Rising Star Chef Kate Lasky & Tomasz Skowronski of Apteka - Biography

Pittsburgh, PA

November 2016

Kate Lasky and Tomasz Skowronski are a pair of Pittsburghers, both with a background in policy, who fell for each other, and the industry, during the long and unforgiving hours of work for a pop-up restaurant they launched in 2010. Skowronski, whose parents emigrated to the United States from Poland shortly before he was born, was keen to serve some of his Eastern European food to his friends. While continuing to work at other restaurants and bakeries in Pittsburgh, the couple found that their following at pop-up Pierogi Night grew from its original 30 attendees, to a group of more than 400 pierogi lovers.

While pinching pierogis, Lasky and Skowronski made plans for a restaurant. They sourced the funding with Kickstarter, and, in February 2016, they opened their vegan restaurant and bar Apteka. Located in Lawrenceville, on the river in the northeastern part of Pittsburgh, the neighborhood has an artsy-funky feel which seems to fit the personality of the concept.

At Apteka, in addition to the filled dumplings, Lasky and Skowronski have expanded their menu taking their inspiration for new dishes from Tomasz’s familial roots in Warsaw, as well as from their extensive travels throughout that region. Earthy flavors of beetroot, barley, sage, and mushrooms are offset with sour cream and pickled vegetables. Like Pierogi Night before it, Apteka has won the hearts of many Pittsburghers and continues to grow.