The Soviet Union was particularly harsh on Poland and no less than 15, Polish officers were murdered in the Katyn atrocities. His father was released and made his own way, with great difficulty to the Caspian Sea, and from there to transit camps in Persia Iran. At that stage, the British were dispersing refugees to the Commonwealth countries and his mother she hadn't met his father, yet ended up in India, close to Kerala, along with 15, others. She even got to meet Gandhi and wrote about it. His father, who had been badly treated in the Gulag, had been fairly well educated and also ended up in India, getting work at the Polish consulate from But the new Polish government, a communist one, dispensed with his services and he too was sent to the refugee camp where he met his future wife.
After Indian independence, the refugees were relocated to many countries. By then, Frank's father was working in camp administration and made sure that both he and his future wife would end up together. And they did both get to Uganda, to a camp near Kampala. Here, they married and here both Frank and his sister were born. But, by , the family was on the move, this time to England where Frank would be educated. Up to then, he had spoken only Polish and had no English when starting school. The food at home was very much Polish. His memories from that time including: free range chickens, beehives, foraging for mushrooms and wild strawberries.
His Russian grandmother influenced his culinary awareness, as did Polish and neighbouring cuisines. He went on to work in London where he would meet his own wife Ann. He tried to get home but needed the assistance of the British consulate. Six months after the Spanish escapade, Frank heard a knock on his door. The young visitors said they had come for the party. Frank said there is no party here. In return, Frank was invited to the next party, in Hampstead, and it was here that he met Ann. She brought him home and introduced him to West Cork. A year earlier , they were married in Baltimore and spent the honeymoon on Sherkin Island.
I preferred the woods and foraging. Not with charcuterie but by making a soft fresh cheese Polish style but from a Scottish recipe based on buttermilk. It was quite a success and won a 1st prize in the RDS in Gradually he got back and used to occasionally fill in for his sons who were working as kitchen porters in a local restaurant. The chef patron though was in the habit of drinking too much and often Frank had to do the cooking, learning a lot in the process. Lots of compliments were coming his way but, when he asked for a raise, the boss told him where to go!
Next step was to start his own supper club. And that was such a success that they still get requests to stage it again. But later he raised the money for the Ballymaloe course and it was that that put the younger Krawczyk on his way. And it was while doing the supper club that Frank decided to revisit salamis, based on the Polish style of his childhood memories. He was so successful that he was soon recognised by Euro Toques. He doesn't want to make a fortune but rules are made for the big producers, not for the small but, of course, they are still applied to the small.
Frank is no longer producing his own charcuterie. Son Robbie is now doing it at Tankardstown. And Frank is obviously and rightly proud of that. I value my Polish education. And there is doubt that West Cork and the Irish food scene generally values Frank. Labels: Frank Krawczyk , Tankardstown , Urru. His son Robbie is an award winning chef currently at the much acclaimed Tankardstown House.
Join Frank and Robbie in an around-the-table conversation format event.
My Shopping Bag
The conversation will be facilitated by food writer, Dianne Curtin. Active audience participation will be encouraged. Refreshments will be served. Labels: Frank Krawczyk , Urru. Friday, May 16, Schull Country Market. Cornucopia in a Car Park. Schull Country Market. Sunday morning and the car park near the pier in Schull in transformed into a cornucopia, a profusion of good things to eat and drink from the locality.
Watch out in particular for their Goats Milk Ice-creams. They have a range of flavours, including a beautiful banana one. These are highly recommended. Another likely hit is their Num Num range, for juniors over 12 months. These are the Ratatouille with Steline Pasta and the Three Cheese Macaroni; these are gluten free with no added salt or sugar.
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