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The Warsaw Voice » Society » November 29, 2012
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Diplomacy and Cooking
November 29, 2012   
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If you attend a dinner party in some exotic corner of the world and are served Polish żur sour soup or borscht with mushrooms, you may have reason to suspect that the lady of the house is the wife of a former ambassador to Poland and took cooking lessons from Polish celebrity chef Karol Okrasa. Such culinary workshops, entitled Culinary Travels with Karol Okrasa, are organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Polish Vodka Association and the Belvedere restaurant for the wives of ambassadors accredited in Warsaw.

The aim is to promote Polish cuisine and Polish culture. The campaign is actively supported by Poland’s First Lady, Anna Komorowska.

The sixth workshop session took place Oct. 26. Participants traveled to Ryn, a picturesque town in the Mazurian Lake District northeast of Warsaw, to learn to cook potato pancakes at the beautiful, historic Ryn castle.

Previously, Okrasa’s students were astonished by a class on cooking game dishes. “We gathered inside an old stable to prepare dishes of aristocratic origin,” Okrasa said. “It was sublime Polish cuisine. I know for a fact that some of the recipes have become a fixture on ambassadors’ menus. The Christmas Eve meeting proved highly popular as well. Along with Christmas dishes, we demonstrated Polish Christmas customs which intrigued many of the participants.”

“During the workshops, we learned how to cook a number of traditional Polish dishes,” said Adele Hutchinson, the wife of the Irish ambassador to Poland and the president of the Shom club of ambassadors’ wives. “They are all delicious, but I am most partial to pierogi because of the wide variety of flavors and serving options.”

In November 2011, Poland’s Foreign Affairs Minister Radosław Sikorski awarded the prestigious Bene Merito badge to Okrasa and Andrzej Szumowski, the president of the Polish Vodka Association, in recognition of their services in promoting Polish cuisine.

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