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The Warsaw Voice » Other » March 27, 2013
Awards Gala
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And the Chair Went to...
March 27, 2013   
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Agriculture Minister Stanisław Kalemba picked up The Warsaw Voice’s Chair of the Year award March 13 after the magazine decided that it was Polish food rather than an individual or organization that stole the show in Polish public life last year.

Speaking at an award ceremony at the Warsaw Stock Exchange, Voice editor-in-chief Andrzej Jonas praised the flavor and quality of Polish food, pointing out that exports have rocketed in recent years. “In 2012, exports trebled compared to 2004, the year Poland joined the EU,” Jonas said.

Collecting the Chair of the Year 2012 statuette, Kalemba said that the agricultural sector underpinned the Polish economy and Polish food deserved to be promoted. According to Kalemba, the Chair of the Year award should be seen as a success for the entire agricultural and food industry in Poland. “A success for farmers and their families, fruit tree growers, horticulturists, agricultural producers, food processing companies, export companies, retailers,” Kalemba said. “Farmers have definitely earned this over the years, as their efforts have not always been fully appreciated.”

Kalemba added that last year Poland exported food worth a record 17.5 billion euros, with the positive balance of trade for the food sector at all-time high of 4.1 billion euros.

Guests at this year’s award ceremony, including people in the agricultural and food industry, were able to try Polish cheeses, cold meats, dairy products, apples and alcoholic beverages produced according to traditional recipes, some dating back centuries. Guests could also check out a unique cook book with recipes for tasty traditional Polish dishes. The book, with contributions from 12 Polish master chefs, has won an international award. It contains a wide selection of recipes using special ingredients such as game and rare herbs and spices. Many of the recipes—perhaps a little exotic to the average Pole these days—are inspired by the cuisine of aristocratic Polish homes from centuries past.

The annual Chair of the Year award has become something of an institution and has now been handed out 24 times. The Warsaw Voice gives the award to individuals, organizations, products and sectors of the economy which have had the strongest impact on the lives of people in Poland in the preceding year.
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