Inveterate socialite and self-made dinner hostess Julia Bosski serves Berliners a slice of Poland beyond vodka and pierogi.
It’s Thursday night and Julia Bosski is serving dinner in the Rosengarten cafe im Weinbergspark. Bosski’s Polish Thursday Dinners, as her weekly supper club is called, are often held in Mitte, “where the beautiful people are.”
The guests arrive, chatting in a mixture of Polish, German and English; there are artists, a journalist and an opera singer. Bosski, 24, looks picture-perfect. She welcomes everyone with the flustered excitement of a busy hostess. The dishes, fusion-ish takes on Polish classics, come out: herring drizzled with lime and honey, a cold cucumber soup with mint and black sesame seeds. Bosski never expected to find herself in the kitchen, but after her co-founder and chef left for Warsaw, she couldn’t give up on the project and started cooking herself. Before sitting down to eat, she plays a recording of herself singing a jazzed-up, sexy version of a song by her grandfather, famed Polish singer and poet Jeremi Przybora.
The Berliner of six years named her dinner series as an homage to Poland’s last monarch, King Poniatowski, who in the 18th century hosted weekly salons for artists, politicians and intellectuals. Inspired by her then-boyfriend (a supper club host himself) she held the first one three years ago, and Berliners have been clamouring for seconds ever since.
Bosski wasn’t always so interested in being associated with Poland. Growing up in Warsaw, she could only dream about leaving. “I was always mesmerised by foreign cultures – I wanted to speak English, French,” she says. “Warsaw felt like a small provincial town.” She wanted to go to New York, but instead settled for the closest international city: Berlin.
Over time, she found herself missing her Polish roots here and wanting to show “her Poland” to Berliners. “Italians are already cool, France is already cool. Everyone wants to eat pizza and go to Rome, but with Poland it’s completely different,” she says. The dinners were a way to do that – while, perhaps, turning Bosski into Mitte’s own Queen Poniatowski.
Julia Bosski’s Polish Thursday Dinners happen weekly at 8pm at restaurants, bars, galleries and miscellaneous spaces all over Berlin – this month, look out for dinners at the Arminius Markthalle, the Rauch und Groen clothing store and Club der Polnischen Versager. Four courses (usually a soup, salad, main and dessert) cost €20; check Facebook for more info.