Russian Archive

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How Slavic Became the Flavor of the Moment

11.11.2016 Posted in Cooking, Food No Comments

Fermented, foraged, whole-grain and invigoratingly herbal, the flavors of the moment are straight out of Central and Eastern Europe. Why does this old-world food seem so right-now? (published in The Wall Street Journal http://www.wsj.com/articles/how-slavic-became-the-flavor-of-the-moment-1478110466) SUPER BOWL | Silesian dumplings in carrot broth (kluski slaskie), served at Apteka in Pittsburgh. PHOTO: F. MARTIN RAMIN/THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, FOOD STYLING BY SARAH KARNASIEWICZ, PROP STYLING BY CARLA GONZALEZ-HART By SARAH KARNASIEWICZ Updated Nov. 2, 2016 3:48 p.m. ET 30 COMMENTS STICK-TO-YOUR RIBS stews, vegetables simmered into submission, doughy dumplings as chubby and pale as a child’s fist: Mention Eastern European food to most Americans, and these are the images they’ll conjure. Never mind that at its largest, the U.S.S.R. covered one-sixth of the earth’s land, swallowing spice routes and diverse empires that were sustained by much more than pork and potatoes. Twenty-five years after the dissolution of the Soviet Union—and with more than 14 million Russian, Ukrainian and Polish Americans among us—popular notions of Slavic food have remained largely frozen in amber. SEE THE RECIPES Blame it on cultural baggage: The Slavic penchant for hospitality has always been most vigorously practiced at home, and the privations of life behind the Iron Curtain during most of the last century hardly made for a robust restaurant culture. Nevertheless, a new generation of stateside chefs is embracing Central and Eastern European ingredients and techniques, putting fresh—dare I say hip?—spins on a colorful cuisine that ranges far beyond stereotypical babushka cooking. At Apteka, a modern Polish restaurant […]

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The Most Prominent Architect in Hawai’i was Russian.

23.01.2015 Posted in Lifestyle No Comments

In my striving to discover interesting people of Russian origin, I have recently found out that one of the most prominent architects in Hawai’i was Russian! His name is Vladimir Ossipoff. Val’s life seemed to be full of surprises. Born in 1907 in Vladivostok, he spent most of his childhood in Japan, where his father was a military attaché at the Russian Embassy. After the 1917 October Revolution, the Ossipoffs fist remained in Japan. At the beginning no one believed that the Bolsheviks would remain in power. Many considered the October Revolution a temporary event. However, by the early 1920s it had become clear that the Soviets would stay in power longer than expected. In 1923 the Ossipoffs moved to the U.S. Val spoke Japanese, English and Russian fluently. He graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in architecture and moved to Hawai’i where he participated in the construction of multiple buildings contributing to the change in landscape in Hawai’i. Val Ossipoff has been called “the master of Hawaii modern architecture,” “the dean of residential architects in Hawaii” and “the premier postwar designer of kama’aina-style” (word for a long-term resident of the Hawaiian Islands-literally means ‘child of the land’ in Hawaiian). His most famous building is Lilijestrand House – the house of Betty and Howard Liljestrand, a doctor and nurse who had bought the hillside site overlooking the leeward side in Oahu. He later declared that throughout his life he carried out a “War on Ugliness.” I wanted to learn […]