NEW YORK - In the basement below a not-yet-open Greenpoint kitchen, six women stand around a table chattering in Polish and hand-rolling homemade pierogis.
"We make them in very specific way in Czestochowa," Pierozek owner and founder Radick Kucharski said.
Radick hails from that part of south-central Poland and, with his wife Alexandra, exported its pierogi recipe here to a part of Brooklyn they refer to as "Little Poland," where they spent five weeks training their staff to forget several lifetime's worth of pierogi-rolling expertise.
"Every lady thinks that her pierogis are the best," Radek said.
But the Kucharskis wanted their pierogis to mirror those sold in a specific shop in Poland, flying in friends from that shop to coach the dough-measure-ers, -cutters and -rollers in Greenpoint.
"In every hand that you saw down there," Radek said, "we had to do some changes and some tweaks."
On the eve of Pierozek's soft opening, Radek and Alexandra showed off ceramic dishes handmade in Poland, flour flown in from Europe, ingredients sourced as authentically as possible and a pierogi-rolling process as traditional as they could replicate.
"A lot of people use machines," Alexandra said, "but that's where you lose authenticity."
Machines can roll identical pierogis in half the time, but for those familiar, mass-produced, cloned pierogis would not recall the memories the Kucharskis hope to evoke.
"My grandma making it handmade in her small kitchen in Poland," Alexandra said.
"Since I decided to do this business, invested my life and savings to make it happen," Radek said, "I want to make sure that I do it as best as I possibly can."
Radek routinely visits his staff in the kitchen (and basement below) to ensure his recipes of flour, dough, butter, meat, sauerkraut, mushrooms, potato, cheese and a top secret cocktail of spices remain unchanged, but praises the pierogi—he believes made this authentically nowhere else in the city—for its simplicity.
"It's dough and it's fillings," he said.
Pierozek | 592 Manhattan Avenue, Brooklyn, N.Y. 11222 | 718-576-3866 | pierozekbrooklyn.com
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