Language of Food: Winter on the Danube

Dear Friends,

You are invited to take a journey down the “River of Time” as our popular Language of Food Series continues on Saturday, December 10th, 2011 with Winter Festival on the Danube.  For this event, we will explore the diverse cultures on both banks of the Danube River, the ancient international waterway that spans centuries, landscapes, and traditions as it flows from Germany’s Black Forest, through Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Moldova, Ukraine, and Romania before emptying into the Black Sea.  Join us for a winter voyage down a mythical river that has inspired both ancient folk traditions and well-known classical composers!

The afternoon cooking class (2:00pm-5:00pm) will focus on traditional winter pastries and sweets from the Danube region. Join Viennese pastry chef Richard Wittman for a demonstration of recipes and techniques for strudel–including filo dough–and other treats from scratch. Just in time for the holidays! Wittman is a professional pastry chef with 30 years of experience worldwide.

The evening event will begin with a traditional eight-course Eastern European feast, including specialties such as Viener Gulyásleves (Goulash soup), Lecsó (mixed vegetable stew), Gulyás (Goulash), Schnitzel, Uborka Saláta, Spaetzle, Kenyér (traditional bread, baked fresh), cooked by Hungarian chef Janos Toldi and others. With both meat and vegetarian options available, guests will be able to warm up with the rich and hearty fare of the Danube region.

Following the meal, guests will delight in the music of the Forras Hungarian Folk Band—which will present a program of Hungarian, Romanian, Transylvanian, and Gypsy song—and the traditional folk dancing of the Kisbetyárok Family Dancers. Then, listeners will travel upriver from the villages of Hungary to the salons and ballrooms of Vienna as Dean and Susan Paton, founders of Seattle’s Valse Café Orchestra demonstrates how classical music like that of Brahms, Bartok, and Kodaly evolved from the peasant music of the region, and leads the audience in a series of traditional Vienna waltzes to the accompaniment of Eileen Soskin on piano and Gloria Ferry Brennan on violin.

The event will be held at The NWLA Cultural Center in Langley. Overnight accommodations are available in the Center’s comfortable guestrooms.

These events sell out fast! Reserve now! Contact NWLA at 360-321-2101 or[email protected].

Don’t forget to stay tuned to the blog and Facebook page in the coming weeks for juicy cultural information and Danube trivia!

This event is made possible with generous support from Puget Sound Energy and the REC Music Foundation. Special thanks to the Hungarian-American Association of Washington, the Austrian-American Council of Washington State, and the Austria Club of Washington.

Event (Dinner and performances): $65 / Cooking Class: $35