Meet Karine Baldry, one of the co-founders of the Russian gastronomical pop-up Club “Russian Revels” (@Russian_Revels). She will be featuring a variety of their marvelous Russian recipes with tastings at the #FBC12 Market
So, just who are Russian Revels?
We are two Russians ( Karina and Katrina) who has an aspiration to revolutionize the image of Russian food by making it lighter , more creative and fun. We pick a theme and create a show. At dinners we aim to tell a story of how the plate has come about, either in our own imaginations or imaginings of people now long gone. We talk of warmth, nostalgia and melancholy that food brings. We always encourage our guests, to partake in a little discussion…
What inspired you to start Russian Revels?
Passion for food and gastronomical novelty. We wanted to explore what Russian/Soviet cuisine is about in the 21 century, away from the clichés of beetroot borsch and heavy stews. What Russian foods means in the global context, for many millions of Russians who live in different parts of world, those brining memories of their mothers cooking for them but also inspired by the incredible excitement of food from different corners of the world!
And where do you see it going? Is this a hobby or is there an end game?
It started as a hobby but now due to the sincere interest from our audience, both Russians and non-Russians living in London, we are set to grow it into more of a business.
Tell us a bit about food from Russian Revels?
We are set to break stereotypes of Russian food as being heavy, starchy and bland. We are using traditional Russian ingredients such as beetroot and buckwheat in new ways to create dishes to fit into London vibrant gastronomical scene. Just to give you a couple of examples, Chicken breasts stuffed with buckwheat and Beetroot pie
What does it mean to you?
It’s so exhilarating to see that the food we remember from our childhood is being transformed by us to excite very discerning London foodies.
What makes the food you serve so special?
Passion for what we serve and creativity both in dish making and presentation. The theatricality of our food; the story we tell alongside the food we serve and the witty, slightly provocative way we serve our food!
After Russian Revels, what other food stalls, supper clubs, pop ups out there do you think are really good?
Oh, gosh, where to start. We admire Ms. Marmite for starting the whole thing. The Ginger line guys are witty and clever. The dirty burger is great. The tongue and cheek in kings cross – admire the courage and the flavours.
If you could only eat one dish, which would it be?
Karina –It’s Herring Under a Fir Coat (it’s basically a multilayered potato and beetroot salad with herring)
Katrina – My mother’s borsch with me liberally adding vodka and chilly to it.
Do you have a food blog? www.gastronomicalme.co.uk
Who is your favourite food blogger?
http://nami-nami.blogspot.co.uk/ -Estonian blogger writing in English, creative, easy, new Nordic dishes
What effect are food bloggers having on the country’s food scene?
It’s a great way of sharing your passion, experience and impressions. Food bloggers in a way educate and define the trends. They shape people’s opinions on different cuisines and ingredients…
What words of wisdom would you share with those keen to get involved with street food, supper clubs, pop ups?
You have to have an undivided passion for food and anything associated with it… Don’t be afraid to experiment!
Any particular anecdote that reflects what makes your job worth all the hard work?
Nothing in particular springs to mind but in general we have a great rapport between us and it helps through hard work. We always have a positive attitude.
What’s the most challenging aspect of operating a street food stall/ supper clubs/ pop ups?
As we are operating from different venues and not from our homes, the challenge is to find the right one for one particular theme.
What’s your favourite new ‘trend’ on the British food scene at the moment?
Where St Johns started, and all others have followed…British, gutsy, both unpretentious and provocative.
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