Ask the Chef

Courtesy of Homemadecafe
Sergei Poletayev is head chef at Homemadecafe.

Best dish
"Green salad with fried salmon and asparagus in a ginger dressing."

Most popular dish
"Thai roll with prawns, strange as that might sound -- but it's very unusual and light."

Favorite food
"Spaghetti with seafood -- I love seafood."

Favorite (other) restaurant in Moscow
"Vogue Cafe."

Favorite (other) restaurant worldwide
"Zuma, London."

Strangest dish you have ever tried
"Camel liver. It was grainy and very different from beef liver, for example."

Do you try to be authentic or adapt your cuisine to the local market?
"Ours is 'home' cooking, and that's adapted by definition. But nowadays at home, people don't just make meat patties and salad olivye -- they also make rolls and complicated salads. So we are offering our contemporary take on home cooking."

Comment on the state of the Moscow restaurant business
"It is very developed and moving ahead at great speed. Interiors and service are world class, cuisine is not yet, but that is because we don't have access to the ingredients. Unfortunately our tourism sector is not very developed, but that could help bring a steady flow of guests. But people are giving up frying meat patties at home and have started coming to restaurants not only on Fridays, or once a week, or on special occasions, as it was before."

Most important thing you have learnt as a chef
"To be disciplined and communicative."

Contacts

Homemadecafe, 10 Bolshoi Gnezdnikovsky Per., 626-6656, M. Pushkinskaya.
Vogue Cafe, 7 Kuznetsky Most, 623-1701, M. Kuznetsky Most.
Zuma, 5 Raphael St., Knightsbridge, London, (020) 7584 1010