I have been cooking since I was five, and for many years food was a hobby, an adventure and a great pleasure for me. I always liked the simplicity of transformations, how something turns into something else: sugar into caramel, chicken into curry and tripe into trippa. I studied philology at Moscow State University and began writing food columns for newspapers and magazines before deciding to start my own food magazine.
I visited the kitchens of many great chefs: Raymond Blanc, Michel Gerrard, Martin Berasategui, Heinz Winkler, and Gordon Ramsay. I had a general idea about food, had read hundreds of cook books and tasted the most interesting dishes but I lacked professional consistency and precision which one can only gain from regular classes at a great school. That is why I went to London to study Le Cordon Bleu’s Cuisine Diploma. I chose London because I like both the city and French cuisine. It used to be an anti-gastronomic city that over some twenty years changed completely. It was especially interesting because Moscow is going through similar changes at the moment.
Obviously, I had high expectations of Le Cordon Bleu but it turned out to be grander and more exciting than I could imagine. Enthusiastic teachers, well-designed courses and high standards in everything – this was exactly what I needed.
After graduating from Le Cordon Bleu I launched Afisha-Eda food magazine and food website eda.ru, which now have a combined audience of three million people per month. I host a weekly food show on NTV – one of the three major Russian TV channels and wrote three best-selling cook books – Cuisine of Supermarket, Cuisine of Market and Cuisine Forever.
In 2010, my friends and I opened Ragout Café in Moscow. Over three years we received all possible restaurant awards in Russia and became the best café in Moscow according to TripAdvisor. In 2012 we opened another Ragout Café which now includes a gastro pub and culinary school. Since 2013 our restaurant group Ragout has managed CDL Restaurant, one of the oldest and most famous in Moscow. We transformed it into a restaurant offering innovative Russian cuisine, where traditional flavours, classic kitchen techniques from Le Cordon Bleu and modern tools meet.
The very same year, we also opened a gastronomic fast food chain all over Moscow called Park Express and relaunched the legendary Moscow TSDL (Central House of Writers) Restaurant where we modernised Russian cuisine.
In 2014, Café Dom 12 opened which was a unique accomplishment as it became an acclaimed café society for writers and filmmakers in Moscow. The following year, I opened 2 new ventures which were the Craft Bar & Grill in Penza and a café in Gogol Centre Theatre, Moscow. I then expanded my expertise to the Middle East and hosted a food show on Israeli TV, and between 2015 and 2016 I focused on my creative side and became a creative producer on the Dau project in London. Not long after, I had the pleasure of becoming a consultant to help adjust London’s Zima Bar TSDL’s haute cuisine to appeal more to Soho’s clientele.
Aside from opening restaurants and cafés, I participated in various advertising campaigns in Russia and ex-Soviet Union for brands like Knorr, LG and Hoegaarden.