Food for Change in Copernicus – slow food flavours of Pomerania and Lesser Poland

Slow Food on a plate! Another unique event under the sign of the red snail took place in Krakow. Slow Food values are shared by Relais & Châteaux, an international hotel association that has joined the Food for Change festival.

Stopping climate change and preserving biodiversity is a huge concern for of ecologists and slow food activists. That is why cooking in the world is propagated from what is local, traditional – to draw on the culinary heritage of our terroir, reduce the carbon footprint and reduce the consumption of meat from industrial farms. Olivier Roellinger, vice president of Relais & Châteaux, said: „Chefs have an important role to play in sharing good nutrition practices – cooking locally, seasonally, minimizing waste, and using less meat.”

What was the Food For Change festival about?

Relais & Châteaux chefs – Marcin Filipkiewicz and Marcin Popielarz

Food for Change took place October 3-6 around the world. Relais & Châteaux chefs from over a dozen countries around the world were tasked with preparing a balanced menu that would raise public awareness of the quality and origin of each ingredient.

They were supposed to stick to the following guidelines:

– Use seasonal and local ingredients (lesss than 50 km from restaurants). In the case of local products, organic products had to be obtained.
– Choose products from Arc of Taste or from Slow Food Presidium
– Include more vegetarian dishes to the menu
– Avoid tropical fruits
– Reduce the amount of meat products on the menu
– Eliminate meat from industrial production and try to replace it with other meat (e.g. sheep, goats, turkeys, etc.)
– Do not use meat from young animals, except lambs and goats
– Use balanced, ethical seafood according to the Ethic Ocean guide
– For imported products (sugar, coffee, cocoa, etc.), fair trade or organic products should have been chosen
– Include natural wines in the card (low sulfites, natural fermentation, organic, biodynamic, etc.)
– Try to apply the zero waste policy

Food for Change dinner in Krakow

Two Relais & Châteaux chefs – Marcin Filipkiewicz, the host, chef from Copernicus and his guest – Marcin Popielarz, chef of the White Rabbit restaurant from Gdynia met in the kitchen of the Copernicus Hotel restaurant. During one jointly prepared dinner, they managed to combine the flavors of Pomerania and Lesser Poland into a coherent story about local products and Polish cuisine.

At the beginning, a mousse of smoked Ojców Trout appeared on the table, as well as home-baked bread with herb butter with bryndza cheese, leberka and vegan bean lard.

Amuse bouche: Pstrąg Ojcowski

Domowe pieczywo / Home made bread

Then the Kashubian herring on the table, complemented with a reduction of red pepper and tomato, served with an onion chutney with plum and potato gratin with apple. Next – famous Krakow’s maczanka. Served with a roll filled with black pudding, and celery mousse baked in Wieliczka salt.

Maczanka po krakowsku (Marcin Filipkiewicz)

Śledź po kaszubsku/ Kashubian Herring (Marcin Popielarz) 

The next dish was an extremely meaty, sweet, creamy soup made of Kashubian wrecks, cooked on smoked goose fat.

Zupa z kaszubskich wreków na wędzonym gęsim tłuszczu (Marcin Popielarz) / Kashubian Soup

Zupa z kaszubskich wreków na wędzonym gęsim tłuszczu (Marcin Popielarz)

Trout from Ojców, the favorite fish of Krakow chefs, was served with beautiful Piękny Jaś beans and chanterelles, on bacon mousse and with a buttery sauce. Intermezzo took us to the land of Polish flavors of childhood: for refreshing the taste buds, the chefs chose apples from Łącko and served them in the form of refreshing granites and sorbet, with the addition of elderberry vinegar. The second main course was goose with pumpkin with a pinch of sour hibiscus powder, followed by a pre-dessert called „Bread and Butter”. For dessert, we ate ice cream made of Polish honey which was served with Suska Sechlońska plum, light meringue, raspberries and blackberries.

Gęś z dynią i sosem z hibiskusa / Goose with pumpkin  (Marcin Popielarz)

Pstrąg Ojcowski z Pięknym Jasiem z Doliny Dunajca i kurkami / Trout from Ojców (Marcin Filipkiewicz)

Mrożony miód z suską / Frozen honey with suska sechlońska plum (Marcin Filipkiewicz)

Chleb z masłem / Bread and butter (Marcin Filipkiewicz)

Finally, instead of sweet petit fours, a plate of Polish cheeses appeared on the table with a selection of fantastic fruit preserves. Polish wines accompanied us throughout the evening. Interestingly, there was no wine pairing prepared for dishes, but guests were given a free hand regarding the choice of bottles. We decided on white Tramino (coupage of Traminer and Riesling) from one of our favorite vineyards – Jakubów, and later on red: Testarossa made from Cabernet  from the Hople vineyard.

Autumn flavors in the historical interiors of the Copernicus Hotel have created a beautiful experience. No unnecessary stories, discreet, polite service, in an amazing, relaxing atmosphere. That evening Polish flavors and local products were to speak, which in the hands of talented chefs turned into wonderful dishes. We would like to thank the Copernicus Hotel restaurant for the invitation to dinner.