THE CHEFS OF THE BEST MOSCOW RESTAURANTS TELL MARIE CLAIRE THEIR PROFESSIONAL SECRETS AND GIVE A RECIPE OF THE NEW YEAR DISH. OUR FIRST PERSONALITY IS VLADIMIR MUKHIN, CHEF AT WHITE RABBIT, BRAND CHEF OF WHITE RABBIT FAMILY.
HOW MANY TIMES A DAY AND WHAT DO YOU EAT YOURSELF?
At home I eat some yoghurt and drink a cup of coffee in the morning. That’s it. After that I have only dinner. And I constantly taste something, check the quality of sauces, bouillons. Things are of course different at the weekend. The day starts with a hearty family breakfast, We eat fried eggs with the cabbage that my wife fries. We make porridge. We go to the market, buy something interesting and cook lunch by about four or five. It is usually fish as my daughter likes it. Sausage, patty cakes and butter are also brought from the village, and we eat them with pleasure.
HAVE YOU EVER KEPT TO A DIET?
Once I fasted for three years in succession to learn to cook the Lent-diet menu correctly. To understand what a fasting person needs or wants. I fasted four times a year. And the restaurant where I was working at that time was the only one in Moscow that offered a Lent-diet menu not only before Easter but four times a year. As for diets, I have never kept to them. It is hard for me as I cannot keep from tasting something new. Now, at the start of winter, I prepare tangerines, persimmon, pineapple guava, and northern fish. For example, today I’ve tried fried sunflower seeds with black caviar, and they turned out to work very well together. I’ve recently invented beet ice-cream with smoked goatfish inside and crumble of brown bread and sunflower seeds. I don’t consider food as fuel. I find it interesting to try something new, look for combinations, so a diet is unacceptable for me. I’d give a try to the blood type diet, though. But I need to have samples made for that, and I never have the time. I would even create a menu for different blood types, I think the future is with it.
My dishes are seasonal. It means that I use the brightest and the most useful products of the season. That’s what my father taught me. When I was small, we had no freezer at home; we didn‘t freeze anything and ate only what was sold in shops and on the market at that moment. In my opinion, this is the best diet: eating products at the moment when they are at the height of their taste, vitamins and useful substances.
WHAT IS YOUR ATTITUDE TO GMO PRODUCTS, FAT-FREE PRODUCTS, ENRICHED WITH VITAMINS – IS IT A MARKETING TECHNIQUE OR THERE IS ANY SENSE ABOUT IT?
I am negative about it. It seems to me that you should try growing organic products in the village or summer cottage. They have a purer taste. I choose organic products and track who grows them. I buy chicken fed on corn, not force-fed with anything. No stuffed broilers. I won't buy the meat grown on fodder with GMO. I like natural taste of the product and think that this is important. And I am ready to chew meat even if it is tough but has the taste of meat.
WHO WOULD YOU LIKE TO FEED?
My dream is to feed my grandma. It is she that taught me to cook. She is over 80, and she is paralyzed. I fed everyone but her. I would so much like to hear what she will say.
WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO TRY YOURSELF?
An unexpected combination of anything. It is only when something gets into your mouth that you understand what it is like. It may happen anywhere: on the market, in a street snack bar, in a high cuisine restaurant. I am looking for something that would strike me. The most delicious thing I have eaten so far (not the food I’ve cooked) is a burger with entrails stewed in red wine in a small snack bar in Florence.
YOUR FAVORITE DISH?
Real tasty borsch.
TOP-5 UNDESERVEDLY FORGOTTEN PRODUCTS IN THE OPINION OF VLADIMIR MUKHIN, WHITE RABBIT’S CHEF
Rape plant is an annual plant with acid yellow flowers grown practically all over the world. Leaves and stems are used as fodder. People eat rape seed honey and oil. It is rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids and contributes to decreasing the level of bad cholesterol in blood.
This is not the most popular product in present-day cooking, but it is quite widespread in different national cuisines. For instance, in Venezuelan and Mexican cuisines.
Red cabbage comes from the Mediterranean. It is served there as a side dish or an ingredient for salads. It contains few calories (about 26 kcal per 100 g) and is incredibly useful. There is a simple secret: you can determine what this or that vegetable is rich in by its color. Purple products are the sources of antioxidants which protect the body against cancer and prevent appearance of wrinkles.
BLACK CURRANT LEAVES
Cooks value black currant leaves for the special aroma they yield to the dish. Anyone who has ever pickled cucumbers knows about it. By the way, black currant leaves contain vitamin С, phytoncids, magnesium, manganese, silver, copper and many other useful microelements, and tea with black currant leaves has the general tonic effect.
Before the start of 20 century turnip was the main Russian product (later on its place on the table and in the heart of the Russian person was taken by potatoes). The root vegetable is rich in vitamins А, В1, В2, В5, РР, carotene, potassium, calcium and phosphorus, whose amount is higher than in the radish. This is quite a dietetic product, recommended to those that suffer from sugar diabetes and even small children.