"Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking" author to speak at Fairfield University


Image: Anya von Bremzen bookAnya von Bremzen, an acclaimed cookbook author who recently wrote the fascinating memoir "Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking" (Crown, 2013), will speak about her journey to the United States at 5:30 p.m., Monday, March 10, at Fairfield University's Charles F. Dolan School of Business Dining Room. Presented by the Russian and Eastern European Studies Program, her talk is free and open to the public and she will sign copies of her book.

Von Bremzen was just 11 when she and her mother, Larisa Frumkin, emigrated from Moscow to Philadelphia, a land of Wonder Bread and Oscar Meyer so foreign to the little girl, who had sometimes been forced to subsist on whale meat during the Cold War years. The pair had $200 to their names and some used clothing from Jewish Family and Children's Services, their sponsor.

Von Bremzen's memoir traces their eventual settlement in north Philadelphia and is built around her chapter-by-chapter quest to re-create dishes reminiscent of each decade of Soviet history. Von Bremzen is an authority, having written five cookbooks and served as a contributing editor to Travel + Leisure magazine. She now splits her time between Istanbul and Queens, New York, but she's never forgotten her early struggles.

"I have felt a kind of guilt writing about indulgent restaurants," she told the Philadelphia Inquirer, "especially coming from a place where food was existential, scarce and fetishized."

Sponsors for the event are: the Russian and East European Studies, Peace and Justice Studies, International Studies, and Judaic Studies programs, the English and Politics departments, the Carl and Dorothy Bennett Center for Jewish Studies, and the MFA in Creative Writing.

For more information on this event, contact Elizabeth Hastings, ehastings@fairfield.edu or (203) 254-4000, ext. 2688.

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Media Contact: Meredith Guinness, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2950, mguinness@fairfield.edu

Posted on February 21, 2014

Vol. 46, No. 184