Ask the Chef

Vladimir Smirnov is head chef at the restaurant Zapasnik (Art Garbage).

Your best dish

"All my dishes are best, I can't and don't have the right to single out something concrete. A not-best dish can't get onto my menu, as all the dishes are thought up and prepared from the heart."

Most popular dish in your restaurant
"It's hard to single out the most popular dish, as the menu is broad and consists of dishes from various international cuisines, but I always notice that our guests enjoy eating our soups not only for dinner but also for supper. Almost every order includes a soup."

Your favorite food
"The ingredients and preparation technique don't have the greatest significance; my favorite dish is tasty food."

Favorite (other) restaurant in Moscow
"I love restaurants with original and vividly expressed national cuisines, and in them I try to pay attention to new flavor combinations and culinary effects, but in my work I don't copy them exactly, as I always think up something of my own. To put it simply, the process is enthralling."

Favorite (other) restaurant worldwide
"I won't name one restaurant, but a whole country. Italy's cuisine captivates me."

Strangest food you've ever tried
"I've never come across a dish stranger than Russian okroshka. You take whatever you like, chop it up finely, pour whatever you like over it, but it always turns out tasty."

Is your cuisine authentic or adapted?
"Our whole club follows one big idea -- fusion. Combining styles and trends under a sauce of original approach, probably, is the most precise description of our cuisine."

Comment on the state of the Moscow restaurant business
"Moscow is a huge megapolis, here you can find everything your heart desires, from big name culinary corporations to small, cozy, home-style restaurants with unforgettable cuisine."

Most important or surprising thing you have learned in your profession
"Every day I discover something new and surprising. I see no limits."

Zapasnik (Art Garbage), 5 Starosadsky Per., 628-8745, M. Kitai-Gorod.