Student LifeThe Stories And History Behind Russian Cuisine

If you have ever researched the world of gastronomy it's very likely you have come across one of Russia’s biggest names in the industry – Chef Vladimir Mukhin. From Chef’s Table to being named amongst the Top 50 Best Chefs in the World, Chef Mukhin is recognized across the culinary community for his conceptuality, originality and creativity.

I had the amazing opportunity to assist him when he joined us a Culinary Arts Academy Switzerland as a special guest. I worked with him and his team on the masterclass he gave to our graduating class as well as during the VIP dinner he hosted for 25 guests. In such a short time, we received a huge amount of new information and were introduced to his professional skills.

Safina Mukhin event

I was raised in Russia on Russian food. As an adult I have learned that Russian food is so much more than comfort food, it holds traditional and cultural aspects of the country but also its history.


Chef Mukhin delivers this important heritage through the combination of flavours he carefully selects for his dishes. The menu that he presented to us was based on the combinations of vastly different flavours that were meant to contrast against each other. Each dish represented a ‘souvenir’ that the Chef and his team collected while travelling around Russia.

Mukhin food
Aspects of each dish were learned from grandmothers from the countryside villages near Moscow all the way to Siberia. These legacies and secrets were transmitted into his Contrast Menu by mixing them up and creating new recipes.

Throughout the whole day we brainstormed together with Chef Mukhin and his team working on every single detail starting with the aroma of the room where the aperitifs were served (we place slightly burned red cabbage 20 minutes before the guests arrived) to the guests’ unique and individual decoration on the table that we hand-picked from the nearby forest.


The day finished in our student bar with the Chef and his teammates and a few Russian students (including me). We talked about professional and personal topics – questions you always want to ask celebrities but never had the courage. It’s amazing when people who have achieved so much in their careers and reached such a high level are able to have this outgoing, simple and warm conversations with young students who are just chasing their dreams.

Bachelor Degree in Culinary Arts

Safina Usmanova is a Term 7 culinary student at Culinary Arts Academy Switzerland.

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