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August 25, 2012 at 13:04

Hell whims (tricks) of Roman Smirnov: how to survive in the culinary fight.

TV show "Hell Kitchen" not the first year has a great success all over the world. The first Russian version has just finished on the REN channel. All the country watched this show with the only question – who will win? The most deserving participants who have repeatedly been on the verge to be out, fought for victory and a prize of three million rubles reached the final. We could take an interview with the most interesting participant Roman Smirnov.

You were the most interesting participant on the show “Hell’s kitchen’. How has changed your life after?

Roman: - I became more wise and calm. In general, this project changed my life upside down and I am very thankful for it. I really missed music, Internet, TV – everything. We were isolated from the society. You are sitting and drinking coffee and then BANG serene and we run to formation. And that moment you think what will be the next task? What will happen? And your heart is throbbing. I got a great experience on the project that can’t be counted. I had a chance to work and communicate with culinary legends, such professionals like Isaak Correa, Jerome Lorie, Nicola Lorie, Stefano Antoniolli, Fabrizio Fatuchchi.

How did you get to the project?

- In 2012 I watched all episodes of American show and told myself “They are botchers if they make so stupid faults’. And even then I dreamt to get to the ‘Hell’s kitchen”. Once I was surfing the internet, read news about American version and I saw information the one of Russian channels held a casting. I fill in a form and forgot about it. In one month I got a call. I was invited to Moscow on casting. When it was my order to go I entered the room, sat in front of the camera, told something about myself and spoke with a producer on non culinary themes. In 10 days I’ve got a call: Roman now you are a participant in the first Russian version of the TV show “Hell’s kitchen”. That how I got to the show (Roman smiles).

In which world city do you want to open your restaurant?

-there are few: London, Monaco, Nice, Sydney and Paris of course!

Are you afraid of competition?

- I think no. I don’t like to compare myself with someone else. I just believe that I am another, that’s all.

How many times a year is it necessary to renew the menu?

- By the rules, it should be 4 times a year. New season – new menu. Of course it depends on local harvest, traditions. Besides you should present something new for a special events, culinary festivals and banquets.

What is your chief’s specialty?

- Still I like desserts. I think it is Tiramisu.

What is the last dish that you think out?

- Dessert of molecular kitchen (complex technique with nitrogen, siphon and vacuum).

Is it difficult to get necessary products?

- Very difficult! Some of them need to be ordered in Europe. Our industry is not ready and developed enough like for example in England.

Where is the border between simple dish and high cuisine?

- Every person has its own border. As for me every dish cooked with soul is a high cuisine. Where there is a soul there is an art!

What without you cannot cook in the kitchen?

- Without sharp knife, potholder and fresh products.

How does Russian clients taste differ from westerners?

- Russian taste still is not brought up. We still fry “Well done” meat, like mayonnaise and eat Caesar salad.

What do you usually have for a breakfast?

- Breakfast is simple: toasts, cheese, fried eggs and coffee. Sometimes I make oatmeal.

What is the strangest dish you have ever eaten?

- Nutria (an animal with black fur and big orange tooth). It has a very soft meat and it is very tasty.

Fish ice cream – high cuisine or extravagance for gastronome only?

- One chef told me it is a perversion. I didn’t try so I can’t say anything. But I am sure not everyone can understand it. But there is some person who will praise this dish.

What is your attitude to a molecular cuisine?

- It is quite normal. Fashion is everywhere even in cuisine. I don’t think that molecular cuisine has future but sometimes I like to experiment. I give preference neither to natural steak nor to froth.

Tell us about the restaurant that amazed you?
- According to interior it is “Barbarian”, according to furniture is Vogue café and according to cuisine is Grand cru.

What is you favorite cuisine or dish?

- Italian and French cuisine. But I always remember my grandmother’s borsch - I liked it.

Why did you choose this profession? Was it conscious choice or just by chance?
- Most likely it was conscious decision. I like cooking.

How do you think is it possible to become a real sushi master in our country?

- Time passes and now it is more possible. I think if you have a great desire, persistence and you follow all the rules you are able to cook authentic Japanese dish.

What was the most ridiculous order?
- It was a coffin form cake.

Did you have some accidents when people refused their order?

- Yes, they refused from the cake. In both cases they didn’t like the color, but no complaints about taste.

What would you choose: Ginger truffle, glague soup or bigos?
- Ginger truffle.

Who was your first teacher?
- My mom.

England is on the first place in products quality. What about our country?

- It is a problem. It is easier to find something in big cities but in small is very difficult. We are very far from England. There is some restaurant that works with the farms directly and grows salads in the restaurants.

Why French cuisine is considered perfect and most dainty?

- France is a trendsetter in fashion and in cuisine. Many different gourmets checked French cuisine, recipes passed from generation to generation. This is the main key in perfect cuisine. French people have a refined taste. Cooking is in their blood, they cook instinctively. These people like to eat well and that is why French restaurant is a history!


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