Articles in Culinary Travel
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.
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.
Plentiful: The Big Book of Buddha Food (Jacana) is the Buddhist Retreat Center’s third cookbook. Plentiful was launched at Adams Bookstore in Durban by journalist and longtime Zen student Wanda Hennig. Plentiful’s chef is Paul Atkinson. Editor is Chrisi van Loon. Photographer is Angela Shaw.
On her “roots” and culinary travel trip to Poland, Wanda Hennig comes to appreciate her vodka-pouring hosts, learns about nalewka — a traditional vodka-like drink infused with herbs, fruit, and/or spices — first at Krakow’s legendary Cafe Jama Michalika and later at upscale seasonally-inspired Pod Baranem restaurant (among other places). Not surprisingly, she comes home with the T-shirt…
I sign up for the free two-and-a-half hour Doha bus tour; the 4pm run. The 100-year-old market is the highlight. The women encouraging us to try spoons of their brayani and other cooked food offerings — in heat that could probably melt my Crocs if I left them out for half an hour. Offering me tissues to dab at my face. Alarmed that I am sweating because they don’t seem to.
The text messages about the bomb blasts come after I conclude that this dry whiter-than-white unbuttered bread with a couple of withered brown tears of lettuce and about eight minute slices of what I presume is chicken and a dry small roll and a wizened small citrus fruit of indistinguishable nature must be the worst brekker ever served in food-loving Thailand. Thanks Nai Yang Beach Resort.
Search and you will find. No need in fact to search. Just take a walk and chances are you’ll find a market. Fresh and local. The equivalent but down-home and just-how-it’s-always-been version of the San Francisco Ferry Plaza Saturday farmer’s market.
I believe home is where the heart is, and we carry our hearts with us, like our breath, so anywhere and everywhere is home. And being “at home” on the move has a sense of adventure while “home” in the conventional sense comes with duties and suchlike.