From hip cafes to chic restaurants, Eastern European food is coming into its own. Once deemed principally fare for peasants, leading chefs in the West today are experimenting with Eastern European food and raising it to a high art form.
“I like to take peasant food from the home country and elevate it,” said Anne Yarymowich, executive chef at the Art Gallery of Ontario’s Frank Restaurant, who frequently features Eastern European foods on her menu. “It’s peasant cuisine. There’s no shame in that.”
Heavy, simple and filling, Eastern European food is reflective of the cultures of the people who inhabit this vast territory – Ukrainians, Hungarians, Jews, Poles and others.