During my internship in France, one of the French Chefs suggested, that I cook Russian cuisine and focus on local products. I live here, that is why my cuisine is targeted at Russian people who have become well-versed in food. Nowadays, patrons are impossible to fool. They travel and see a lot more than a cook, who doesn't earn enough to travel.
A Chef is a person who gets recognition straightaway or never. Unlike artists, whose artworks get more and more expensive after their death. That's why you should always be improving your skills.
Our country is multinational and multi-religious. I think that at the moment it's the most expensive cuisine in the world. That's because it used to be based on everything that the forest and waters gave us: white fish, black caviar, sturgeon, game animals, etc. All these products are expensive now.Besides this, a lot French and Italian Chefs were invited to cook in Tsarist Russia.
Our cuisine is closely connected to the French one: crab necks instead of shrimps, grouse, exquisite sauces, truffles. And we alway cooked it in the Russian feast manner, for big families and invited guests.
How do Chefs eat?
Terribly, this is why many of us have health issues. The job is stressful, and you have to taste everything in a mix - sweet and sour, salty and spicy. You are tasting all the day long and always on your feet. There's no time to sit down and have a meal. Sometimes I eat at midnight, so I only have a cup of tea when I wake up.
Is there anyone else who cooks in your family?
My wife cooks amazingly. Actually I think that all women have a gene for cooking. The women who don't cook are either unconfident in their abilities, or were underestimated. They just need to try and they will succeed. It's like a maternal instinct - every woman has it.
You know, a woman always cooks with soul. If the sour cream isn't supposed to be in the soup, she'll put it in, because she thinks it tastes better. A man always cooks it like it's supposed to be. That's why there aren't that many female Chefs. And in most cases they work with home cuisine, Ukrainian for example, where they can cook with the soul. Cooking according to the rules is for men