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.