2nd Biennial Dublin Gastronomy Symposium

Dublin diary date:  June 3rd-4th 2014 are the dates of the 2nd Biennial Dublin Gastronomy Symposium”

… says long-time OSFC Symposiast Mairtin Mac ConIomaire (see his account of the OSFC’s 2013 Material Culture gathering in ‘Past Years’).  The event will take place at the School of Culinary Arts & Food Technology, Dublin Institute of Technology, Cathal Brugha Street.  The theme, ‘Cravings/Desire’, can be interpreted in the widest possible manner ranging from craving or desire for better food and wines, more knowledge about food and beverages, fast food, street food, food in pregnancy, authenticity, novelty, health properties, body image, aphrodisiac, food porn, food as hobby or past time, food for profit, cultural capital, economic and social status etc.

Participants, says Mairtin, can expect good company, Irish hospitality, lively discussion and great food in a collegial environment.   And as those who attended the first event in 2012 will remember, it’ll also be great fun! Details including the call for papers are on the DGS website, http://arrow.dit.ie/dgs/.

Anya von Bremzen

The fabulous Anya von Bremzen, author of Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking, will be Saturday’s plenary speaker on markets as a means of survival – provisional title, The Double Market in Soviet Russia

anya_picAnya knows of what she speaks. Soviet Cooking, subtitled a memoir of food and longing, was described by the New York Times as ‘a meticulously researched history of the Soviet Union’, while Leslie Chamberlain, no less, has just reviewed the book at full length with great enthusiasm in the Christmas double issue of the TLS.

Anya is a wise and witty woman, winner of three James Beard awards – cookbooks include The New Spanish Table and Please to the Table: The Russian Cookbook (co-authored by John Welchman). She spent her childhood in Moscow and Baku as the daughter of a well-connected but dissident Russian mother. Mother and daughter emigrated to the US in 1974 with little more than the clothes on their backs.

Dissidence runs in the family: Anya’s great-great-grandmother – another Anna – was a famous Bolshevik feminist who ended up in a gulag and was responsible for freeing Muslim women in Soviet Tajikistan from their full-length horsehair veils.  Anya lives and writes in New York and Istanbul, contributes regularly to magazines and newspapers in the US, and is a contributing editor at Travel + Leisure. Our Saturday lunch will be based on Anya’s choice of Soviet-era recipes – surprisingly delicious – from her memoir.

Tom Jaine in ppc 99 on the Symposium 2014. “The website is the gateway to enlightenment.”

Ursula Heinzelmann’s Viennese market

Trustee Ursula Heinzelmann works up an appetite for Vienna’s Naschmark. Vienna’s largest open-air market is situated in the 6th district of Mariahilf, between Secession and Kettenbrückengasse. While the market itself dates back to the 1780s, early activities were confined to the sale of milk and butter.

vienna mkt cafe


Naschen actually means nibbling and snacking on delicious tidbits – is’nt that a great name for a market? – although it didn’t actually acquire this name till 1905. By then the market had long been used for the sale of fruit and vegetables. Today it has developed into an appetising mix of shops and street stalls offering all kinds of delicacies, with most of the stalls housed in permanent wooden structures.

cheese shop_One of the most attractive elements of the market today is the wide variety of goods on sale: you can buy fresh sauerkraut directly from the barrel, then move along to the stall selling Indian spices who’s next door to the seller of mountain cheeses whose neighbour is selling fresh fish or game. After the new millenium, many of the stalls began to offer food and drink for consumption on the spot, a very popular option amongst locals at weekends, when the flea market at the far end of the Naschmarkt provides an additional draw.

man with liquor_