Author Beata Zatorska last year took readers on a virtual tour of Poland in her award-winning memoir/cookbook, “Rose Petal Jam.” On Saturday, Zatorska will visit the Broadway Market to share her food journey during a free noon lecture, said James Lawicki, director of the Polish American Congress Western New York Division.
“The book knocked my socks off, and I thought I have to get that woman to Buffalo,” said Lawicki. “Beata captured the essence of Polish culture, and for someone who can’t go to Poland, this book takes you there.”
Zatorska’s talk is part of the Second Saturday of the Month Lecture Series held in the Community Room at the Broadway Market, 999 Broadway.
“Rose Petal Jam” – generously sprinkled with photographs taken by Simon Target, Zatorska’s husband – is a collection of recipes and stories from the author’s childhood in Poland.
“The book started out as my memoirs, and I realized writing it that my memory of food is the strongest one,” Zatorska said during an interview early last year. “I felt food has a story to it.”
Recipes in the book are introduced with personal stories and illustrated by well-composed portraits of Polish cuisine, including the cover photo of Rose Petal Jam. The coffee-table cookbook is the first in a series of four cookbooks that will be written by Zatorska and photographed by her husband.
Eileen Koteras Elibol is art director at WNED-TV/WBFO-FM Buffalo-Toronto. As a professional photographer with a treasure chest of Polish family recipes, Elibol has read “Rose Petal Jam” cover to cover.
“It’s not just the recipes, but the book’s images capture the soul of Poland,” Elibol said. “All those wonderful details – an old barn in the mist or the author with her grandmother – make you feel like you are there.”
Zatorska’s appearance at the Broadway Market will speak to a vibrant culture with roots deep in Western New York.
“Our whole goal is to educate people and help keep Polish culture alive,” said Lawicki. “People hear Polish food and they think pierogi and kielbasa. The reality is there is so much more. The richness of the food from various areas of Poland is what Beata brings out wonderfully.”
Polish culture takes a front seat in the Zatorska kitchen, judging from the pages of “Rose Petal Jam,” where stories of poet Adam Mickiewicz can share a chapter with recipes for Roast Duck with Apples and Daisy Eggs.
“These are the recipes that were passed down from her grandmother to be carried on and enjoyed by generations of Polish families,” said Elibol. “The details of the photos strike you on an emotional level. They’re not all of the typical screaming sunny day. There are moody images that capture the beauty of one flower and the natural beauty of the Polish countryside.”
The market is also offering a prelecture breakfast with the author that includes a light breakfast, a signed copy of “Rose Petal Jam” and a 125th Broadway Market anniversary mug and rose.
Reservations for the breakfast may be made by calling 479-2342. The cost is $40. Make checks payable to BEST Community Association, 180 Sheffield Ave., Buffalo, N.Y. 14220.
This event is coordinated in partnership with the 125th Anniversary Celebration Committee, the Broadway Market and the Polish American Congress-WNY.