What is “At Hanka’s Table?”

At Hanka's Table is the story of a remarkable Polish-American family revealed through food, history, personal narrative and art. Exiles from Communist Poland, Hanka and her internationally known artist husband Jan Sawka arrived in New York City in 1977 with a few dollars, a couple of suitcases and a toddler. They were about to embark on a life filled with art, adventure and exotic foods. During the next 25 years, Sawka’s work saw expression in Op-Ed page drawings for the New York Times, set designs for Samuel Beckett, award-winning paintings and posters in over 60 museum collections here and abroad, stage designs for the Grateful Dead, and most recently was awarded The Lorenzo Il Magnifico Gold Medal at the 4th Florence International Biennial of Contemporary Art (2003) for The Voyage, a major multimedia spectacle. His work was recently exhibited at ACA Galleries, one of the most prominent New York City art galleries. While Jan made art, Hanka cooked to the delight of fellow artists who were constant guests at Hanka’s table. In this colorful book, illustrated by Jan, Hanka shares her experiences of different cultures during her travels. Among these exquisite drawings by Jan are 100 recipes based on Polish cuisine with European and Asian influences.


Who is the audience for “At Hanka’s Table?”

Beside anyone interested in cooking, culinary history, art, personal survival narratives and women’s issues, “At Hanka’s Table” is fascinating to Americans of Polish descent. There are 10 million people in America who are of of Polish descent - first, second and third generation. They make up a large part of the American middle class and many of them sentimentally remember a dish that their grandmothers made.

All images and graphics copyright Hanna Sawka or Jan Sawka