"Dr Irena Eris Tasty Stories" is a cyclical culinary project aimed to show the close relationships between local producers and SPA Hotels and their staff,
who are transforming food products into culinary masterpieces.
Dr Irena Eris Tasty Stories
As part of the unique culinary project Dr Irena Eris Tasty Stories, for the second time the Dr Irena Eris SPA Hotels have set out in search for stories about cuisine, products, the people involved and stories that are full of juicy content and seasoned with genuine emotions. According to the motto “Diversity in life – unity in the kitchen,” this year’s heroes, although much different – as regards their background, age and family traditions, have one thing in common – passion for the world of cuisine and love for what they do. Food gives a feeling of safety, defines one’s roots and identity, and is a collection of experiences. In a magical way, diversity in the kitchen creates unity and balance on the table, in the form of shared meals, which is something we’ve been increasingly lacking in our everyday lives.
In autumn 2018, "they" were the heroes of the Beskid edition of Dr Irena Eris Tasty Stories. It was Janusz Myjak – the chef of the Szósty Zmysł restaurant in the Dr Irena Eris Krynica Zdrój SPA Hotel with his wife Basia; bartender Krzysztof who works in the hotel, but at the same time is a firefighter who knows how to effectively put out fire; as well as Marcin, a breeder of Limousin cows driven by ecological ideals, with his brother Wojciech, a veterinarian, whose beef is served in the Szósty Zmysł restaurant. Finally, it’s also Dorota, a tour guide very much in love with the Beskid region, who discovers the secrets of old Krynica-Zdrój with the guests of our hotel.
Attachment to locality
The grand finale of these stories took place during one September weekend in the Dr Irena Eris Krynica Zdrój SPA Hotel. In a picnic-like atmosphere, the hotel’s guests watched a documentary feature titled “In Defense of Food” based on the bestselling book “In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto” by Michael Pollan, and participated in a discussion panel with chefs, hosted by Jakub Gutek representing Films For Food, the documentary’s distribution company.
Jakub Gutek: “The film’s director Michael Schwarz embarked on a journey around the world together with Michael Pollan, the author of the bestseller, to get to the bottom of one of the most basic issues ever: what should we really eat? Do we need to be food experts to eat healthy? They’ve met people of different cultures and culinary traditions on their way – which not only helped them answer these questions but also allowed them to formulate several simple rules based on common sense, whose observance will turn your food in a source of health, strength, and simply everyday pleasure. The message of this film will not let you stay indifferent towards the products you eat, and forces you to think about your attitude towards food, its origins and changing your habits.”
A beautifully set breakfast table filled with local products and a special menu insert with dishes made using products delivered by local producers and suppliers have allowed the guests to get familiar with the flavors offered by the Beskid region.
“Our breakfast table always includes regional and seasonal products, such as oscypek smoked cheese, goat milk cheeses, home-made jams, roast meats and cold cuts, honey, or hand-picked marinated mushrooms,” says Wojciech Sporek, hotel’s director, “But a weekend with Dr Irena Eris Tasty Stories allows us for some direct interaction with our guests. We can show them the most precious products in the regions and their origin, as well as talk about how they’re made. We present the profiles of producers who work with passion, are proud of their produce, and preserve the culinary heritage of the region.
The open-air dinner with this year's theme "They" was set in a unique atmosphere.Famous chefs – the host and chef of the Szósty Zmysł restaurant in the Dr Irena Eris Krynica Zdrój SPA Hotel Janusz Myjak and chefs from Kraków – Marcin Sołtys (Filipa 18 restaurant) and Paweł Kras (Bottiglieria 1881 restaurant), as well as other chefs – worked together in preparation of the event.
“It was quite a challenge to create a menu for such a special occasion, based on the stories and recipes of the heroes of Dr Irena Eris Tasty Stories. However, inviting other talented and successful chefs turned out to be of much greater value. It not only allowed us to exchange experiences and share the things that are the most precious here in the region of Krynica-Zdrój,” stresses Janusz Myjak, chef of the Szósty Zmysł restaurant, “But also showed that we don’t have to compete professionally; that we can join forces to create harmony on the plate. The dishes served at the “They” Dinner weren’t the showpieces of the chefs, as each of us contributed something special to each dish so that we could achieve unity in the kitchen and on the plate out of the diversity of ideas and characters. And the guests appreciated that.” It was truly difficult to resist such dishes as trout with apple and crème fraiche, kid meat in broth, Mangalica meat with smoked potatoes and dried mushrooms, sturgeon with pickles or rhubarb with lavender. The dishes were complemented with perfect wine pairing delivered by Wineonline.
In 2018, Dr Irena Eris SPA Hotels organized two tasteful editions of the Dr Irena Eris Tasty Stories project:
Weekend with “They” dinner –three outstanding chefs got together in the SPA Hotel in Krynica, Janusz Myjak and his fellow culinarians, to present a menu based on organic products from local suppliers at an open-air dinner.
Weekend with “THEY” (women’s edition) – devoted to Dylewo Hills and the region. This edition was ruled by women, talented chefs headed by Agnieszka Wilrandt, who warmed up this October evening with an exclusive tasting dinner at “Sielanka.” The dinner menu was inspired by the tasteful tales as told by the “heroines” of “Tasty Stories.”
Chef of the Szósty Zmysł restaurant in Dr Irena Eris Krynica Zdrój SPA Hotel
How did the Dr Irena Eris Tasty Stories project influence me?
I have learnt to pay even more attention to people. Today, whenever I find out there’s a new interesting producer in the area, I hop in the car and drive there to talk to him. I like knowing whether local products are made with the same passion I use to create my dishes. The project allowed me to re-discover the joy of cooking in collaboration with other chefs. This was a truly invaluable experience!
Bartender in the Dr Irena Eris Krynica Zdrój SPA hotel, professional firefighter
I enjoy working with people and for people. Our regular guests often come up to me saying, “Krzysiu, it’s so nice to see you.” And I can remember their favorite dish or drink right away. It takes years to build a relationship like this. Many guests also ask me to recommend some attractions in Krynica, or what the opening hours of the gondola lift to the Jaworzyna mount are, where they can find the nearest ATM, what time the holy mass starts. And I know all this, because it’s my town.
Owner of the OIKOS Organic Farm in Krzywe near Sękowa
I deeply believe in agroecology. For me, it is a philosophy and a way of living. It says a lot about people, but also about the relationship between the farmer and the Earth. We are not destroying nature with pesticides or other chemicals and monoculture. We build biodiversity. We want to use the balance of nature model in agriculture. My farm has this balance, I just need to keep it.
Tour guide for the Beskid region
What does Krynica mean to me? I appreciate the peace it offers. The life is slower here, more family-oriented. Everything is close and I feel safe. The locals, my neighbors, are really nice and helpful. And Krynica itself gets more and more beautiful. It’s a town with a rich history, so strolling the same streets as Konopnicka, Asnyk, Gałczyński, Kraszewski, Sienkiewicz or Kiepura every day makes me feel really adventurous.
Vet and co-owner of the OIKOS Organic Farm in Krzywe near Sękowa
Food surely connects people. For instance, I love to sit at the table with my family and have a meal together. I really enjoy this ritual. It’s always been like this in my house; we have always eaten meals together. The TV must have been turned off, just like the radio. And I wasn’t allowed to talk.