It's been a year, and we're delighted to invite you once again to take a captivating journey to the worlds of Polish food and Jewish-Polish food. The Second Polish Culinary Week offers dozens of cultural and culinary events, to be held in downtown Haifa and several locations across Israel. 'Bread and Memory' events, orchestrated by Chef-Baker Erez Komarovsky, with the participation of Israel's finest bakers; fabulous dough prepared by a Polish-Tatar-Muslim woman chef; herring and vodka parties; guest chefs from Poland; and popup restaurants dedicated to gefilte fish - are just some of the surprises awaiting you.
The central event
The intoxicating aroma of baked dough is an inseparable part of everyone's childhood memories: the home or neighbourhood oven is the heart of family and community life in Poland and other locations worldwide; and bread, pastry-making, and the oven are at the centre of the 2014 Polish Culinary Week.
The Bread and Memory project is a one-off joint venture between the Polish Institute in Israel, Chef Erez Komarovsky, the Bezalel Design Academy, and a list of leading Israeli pastry chefs and bakers. Throughout the week, bakers, pâtissiers, chefs, and home bakers from Poland and Israel will attempt to decode our attraction to dough, and the range of emotions and tastes it evokes among its consumers.
Israel's front-ranking bakeries and patisseries will offer a choice of co-productions inspired by the Polish cuisine. The majority of them are types of bread and baked goods that were regulars on the tables of Polish Jews, but fell into obscurity because of the fate of Polish Jewry, or because their bakers emigrated to Israel.
Lost recipes resurrected with the help of Shmil Hollander, the scholar of Eastern European Jewish food, will take on new life - assisted by students of the infographics track, facilitated by Roni Levit of the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, who imbued them with a new and distinctive visual expression.
The flagship event of Polish Culinary Week will be held in the setting of a specially adapted industrial hangar in downtown Haifa, where the general public is invited to share in the magic of pastry-making. A one-time installation starring bread will run over three hours, and will feature an exhibition of graphic posters inspired by those almost-lost recipes; pastry magic performed by the finest local and Polish bakers, using a row of ovens and ember-filled barrels; video clips and radio sketches inspired by the longing for hot dough and memories; and still more culinary and cultural surprises. Join us for this thrilling and passionate event.
Among those participating in the event -
Erez Komarovsky - the doyen of local bakers, the man who launched Israel's artisan bread revolution, breathed magic into near-forgotten Polish recipes, and orchestrated the creation of the whole event.
Michał Bryś ('L'enfant terrible', Sandomierska 13, Warsaw) - Bryś, a highly esteemed chef and baker, specialises in reconstructing breads from the Middle Ages, and baking special sourdough bread.
Dżenneta Bogdanowicz - a member of Poland's Tatar-Muslim minority, she has transformed her family's pastry recipes into Polish heritage recipes.
The cream of Israel's bakers and pastry-chefs - Adon Shipon (Rehovot), Bar Lechem (Tel Aviv), Bread Story (Tel Aviv), Marco's Beigels (Kiryat Ata), Hanahtom (Bnei Yehuda), Dallal (Tel Aviv), Zomer (Tel Aviv), Yiftach Lechem (Mata'im), Kishorit (Kishorit), Le Moulin (Tel Aviv), Broitman Bread (Eilat), Tenne Bread (Gesher Haziv), Shahar Bread (Mishmar Hasharon), The Good Bread Club (Kfar Kama), Mor Bakery (Kfar Tavor), Ma'aseh Yadayim (Tzafririm), Alechem (Hulata), Gal's Bakery (Haifa), Spira Bakery and Patisserie (Haifa), Shany Bakery (Haifa), and Palmer Café (Haifa) - are among the participants.
About the exhibition -
Is it possible to bake a honey cake from a recipe without words? Infographics - a popular and fast-growing area of design across the world - focuses on transferring quantitative information by using visual tools, like operating instructions, maps, and conceptualising statistical data. In this case, students designed a poster providing instructions for baking a traditional Polish honey cake … without using words. Facilitator - Roni Levit, from the Visual Communications department at Bezalel Academy for Art and Design, in Jerusalem.
Haifa hangar, 32-33 Hanamal Street (adjacent to the corner of Palmer Gate street)
20:00 to 23:00
More details are available at the Downtown Administration - 04-8357440
At the end of the first Polish Food Week, we were left with the taste for more... with the desire to track down other unfamiliar stories, the passion to continue disclosing the surprising aspects of Polish and Polish-Jewish cuisine. We were delighted by the participants in the 2013 Polish Culinary Week events, and they made us realize, more than ever, that yearning for memories and roots is integral to generating a new culture. Over the past year we embarked on a culinary-cultural journey to discover new stories, and we’re excited to share our findings with you.
The festival's inaugural year opened with Modest Amaro, the first Polish chef to win a Michelin star, and with Poland's new haute cuisine. This year we decided to seek out the other end, and the small community of Polish-Muslim-Tatars living in a remote rural region. Members of that community, the Bogdanowicz family, will be guests of the Polish Culinary Week and will present their magnificent pastry-making. When one hears 'Polish cuisine,' not many think about savoury and sweet baked goods which were born among nomadic tribes in Central Asia. And yet the heritage foods of the same community are now an inseparable part of the Polish kitchen (and there's also a riveting Jewish connection that will be revealed to the festival's visitors).
Dough, bread, and the baking process are the focus of festival events this year. Chef Erez Komarovsky, leading bakers and pastry-chefs, and the Bezalel Design Academy have joined us in a beautiful project which explores the ties between bread and memory - and in the process, revives some close-to-forgotten recipes. A peak event of the 2014 Polish Food Week will take place in downtown Haifa, where we'll be holding an installation on bread - it's open to the public, and crammed with surprises for all the senses… but we're just as thrilled by smaller peaks. Throughout the week, for example, bialy - the little yeast rolls filled with onions and poppy-seeds which originated in Bialystok, Podlesie province - will be baked and sold at close to a dozen bakeries across Israel. Along with the beigel, New Yorkers have made this pastry a symbol of Polish-Jewish cuisine, but in Israel it is almost non-existent: we hope it will meet with a warm and loving welcome here.
These are just a few examples, of course. There's also a one-off temple to gefilte fish that will be open for five days - a collaboration with artist Roni Levit; a series of guest chefs from Poland who will be hosted in downtown Haifa restaurants; and an assortment of celebrations, workshops, culinary tours, and cultural events. We're sure that this is the beginning of a great tradition, and let us wish you a wonderful week of new discoveries and thrilling adventures.
See you at the Polish Week's events,
Ronit Vered and Arieh Rosen
The Ambassador of Poland in Israel: H.E. Jacek Chodorowicz
The Director of the Polish Institute: Krzysztof Kopytko
Our thanks Shmil Holland, Dani Tracz, Mirek Ancypo, Lior Hargil, Aviram Katz and special thanks to the Haifa IRTHATIT team and Zahi Terno. Guy Rubanenko. Noam Levinger.