In 2012, St. Head of Cococo Restaurant in St. Petersburg, chef Igor Grishechkin comes from Smolensk, a town 750 km from Moscow. Igor Grishechkin, one of the rising stars of Russian cuisine, says that his family is the most important factor in choosing his profession. Igor Grishechkin, who likes to cook new dishes and try new tastes, wants Russian cuisine to be recognized as much as Russian literature.
Igor Grishechkin talked about his family’s influence in being a chef, saying that his family owned a house with a vegetable garden and that his father was both a fisherman and a hunter. He knows where the meat comes from his childhood, how the fish are kept, how milk is milked from a cow. The childhood memories of the chef include how the cattle are slaughtered, chopped, salted and cooked. Grishechkin, who always loves to bake bread and cook new dishes, then chooses the kitchen when it is time to decide where he wants to be in this life.
After completing cooking courses at Smolensk, the first restaurant working with local producers, he moved to Moscow to study culinary art. After gaining experience in the Italian cuisine of Michele Brogioni’s Casta Diva, Ilya Shalev’s French restaurant Blogistan is the head chef. St. The story of Igor Grishechkin, who moved to Petesburg, started in LavkaLavka restaurant and continues in Cococo, one of the first restaurants working only with local producers in the north-western region of Russia.
“It may take a while for Russian cuisine to gain international trust”
Russian cuisine is in a revolution. New restaurants, new dishes are discovered every day. The restaurant in the center of this revolution is the Cococo restaurant. Chef Igor Grishechkin, who loves his work with his passion for food culture and local products of Russia, thinks that people are wrong that Russian cuisine is not popular. Igor Grishechkin said that it would be time for Russian cuisine to gain international trust and popularity: We Russians, we are accustomed to many different tastes, we have a subconscious taste that has been known since childhood. For foreigners, everything from another planet is very familiar to us, so it may be a long journey for Russian cuisine to gain international trust and popularity.
“What makes our signature dishes special is that we adhere to the season and remain faithful to their local preparation”
Igor Grishechkin’s main motivation and basic inspiration in his work is the limitations in product selection due to the principles of seasonality and locality. Igor Grishechkin, never afraid of the rich culinary heritage around the world, the modern technologies and the experiences of his foreign colleagues, comments and criticisms, never forgets his ancestral culinary traditions. Traditions are the basis of the cuisine, and every meal in Cococo has a story, an image, connotations, a meaning and a gastronomic background.
“All our tastes are simple, understandable and traditional”
Igor Grishechkin says that he tries not to combine unused products and delicacies and prepares all dishes in a simple, understandable and traditional way. At Cococo, Igor and his team work to revive Russian cuisine and culinary traditions, with emphasis on the use of seasonal local produce. Igor believes that by blending modern cuisine and traditional methods, he will take Russian cuisine even further.