Executive Chef Alexander Kutepov of Golden Apple of Moscow
By Annet Kulyagina
Photos by Konstantine Provorov
Enthusiastic, ambitious, and young: These are the words that came to me as we spoke. He was proud of the medals he wore but without a hint of arrogance. Alexander spoke with the seriousness of a man used to managing people and achieving his goals. He is 28, a graduate of Moscow State Food Industry University, and ready to fascinate his guests with his culinary knowledge. He says he doesn’t care if the meal is simply a sausage with noodles, but that the sauce and the decoration on the plate are the most important. Alexander’s experience includes the Marriott Hotels in Moscow and Qatar, and he participated in international and Russian competitions with a success that shows how Russian chefs have now come into their own.
After working in the big hotels, do you consider working here a step up or down for you?
I’ve been here for three months and since the day I first entered this hotel I knew I wanted to work here. I liked everything: the interior, the approach to the customers, the people I work with. Honestly, I wanted this job so much that I didn’t even care about the money.
What do you to offer your guests?
Delicious food, perfect presentation, an unusual combination of main dishes and garnishes served together. I pay a lot of attention to the decoration. I serve Beef Stroganoff with a small glass of dry ice; it creates the effect of smoking meat.
I see you have a lot of medals. How hard was it to win them? Was it like in sports?
It was such a pleasure, though I don’t let myself get a swelled head. I can tell you, when you receive a medal under the hymn of Russian Federation, you feel just like [Soviet Olympic gold medalist] Irina Rodnina.
Do you have a lot of free time? What do you like to do?
A lot of free time is a miracle. But there are two kinds of free time: When I have free time and no work tomorrow, and when I have free time but I’m working the next day. The first case is very rare; when it happens, I’ll go shopping, meet my friends, go out to clubs.
I can’t believe it! You’re the first chef to mention anything about shopping or clubs…
I like buying new clothes! But usually, I have less free time, in which case I’ll just watch a movie. My favorite is Harry Potter. I can watch several movies in a row and then go to sleep and be full of energy the next day.
Would you like to offer our readers a few New Year’s wishes for 2008?
I wish the readers and our customers perfect health, delicious meals, good appetite, and excellent nutrition. Eat for health and pleasure!
Recipe from Alexander:
Tuna Seviche with Thai Pineapple Salad and Teriyaki Sauce. This recipe is Alexander’s creation, after traveling in Thailand. He took the base combination of raw fi sh and fruits and completed the dish with sauces and his own glamorous design.
Ingredients for one person:
Red tuna – 130 gr.
Grown soy – 45 gr.
Pineapple (fresh) – 20 gr.
Tomatoes – 20gr.
Cilantro leaves – 10 gr.
Parsley - 10 gr.
Rice noodle – 5 gr.
Sesame oil – 7 gr.
Soy sauce – 7 gr.
Teriyaki sauce – 7 gr.
Cut pineapple and tomatoes into strips, tear cilantro leaves and make salad. Add sesame oil and teriyaki and soy sauces.
Cut tuna into cubes and marinate them in teriyaki sauce for 2-3 minutes.
Arrange the marinated tuna cubes on the plate, add a few drops of sauce around the cubes. Dry the parsley and ground it to powder, sprinkling it over the plate. Place the pineapple salad into a glass tube and decorate it with fried noodles. Place the glass on the plate with tuna cubes and the dish is ready.