Ask the Chef

MT
Narek Avagyan is head chef at Cafe Ararat in the Ararat Park Hyatt Moscow hotel.

Best dish
"Lamb shashlik."

Most popular dish
"All of our shashlik and kebab dishes are popular, particularly our lamb shashlik, as is our bozbash [lamb soup]."

Favorite food
"I eat everything that's tasty!"

Favorite (other) restaurant in Moscow
"There are a lot of restaurants in Moscow where I like the interior, but not the food, or like the food, but not the interior. If I had to choose one, I'd pick Mario's Italian restaurant. It's expensive, but very good."

Favorite (other) restaurant worldwide
"I love the restaurants in London: There are lots of good places in the center. I particularly like Indian and Lebanese food there. I always remember the food, but not the restaurants' names."

Strangest dish you have ever tried
"Grilled turtle. You get very little meat from a turtle, but it's very tasty."

Do you try to be authentic or adapt your cuisine to the local market?
"Cafe Ararat is an Armenian restaurant, and I'm from Armenia, so this is the cuisine that we offer. I try to present the food in a way that the guests will like and appreciate."

Comment on the state of the Moscow restaurant business
"The restaurant business in Moscow is developing very fast. There are few very good restaurants at the moment, but I can see this changing."

Most important thing you have learned as a chef
"How to organize people. This is very important when running a kitchen: How to get everyone to work together so that all the food tastes good. I've also learned to understand different people's tastes."

Contacts

Cafe Ararat, 4 Neglinnaya Ul., 783-1234, M. Teatralnaya.
Mario's, 17 Ul. Klimashkina, 253-6505, M. Ulitsa 1905 Goda.