Here is the list of the 2016 Kielbasa Cook Off Contestants (in alphabetical order) with a short bio of each one. After reading all of the bios, you will come to appreciate the dedication and love that these contestants have for making kielbasa and their strong desire to keep their family recipe alive.
Mike Hofner and Ron Smith: “DziaDzia and Busias Old Fashioned Kielbasa”
Dzia Dzia and Busia’s Old Fashioned Kielbasa recipe came directly from Mike’s grandparents – hence the name! They have been making their kielbasa with the rest of their family for over 20 years and have participated in the Kilebasa Cook Off several times having won awards in the past.
The Hofner family loves making kielbasa and to keep them inspired whenever they are making it they hang a picture of Chef Gordon Ramsey on the wall to keep a watchful eye on them. There is rumor that Ramsey might be partially Polish.
If you enjoy Dsia Dzia and Bushia’s Old Fashioned Kielbasa and would like to purchase some for your family, you may do so by calling Mike at (419)825-7240.
Dave Krueger: “Krueger’s Classic Kielbasa”
Dave Krueger began making homemade kielbasa many years before PACT held the first Kielbasa cooking contest and has particiapated in almost every competition that they have held to date. Dave’s desire to make kielbasa stemmed from his family’s long kielbasa tradition, especially at Easter and Christmas. David’s paternal grandmother Julie (Zabilski) Krueger emigrated from Krakow, Poland. However, David is self-taught in that there was no one in the family to pass on their kielbasa traditions to him. He credits several friendly Stanley employees for showing him some tricks of the trade.
David sometimes takes order for kielbasa around the holidays. He can be reached at (419)356-6783.
Phil Majewski: “Kazio”
Phil has been perfecting his grandfather’s recipe for over 50 years and thinks he first tasted it in his mother’s womb. He is very proud of this recipe which came directly from Poland and was smuggled over on the ship his grandfather came on.
The Majewski family all get involved in helping to make the kiebasa and occasionally friends will come over wanting to know how exactly to make it. Phil may not share his recipe but he does offer friends a cold beer and a shot of Polish vodka.
If you like Steve Majewski’s kielbasa, you can purchase it for the holidays by calling Phil at (419)304-1022 or emailing him aty email@example.com.
Steve Mazur: ” Lady Nellie’s Hand Cut Kielbasa”
Stephan’s inspiration to make kielbasa came almost 60 years ago when he observed it being made at Zychowicz’s Market on the corner of Dexter and Elm Street in Toledo. Just before Easter, the back door would be propped open and the waft of marjoram and garlic would be in the air. Old man Zychowicz puffed on his cigar while stuffing the casings. He would gleefully look at Stephan and say, in broken English, “kielbasa boy, lots of it!” He says that picture is still vivid in his mind.
Stephan’s recipe is his own influenced by his busias, dzia dzias, mom, dad, his wife, and Lady Nellie (Dutkowski) Gembreska. Lady Nellie (mother-in-law) recently passe away. He served her the last of his Christmas kielbasa on her 95th birthday January 16, 2016. Today, Stephan and his wife make it fresh for you in her honor; hence the name “Lady Nellie’s Hand Cut Kielbasa”. They hope you enjoy it.
Adam Michalski: “Michalski’s Recipe”
Adam and his family have been making kielbasa for only the last 5 years, but it just keeps getting better and better! They have taken two recipes that have been in the family for years – combined them- and made it to their liking. Friends tell them they have the perfect recipe.
Making kielbasa is a true love for the family and they believe it helps to bring them all together. The more family members that help. the better! For the Michalski family, making kielbasa is a labor of love and they want to share that love with each of you.
Ed Mikonowicz: “Ed’s Kielbasa”
Ed started making kielbasa 15 years ago. He remembers begging his grandma for her recipe. Many of his uncles would add their two cents and say that, “This batch needs this and/or this batch needs that.” The recipe was truly a family project. Ed started off working on the kitchen table with 70 pounds of pork and having to cut it up into smaill pieces. Today, he has the help of his son and he is able to make quick batches of 75 pounds in a matter of hours. His kielbasa has been served at small weddings, graduation parties and many Christmas and Easter celebrations.
Ed believes his kielbasa is one of the best in Northwest Ohio. It just took him a while to get the courage to enter the Kielbasa Cook-Off. He and his family hope you enjoy their recipe.
Tony Murawski: “Murawski Meats”
Tony and his family have been making kielbasa for many years. The recipe you are tasting today has been handed down in his family from generation to generation and they haven’t changed a thing! That’s because it’s that good. Their family loves it and they all hope you will as well.
Here’s an interesting fact……..Tony says that throughout the years, no fewer that 1 million cans of beer have been consumed during the making of this recipe. Now that is one heckuva record!!
Paul and Jeff Podbielniak: ” Podbielniak’s Family Kielbasa”
Cousins, Paul and Jeff Podbielniak, really like to cook and making kielbasa is one of their favorite things to do. Making kielbasa has been very special to both of them because they very much want to keep their family tradition of making kielbasa alive. Unfortunately, not many in their family still make it.
The recipe they use came from Jeff’s mom (Tina Podbielniak) about 15 years ago when she actually taste-tested the seasoned raw meat until it finally had the right flavor profile. Only then did they begin to make the kielbasa that you will have the opportunity to taste at the cook off.
When asked what he would want people to know about their family’s kielbasa, Paul said, “Please warn them that it is very addicting”.
Jeremy Pyrba: “Polska Pryba”
For the past 15 years, Jeremy and his family have been using the same recipe handed down to them. And just as their grandparents did, they make their kielbasa with Polish pride and love.
Making kielbasa has brought the Pryba family closer together. Recently, even the younger children are learning how to make it and to appreciate what has become a family tradition. Polska Pryba has participated in several of the earlier Kielbasa Cook-offs and has already won several awards.
If you enjoy the Pryba kielbasa, you can order it for the holidays by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or ask for more information at their table during the cook-off.
Norm Szymkowiak: “Busia’s Old Fashioned Kielbasa”
Why would someone name their team Busia’s Old Fashioned Kielbasa? Maybe because their recipe actually came directly form their Busia. And in Norm’s case, that’s exaxtly where the recipe came from – and he hasn’t changed a thing!
Norm, his wife, and their 2 daughters have been making kielbasa a family experience for years. In fact, Norm says he can still remember making kielbasa in the kitchen with his mom when he was just a young boy. So kielbasa making experience isn’t something Norm lacks – he has plenty of it!
Norm doesn’t just make kielbasa though, he also makes pierogi, ogorki (Polsih dill picklers), golabki (stuffed cabbage rolls), and a lot of other Polish goodies. If you enjoy Norm’s kielbasa, you can purchase it from him any time during the year by calling (419)388-9199 or email him at email@example.com.