Smolenskaya square 3
Should one day the people from Gazprom decide to sponsor national food and wine festivals, on top of ballets and classical music concerts, the merit will also go to some thoroughbred chefs who challenge the wind of flat tradition blowing against them. Among these chefs there’s one who is beautifully moving forward, namely Vladimir Mukhin – this includes a place in the next S.Pellegrino World’s 100 Best 2014. Born in 1983, since a few 2014 he’s at the helm of the White Rabbit, in Smolenskaya square, a restaurant overhead with a thrilling view of at least three of the Seven Sisters – the skyscrapers in Gothic-Elizabethan style, wanted by Stalin to compete against those in New York at the time.
While in the closest of these sisters, the headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, matters are decided about which we would also like to hear, here Mukhin writes his very personal Russian campaign in his dishes, a journey mostly based on earth products since the sea from which to catch fish is either freshwater (namely the Caspian Sea and Black Sea in the south) or is very far away and inhospitable (that is the Barents Sea up north). In a surreal setting, clearly inspired by Alice in Wonderland – hence the name of the restaurant – guests happen to start right from the beginning with a delightful amuse bouche of Duck and apple, an important pairing in Russian tradition (as proven by many novels by Tolstoy and Chekhov).
We still pleasurably recall the elegance of the Soup of Mushrooms from Sochi – where the chef was born, a region that when in season provides porcini and chanterelle mushrooms – finished with a French-style egg yolk. Soups are the most typical Russian dish, even when they take an unpredictable Japanese-Italian turn (the delicious Cold soba with black truffle from Tuscany), demonstrating that, if a true Russian tradition is yet to be written, it doesn’t necessarily need to be on this side of the border.
born in Milan, 1973, freelance journalist, coordinator of Identità Golose World restaurant guidebook since 2007, he is a contributor for several magazines and teaches History of gastronomy and Culinary global trends into universities and institutes.
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The stage of Gastromasa 2021, sixth edition of the fine dining congress in Istanbul. This year, the theme was "Design"
Mukhin and Gaggan together in a collage used to promote a virtual four-handed dinner organised by The White Rabbit
Antonia Klugmann smiles happily at Le Strade della Mozzarella, the April 2017 edition. At Masterchef they had just announced she’ll be the fourth judge, replacing Carlo Cracco