Polonsky & friends founder Anna Polonksy sets the record straight

The food guru discusses yoga, fresh coffee and dancing all night long

Written by The Sette October 15, 2020

US-based entrepreneur Anna Polonsky certainly knows a thing or two about good food. A partner and US director of restaurant guide Le Fooding for seven years, her roster of clients included LVMH, MasterCard, Pernod-Ricard and Nestlé Waters. A handful of accolades (she’s been included in Forbes Magazine’s 30 Under 30 and won a James Beard Award) are testament to her success. Last year, she founded Polonsky & Friends, a consultancy for those who use ‘food as a beacon for change’, supporting mission-drive projects by chefs, activists and brands. Anna may eat out more often than not, but when it comes to her own dinners, she like to keep it simple: jazz, candles and, of course, plenty of wine…

Game, sette, match… what game really gets a dinner party started?

“Find which celebrity I am”.

Heart sette on… what are you really longing for, no matter how big or small?

I’ve been eying up the Camaleonda sofa from Mario Bellini for years. As well as a piano…

Sette in my ways… what’s your worst habit?

Overcommitting at work + always keeping my commitments = not a lot of sleep. Eating out too much.

Sunrise or sunsette… which is your favourite time of day?

BOTH! Early riser, filled with yoga and fresh coffee in the morning, aperos, long dinners (and dancing when COVID precautions allow) in the evening, and a lot of work in between

Ready, sette, go… what have you wanted to do for a while now?

Visit Japan; of course I want to eat my heart out in Tokyo but I would also love to explore the country’s ceramic workshops and check out the natural wineries on the rise, in the region of Hokkaido.

Sette the record straight… what’s something people might not know about you?

I like simple food. People always think I must be such a snob because of the work I do. But just like fashion or art, I feel like the more you practice something, the more you aim for simplicity.

Sette teeth on edge… what really annoys you?

When my industry becomes too exclusive. I’ve grown up in a country and time where good food and good wine were something normal. It wasn’t particularly cool to know chefs or to namedrop wine makers. Food was always meant to gather people, not divide them. I am glad to see more and more of my peers, just like myself, using food to create platforms for community, social justice, diplomacy and more.

Sette an example… what do you think would make the world a better place?

In line with the above – sitting enemies at the same dinner table.

Sette the scene… what’s your idea of a dream home, or the perfect gathering?

A communal table in rustic little house; an unfussy table cloth no one is scared to stain, magnums of wine, fresh bread, generous home cooked food, Jazz, 50s French or Italian songs, or Latin folklore playing, and a lot of candles.

Jet-sette…. where’s your favourite holiday spot and why?

Mexico. The amount and quality of food and design craft there is never ending and simply mind-blowing. Not to mention people’s kindness and hospitality.

DJ sette… what are the top five songs on your playlist right now?

First Gymnopedie – Yusef Lateef
La Dolce Vita – Fausto Papetti
Just the Two of Us – Bill Withers
Only You – Steve Monite
Disco Dancer – Kiki Gyan

Photo: Michigan Rabbit