Meet Wild Fox Pierogi’s Ryan Dziki and his modern Polish treats

Ryan Dziki is brining a new twist to an old Polish staple.

by Jodi Hilton
February 11, 2022

Ryan Dziki remembers his babcia’s pierogi fondly — “babcia” is Polish for grandmother. His  grandparents immigrated from Poland in the 1900s. 

“She would fill them with potatoes and cheese and cook them in butter, sometimes tossing them in breadcrumbs,” he said. 

What are pierogies?

Pierogi are basically dumplings but unlike Italian ravioli, which are made with semolina, or Chinese dumplings, made with rice flour, pierogi dough is made with all-purpose flour which makes them fluffy and light,. They also crisp up nicely if you fry them, he said. 

Ryan Dziki at Wild Fox Pierogi making traditional and ‘Bunnicula” curried carrot and parsnip pierogi.

Dziki began cooking at the age of 14 and later trained as a chef at Le Cordon Blu. He and his older brother Adam and sister-in-law Julie founded Wild Fox Pierogi five years ago. The Dziki brothers, whose name means “wild,” grew up in a mostly Polish family, whereas Julie, whose maiden name Raposo means “fox,” grew up in New Bedford’s vibrant Portuguese community. Put together, they came up with the name Wild Fox and have come up a number of intriguing flavors some of which combine Polish and Portuguese traditions. 

For example, the Little Portugal Pierogi is based on a Portuguese soup recipe and includes linguica sausage, kale and potatoes. One of the past seasonal pierogi was Bacalhau a Gomes de Sa, based on the Portuguese salt-cod stew served on Good Friday. 

Ryan Dziki at Wild Fox Pierogi making traditional and ‘Bunnicula” curried carrot and parsnip pierogi.

The modern pierogi

Some flavors are twists on American classics, like the Buffalo Chicken and Veggie Pot Pie. Ryan’s favorite is the Mango Habanero, which includes pulled pork and combines sweet and spicy flavors. 

While Ryan labors in the kitchen, Adam runs the business side of things, including accounting, administration and human resources. 

Wild Fox Pierogi are handmade and come frozen in packages of eight for $15. They are easy to prepare. Since they are already cooked, so you can either thaw them overnight or boil them quickly before lightly frying them in oil for “a nice crunch.” Traditionally, they are served with sour cream. 

Ryan Dziki at Wild Fox Pierogi making traditional and ‘Bunnicula” curried carrot and parsnip pierogi.

Seasonal offerings are part of the fun. Last Halloween, Ryan made Candy Corn pierogi filled with honeynut squash, corn, maple syrup and seasonings. For Thanksgiving, there was a special edition roasted turkey pierogi with all the fixings — stuffing, cranberries, gravy and potato. 

On a recent weekday, Ryan and three other workers were preparing “The Bunnicula,” a curried carrot and parsnip pierogi. For those not familiar, “Bunnicula” is the name of a fictional vampire rabbit who sucks the colors out of vegetables. Since parsnips look like white carrots, the name seemed apt.

Ryan Dziki at Wild Fox Pierogi making traditional and ‘Bunnicula” curried carrot and parsnip pierogi.

The team looks forward to the opening of their downtown Woburn restaurant, The Fox Den, in the spring of 2022. 

“A dimly lit, swanky pub,” it will offer a blend of Polish and Portuguese plus “inspired American contemporary” dishes and cocktail pairings. Of course, pierogi will be on the menu. 

Until then, the best way to get your pierogis is to order online and pick them up at the Roslindale Winter Farmer’s Market which operates on Sundays from 12-3 until March 27 and, in addition to perogi, offers honey, fresh produce, meat and more.  

For more information, visit wildfoxpierogi.com

Jodi Hilton is a freelance photographer and journalist who grew up in the Boston suburbs and is currently based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Her work has appeared in The Boston Globe, The New York Times and others.

More Local Stories

Blind Kitchen: Chef Manny (Barrels and Boards) vs. Chef Ryan (Wild Fox Pierogi)

Blind Kitchen is a quirky food competition series, local chefs recreate each other’s signature dish, but they can only determine what the dish is using their senses of taste, touch and smell.

Fit and Fab: Free summer workouts in Boston

Cover photo courtesy Getty Images Looking to get fit for the summer? Still wary of COVID-19 or just looking for some sunshine while you sweat? Here are some Boston free summer workouts across the city so you can keep moving all season long! Seaport Sweat May 2 to Sept. 29 Boston’s biggest free workout series…

Dorchester doughnuts that pack a paczki

These traditional Polish pastries are the real deal.

Boston Rob Does Beantown: Chinatown Treats

Rob feasts on fabulous cuisine, makes more than a few new friends and joins a trampoline gym class in one of Boston’s oldest neighborhoods.

The History of Candlepin Bowling

Candlepin bowling (which some might call mini or duckpin bowling) has been around since the early 1900s, after ten pin bowling was invented.