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Video: Bazaar Specialty: Nikita Poderyagin And His "Ugly Chocolate Pie"
2023 Author: Henry Pass | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-24 12:31
Bazaar Specialty is a series of interviews with Russian chefs about their signature dishes and global gastro trends. Our new hero is Nikita Poderyagin, chef at Björn. A modern Scandinavian restaurant has been committed to zero-waste production since its opening 6 years ago, and through trial and error, Björn has been able to minimize its ecological footprint. We talked with Nikita about his specialties and asked him to share a couple of eco-life hacks that everyone can use in their kitchens.
About career path
My career began back in 2009, when I was just starting to master the profession. It was just boring to study, but here I was lucky - they invited me to work as a waiter. As a matter of fact, that's how I ended up in restaurants. A year later I tried myself in the kitchen, where I stayed.
In 2015, I looked through advertisements from employers, and I was hooked by one - from Björn. I called, but they said that there were no more places. The next time I saw the ad was at the beginning of 2016. I came and asked for any position, and ended up in the frying pans. Six months later, he became a sous-chef, and in the fall of 2017 he headed the kitchen.
About zero waste concept
Björn has a pretty strong influence on the team. As a matter of fact, that's what happened to me. The concept of "careful attitude to the product" was established in our country even before the opening. Then everything only deepened and became more complicated. At some point, it became clear that our "caring attitude" is much broader than caring for food and products. As a result, we have been developing an environmental program for more than three years now. This is how we live: we compete with ourselves so that tomorrow our eco-trace is smaller than yesterday. We have our own checklist for several dozen points (it is publicly available on the restaurant's website). Something is constantly being supplemented, something is replaced, something stops working and is deleted, because we try not only to react to the situation, but also to anticipate.
Now for me this is part of my daily work. We conceived a lot, not everything worked out right away, we had to invent how it could be done differently. And when you devote so much time to something, it cannot pass by for you. Thus, environmental friendliness has become another "facet" of a quality work, as well as taste, smell, appearance, seasonality, and locality.