Marks of the Czech Republic’s EU presidency can be found all over Brussels, from David Černý’s controversial sculpture ‘Entropa’ hanging in the council’s Justus Lipsius building, right down to the food on offer in the European Parliament’s canteen. On Thursday, parliament employees were treated to the first in a series of special Czech dishes – I went along to wish them a bon apetit, or should that be dobrou chut’?
Sour rye soup from the Giant Mountains, the south Bohemian štrachanda or rump steak goulash from Prague, these are just some of the Czech specialties, that will appear on the menus of Czech restaurants as of April. Czech Tourism, in cooperation with the Czech Association of Hotels and Restaurants and the Association of Cooks and Confectioners, have prepared a special project with the aim of promoting the Czech Republic through regional specialties. These dishes will appear on menus under the label ‘Czech Specials’.
In Mailbox today: the planned controversial National Library building; the rising status of Czech cuisine; the “dancing king” of Cambodia; May competition question – correction; a listener’s complaint about alleged discrimination in Radio Prague’s monthly quizzes. Listeners quoted: Lipa from Prague, Tony Prescott, Erin Slattery, Ian Morrison.
When Czechs began leaving the Upper East Side of Manhattan in the middle of the last century, many of them crossed the East River to Queens, the Astoria neighbourhood in particular. Today you will still find some Czech-owned businesses in that part of New York, among them the Zlata Praha (Golden Prague) restaurant. That said, the couple who own it, the Suchaneks, insist it’s a Czech and Slovak establishment. I spoke to George Suchanek at Zlata Praha.
For decades, Ireland was one of the poorest countries in Europe, and its dire economic situation meant that many young Irish emigrants moved abroad in search of work. Now, however, the situation has been completely reversed. A sustained economic boom means that foreign workers including thousands of Czechs are now flocking to Ireland in search of employment. In Dublin alone, there are now so many people from the Czech Republic living there that a Czech bar has even opened up to cater for them. In this edition of Panorama, we pay a visit to Ireland's
Our guest for One on One this week is Pavel Maurer, who is arguably the Czech Republic’s best known and most influential gourmet. Besides establishing the highly successful Prague Food Festival, which every year gives people a chance to sample the fare of the Czech capital’s best restaurants for rock-bottom prices, Pavel Maurer is also the man behind the highly respected Grand Restaurant guide.
In Business News this week: the Czech government introduces a major fiscal reform package; power giant CEZ is the largest firm in Central Europe according to Forbes Magazine; there has been an extraordinary increase in car sales in this country, and the McDonalds fast-food chain enjoys a record increase in revenues in the Czech Republic.