. We nibbled on small plates and swilled some good wine with Poland’s top restaurant blogger at Warsaw wine kitchen Kieliszki na Próżnej where she shared stories of food trends, changes, successes and more.
This is our day for Warsaw’s culinary luminaries. After lunch with Agnieszka Kręglicka at Opasły Tom we meet Magdalena Tomaszewska-Bolałek: Japanologist, journalist, researcher of food culture and author of four books including the award-winning Polish Culinary Paths. ‘My main goal is introducing foreign cuisine to Poles and Polish cuisine to the rest of the world,’ she says. ‘It’s very important to me to promote Polish cuisine and to build bridges between the cultures.’
‘We forgot, for a while in Poland, how to grow things,’ says Warsaw restaurateur, author and Opasły Tom co-owner, Agnieszka Kręglicka. ‘But this is turning around now. We’re starting to see a return to traditions and a focus on real food. Gastronomy is now growing really quickly. In Warsaw we’re seeing about 100 restaurants a year opening.’
KukBuk grew out of a ‘a pure love of cooking, eating and communicating round food.’ The intention was to merge cultural, culinary and lifestyle elements. We meet editor Agata Michalak and publisher Daria Pawlewskaat at the Warsaw offices of the award-winning magazine who share the story of KukBuk’s unexpected, unprecedented success. Then we visit Wilanów Palace.
Vodka is the most popular drink in Poland. Twenty years ago (during and immediately after the Soviet era) people were drinking shots, to get drunk. Now, they’re back to vodka for flavor, appreciation and enjoyment, says Pawel Matczak, our host at Dom Wódki in Warsaw, the first restaurant in the world to do menu pairings with vodka.
Would I like to join a study tour of Poland in the event of their being one? “Is the Pope a Catholic?” pops, appropriately I would say, to mind. A couple of months later the formal invite comes via a heavily accented voice on my cellphone. The itinerary is still being planned but she can tell me the duration of the tour will be six days. In October, same month as my previous visit. “Poland’s golden autumn.”
Felicity Vonmoos has stuck her finger up more chicken a-holes than she cares to remember. Hey, she’s a good mom! “Nine times out of 10 if a chicken looks unhappy, it’s because there’s an egg stuck in breach position. I turn it, make it easier for her to lay. Then she dashes off to eat.” Hens are great little creatures, she adds. “They just ask for food, love and water and in return, they work really hard and earn their keep. They lay an egg a day.”
ICC executive chef John Moatshe has cooked for Britain’s Queen Elizabeth, the late President Nelson Mandela and recently, for several thousand delegates attending Africa’s Travel Indaba in Durban. When you quiz this urbane, unpretentious Chaîne des Rôtisseurs-awarded chef about highlights threading through his illustrious culinary career, you discover there are many.
British-born Caroline Grabowska and her Pawła Gąsiorek (Paul) have turned Dwór Sieraków, near Krakow in Poland, into a four-star historic hotels listed establishment. Chef Janusz Fic is the man culinary travelers will seek out at the restaurant, recognized by Slow Food Poland. Paul’s wine cellar is one of Poland’s finest. And their Dwór Sieraków vodka is now a label of note.