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Game Caviar: why the world’s best chefs go to Sochi

The game «Caviar»: why the best chefs of the world go to Sochi

From January 31 to February 4, 2018 in the mountain resort «Rosa Khutor» in Sochi will be held second gastronomic festival IKRA.

The founder of the festival told us about the festival concept. national platform IKRA Ksenia Tarakanova.

About the national gastronomic platform IKRA

Our cooperation with restaurateur Boris Zarkov began about two years ago: from a small restaurant Chef’s Table in Smolensk Square. In the course of work, we decided that it would be nice to make an international gastronomic festival in Russia that would allow us to create a platform for communication between young creative chefs from all over Russia and the masters of world gastronomy.

It was necessary to come up with a scheme that would permanently generate, accumulate and transmit gastronomic experience and knowledge, where the chefs are guaranteed to be noticed and will be able to get internship opportunities and employment.

IKRA platform founders: White Rabbit Family brand chef Vladimir Mukhin, partner of V confession agency Ksenia Tarakanova, head of White Rabbit Family restaurant holding Boris Zarkov, partner of V confession agency Yulia Chernova

To date, the platform includes several areas that seem to us promising and interesting. First of all, development of local gastronomic tourism: we have several partners with whom we are negotiating and are planning to jointly create a map of gastronomic journeys in the regions of Russia and the post-Soviet space.

These will be tours and guides to quality places with good service, where you can get acquainted with local products, suppliers and get an interesting gastronomic experience.

In the near future — Vladivostok and Rostov-on-Don.

Sochi specialty: Black Sea fish

We think and about educational initiatives, because Russia lacks comprehensive education for restaurant professionals. Every day we are faced with a shortage of qualified personnel: we have problems at the level of training of waiters, sous-chefs, etc.

If the waiters in Europe work in the same place for 30 years, know all their guests and enjoy work, then the students work as waiters here and they do it extremely unprofessionally.

About the IKRA festival

Last year we made a festival in record time — in a month and a half. But then, in three days, 8 dinners and 10 master classes by famous chefs, including Massimo Bottura, Ana Roche, Rudolfo Guzman, were held.

This year we started preparations in advance — the festival became bigger. From the very beginning, he was thinking not just about happening with chefs at White Rabbit restaurants — we wanted to literally change the world!

Of course, earlier there were attempts by strong initiative leaders of the restaurant business to do something similar, but alone, without support and a solid program, it is difficult to realize.

Master class chefs Giancarlo Morelli and Norbert Niederkoflera at the festival IKRA 2017

This year, famous chefs will come to us: Gaggan Anand (Gaggan, Bangkok), Virhilio Martinez (Central, Lima), Jorge Viejo (Quintonil, Mexico), Mauro Colagreco (Mirazur, Menton), Alex Atala (D.O.M., São Paulo), Esben Holmbo Bang (Maaemo, Oslo), Albert adria (Tickets, Barcelona). They will become familiar with local products that they can use in preparing their own dishes.

Our chefs are interested in how an international expert will breathe new life into a familiar product.

Every evening there will be 3-4 dinners, which together with the masters of the gastronomy will be held by famous Russian chefs: Vladimir Mukhin (White Rabbit, Moscow), Andrey Shmakov (Savva, Moscow), Anatoly Kazakov (Selfie, Moscow), George Troyan («Northerners», Moscow), Evgeny Vikentiev (Hamlet&Jacks, Wine Cabinet, St. Petersburg), Igor Grishechkin (Kokoko, St. Petersburg).

Educational part It will consist of three blocks: a business program, master classes and lectures that will be held by experts from the gastronomic world: Justina Adamchuk (international director of restaurant guide Gault&Millau), Argo Myrelius (executive editor of the guide White Guide Nordic), Andrea Petrini (one of the founders of the Gelinaz festival!), Brian McGinn (executive producer of Chef’s Table on Netflix), Joe Warwick (gastronomic journalist, author of the book Where Chefs Eat), William Drew (Editor of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants and The World’s 50 Best Bars).

Master class by chef Massimo Bottura at the IKRA 2017 festival

Business program will open a round table at which restaurateurs will discuss industry problems Arkady Novikov, Alexander Rappoport, Aram Mnatsakanov, Ilya Tyutenkov and Boris Zarkov.

Also here will be presented high-quality regional projects, interesting from the point of view of investments.

We expect guests from different parts of Russia and Europe.

Gathering at one point, at one time, super-demanded chefs who have their phones torn from invitations is a tremendous amount of work. This year we were busy preparing the festival in advance and were confident that in October we would be made all the visas for the chefs and bought tickets. But that did not happen.

Chefs have a very complex and constantly changing schedule, they have some unexpected situations with their own gastronomic projects and restaurants.

By the way, the IKRA festival will also be held in Moscow in the summer, but it will be more like an art project at the junction of Russian gastronomy and modern art.

About the venue

We studied other world festivals and realized that far from always significant gastronomic events take place in capitals.

It would be logical to hold a festival in Vladivostok — a unique location and a high concentration of interesting local products from the point of view of geopolitics, but we were afraid to start from this.

Krasnodar Territory is a unique geographical area, where there is both the sea and the modern ski resort Rosa Khutor.

We really wanted to wrest our guests from the bustle of Moscow: with an interesting educational program, parties in zones apres ski for the skiers, the food market is located in the central square, where gastronomic street food will be presented.

Many journalists from other countries will come here, and we hope that Sochi and Rosa Khutor will become interesting for foreign tourists.

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