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Odessa Cuisine in London
You have definitely heard about Odessa humour, famous violin school, Odessa film studio, Babel and Utesov, about the world’s longest Potemkin stairs, and bluest Black Sea. Have you heard about our Privoz? Have you tried Odessa cuisine? Cuisine born in a city where people of 133 nationalities live, cook, and most importantly eat under one roof! And what is interesting, when asked what is their nationality, they will say without an eye blinking: “Odessa!” The aromas from Odessa courtyards kitchens windows in summer are incomparable with anything! These are the aromas from the cooks who knows a lot about food. Fried peppers, zucchini, aubergines, a little bit of onion, and garlic … And how do they “make a bazaar”? There, each berry is carefully selected, so that the jam has a look, and not just a taste. And if the cook is not experienced yet, and does not know that “sardelle” is a fish, and “sardel” is a sausage, then she can hear: “Oh, I’m gastronomically sorry for you”. Odessa cuisine is a spicy mixture of Ukrainian salo, Moldavian mamaliga, Italian pasta Bolognese, and French champagne … And all of this as a side dish for the stuffed fish!
Was it in your life so that a hobby becomes a profession and even the meaning of life? Did you leave your decent and familiar life, taking with you only yourself and what you can put in a backpack? Does this “Great things are better seen from afar” has a response in your heart? Do you value what you lost? Do you like the city you live in? Do you believe in miracles? If all this happened to you, as it happened to me, then you can be at the point where you know who you are, do what you love and know how. And what you do brings to people joy and good mood, to your city – fame, to restaurant – satisfied guests, to chef – pleasure of communication. My first Odessa cuisine lesson in London at ZIMA restaurant filled Soho with aromas from Odessa kitchens windows, as well as with humour, smiles, hospitality, and stories about our colourful and enticing Odessa. The food was delicious, the guests were sunny, and the wine were from the Bessarabian Kolonist winery. Also, the miracle happened – we met with Alexei Zimin, whose famous project “Ragout” once “tore me into gastronomic shreds”, and gave strength and inspiration to open the first cooking school in Odessa – “My Friends”. Thinking about the lesson and recipes, we were afraid that without Odessa, sun-stuffed tomato and aubergines, oily garlic, fragrant vegetable oil, aromatic greens, the cries of seagulls and the sound of the sea, we will not be able to convey the real “Odessa taste” to our guests! But Chef Timur Lyasnikov, though not from Odessa himself, coped with the task at hand and promised once to “come hungry to Odessa”. As Mikhail Mikhaylovich Zhvanetsky said, “in order to enjoy while there is still something to eat.” And the guests of the lesson now know that the aubergine dip goes well with everything except kisses. And the forshmak is so good because it does not upset the balance either in the stomach or in the head 😊