Presented by The New School’s Food Studies Program, this panel discussion is an invitation to get acquainted with Polish cuisine through the prism of history and society. It will take you on a journey across the centuries and flavors that have shaped the exceptional cuisine of a country co-created by many cultures. Polish cuisine is flourishing: chefs, producers, media specialists, and consumers are rediscovering traditional products and dishes, while often interpreting them through the prism of contemporary food trends. The result is an exciting and vibrant food scene which, however, is not well know outside of the borders of Poland. The event will feature traditional Polish bites. Four presenters will be moderated by New School Food Studies professor Fabio Parasecoli, who teaches food history, culture and the arts.
Professor Jarosław Dumanowski, the head of the Culinary Heritage Centre at Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń and a member of the research council of the European Institute of the History and Culture of Food (IEHCA) in Tours – is a specialist in early modern history and antique culinary texts who often collaborates with local producers, chefs, marketing specialists, and others. His presentation: A TASTE OF THE PAST. THE USE OF CULINARY HISTORY IN POLAND will focus on the historical roots of modern Polish cuisine and how it uses history as inspiration, documentation, and promotion. Prof. Dumanowski will also discuss the notion of “terroir” and “nature” as representing Mediterranean and Nordic approaches to cuisine, and the use of history for formal registration of traditional foods in the European Union. Monika Kucia, Curator, Food Writer & Designer based in Warsaw. Her presentation CULINARY PERFORMANCES AROUND THE TABLE will describe a variety of culinary events she’s been organizing. These events are labyrinths of tastes, smells and sensations. She invites people to go through an experience that involves eating, singing, smelling and touching. They bring people together in good spirit, hope and peace.
Dr. Annie Hauck, co-editor of Gastropolis: Food and New York City (Columbia University Press) and the author of My Little Town: A Brooklyn Girl’s Food Voice. Her doctoral dissertation emerged from an ethnographic study on the roles and meanings of food among members of Polish-American families in New York City. She educates on everyday urban green living with Brooklyn Mompost (www.brooklynmompost.com) and at Poly Prep Country Day School.’Transplanted; Still Firmly Rooted: 20th Century Polish Food Voices and Ways in Brooklyn, N.Y.’ Her presentation, TRANSPLANTED; STILL FIRMLY ROOTED: 20TH CENTURY POLISH FOOD VOICES AND WAYS IN BROOKLYN, N.Y explores foodways that Polish immigrants brought, adapted and practiced in urban Brooklyn in the 20th century.
Elizabeth Koszarski-Skrabonja is an artist, curator and art historian. Her connection to Polish spirits reaches back to her late father, Casimir J. Koszarski. As the first Manager of the Polish Liquor Department in 1936 for the International distributor, Austin Nichols, (located on Kent Street in Brooklyn), it was his responsibility and challenge to introduce an American public emerging from the constraints of prohibition to Polish vodkas. Her presentation THE VODKA CONTRACT discovers the hidden history of Williamsburg’s waterfront through a tale of entrepreneurship, romance, and war. Ms. Koszarski-Skrabonja shares the dramatic story of how her father’s passion for vodka changed his life—and how he brought a taste of home to New York’s Polish community in the form of three remarkable spirits:Zubrówka (bison grass vodka), Wisniówka (cherry vodka), and Wyborowa (pure rye vodka).