Vladimir Mukhin, chief of White Rabbit restaurant which recently took its well deserved place on the list of 100 best restaurants in the world, disarmed us with his smile, sincerity, cooking talent and his favorite term for a taste – “cosmic!”.
It seems like chiefs have become kinda new “rock-stars”, I mean all these tours, photo-sessions, fans, work at several restaurants...
No. We are not “stars”. But the fact that Russian chiefs now tour and demonstrate their view on new Russian cuisine all over the world shows the global interest for them personally as well as for the “cuisine” we represent. Of course this part of the work usually takes a lot of time, and now I can hardly find some to go to Kamchatka to catch some crabs. There’s not always enough time even for my usual morning fishing at Black Sea.
“White Rabbit” is now on the list of 100 world’s best restaurants. How did you make it?
International rating means that you must be well known all over the world. There were a lot of work to do: contests, tours, gastronomic congresses. I started to travel around the world to demonstrate ever evolving Russian cuisine.
There’s a lot of talking about new Russian Cuisine. What is this?
We’re now at the new beginning of the long- forgotten relationship between farmer and a cook. We learn to take products responsibly, choose the most interesting and unusual. We are constantly searching for a new combinations based on traditional tastes. Borsch with fried carp or watermelon, Poshehonsky cheese and Kostroma salt.
What is the distinctive feature of your cooking style?
Unexpected combinations of familiar ingredients I would say. Trout, sorrel, sour cream and cucumber – seems like nothing new. But we salt trout in cranberries, that gives it a delicate berry taste, sorrel brings a sourness and sour cream sauce with cucumber is very refreshing. When you eat and you feel that cosmic taste – it’s not enough, you must be intrigued!
If you were not a chief, how and where would you feed yourself?
Definitely not at McDonalds. I take food as the source of the positive and healthy energy. It’s not just a “fuel”.
Talking about rock stars, who do you wanted to be? And who would really appreciate your cuisine?
Well, I guess the true cuisine is more about classical music. Talking about rock’n’roll, I grew up with songs by Ilya Lagutenko. He’s my good friend now. Actually, music is what we have inside.