Highlights from St Petersburg's international culinary festival
St. Petersburg Gourmet Days
June 9th saw the exciting finale of the second international culinary festival, St. Petersburg Gourmet Days. Following the success of the inaugural event in 2017, the city played host to an even bigger event this year, attracting international chefs and journalists and allowing local restaurants and resident chefs to work alongside some of the world's most creative talents.
This year's line up included eighteen chefs, ten restaurants, five restaurant groups and more than two thousand guests, who celebrated the best of St Petersburg.
The event is an initiative of the city's leading restaurant groups ( Ginza Project, Duo Band, OPG Dobrykh Del, RAW, Dreamteam and Italy Group ) and is supported by St. Petersburg City Administration - Committee of External Relations of St. Petersburg and the Tourism Development Committee of St. Petersburg.
This was the first time the 2018 visiting chefs, and some of the journalists, had been in the city. They were excited to share thier own cuisines and experience the resident chefs contemporary take on the use of local ingredients, while simultaneously learning more of this beautiful city's history, culture and its burqeoning gastronomic scene.
Throughout the weekend, the chef collaborations saw main courses paired with one of Scotland's finest whiskies, The Singleton, with the event's mineral water supplied by S.Pellegrino and Acqua Panna. Coffee too hadn't been overlooked and the organisers had chosen to partner with Italian coffee producers, Illy, ensuring each event and dinner ended with a perfect cup.
— Garima Arora from Gaa in Bangkok impressed guests with her dishes at Mr Bo restaurant with their unusual presentation and unique ingredients; her banana bread in a glass and betel leaves with black caviar from the Russian Caviar House were included in the top of the most innovative dishes.
— Ayo Adeyemi showcased some of the best recipes from the menu of Tippling Club in Singapore and brought them to the dinner at Tartarbar, setting a new festival record preparing 1200 dishes.
— Nino Redruello shared the bright Spanish flavours of Tatel in Madrid with the guests at Terrassa restaurant and surprised everyone with an omelette made with seaweed.
— Pablo Salas who spent over 30 hours travelling from Mexico, brought a travelling menu from his restaurant, Amaranta in his homeland state of Toluca to Atelier Tapas & Bar.
— James Lowe from London, whose restaurant Lyle's is included in The World's 50 Best Restaurants, demonstrated contemporary British cuisine bringing almost all the ingredients for his dinner at The Repa with him.
— Will Horowitz from New York fired up at Smoke BBQ and his St. Louis ribs with apple and crab barbecue sauce and pastrami with anchovy mustard hitting at the flavour soul of everyone there.
— Two Michelin starred Anthony Genovese from Il Pagliaccio in Rome showcased his unique cooking style - which he calls 'Mediterrasian' - to the applause from guests at Mansarda.
— Charismatic Maksut Askar from Neolokal in Istanbul treated guests at Hamlet + Jacks with dishes from different regions of Turkey, surprising them with his use of spice and a fragrant Turkish Delight they claimed was the best of their lives.
— Chef Alejandro Peyrou who arrived at BeefZavod from Açougue Central in Sao Paulo, brought a Brazilian flavour and spirit accompanied with some amazing South American meat cooking techniques.
The event's finale ended with a fantastic closing celebration held in Ginza restaurant with all the festival participants, media representatives, restaurateurs and partners exchanging thanks and announcing the next St. Petersburg Gourmet Days in June 2019.
We hope to see you soon and share a little of St Petersburg at this special time of year!
Organizers of the festival would like to extend thier special thanks to the friends and partners that made this festival happen: Russian Caviar House company, ENDY creative agency, universal food supplier METRO Cash & Carry, Lenmix company, MPK company and number one beer in Barcelona Estrella Damm, Usad’ba Divnomorskoe winery and Russian wine house Abrau-Durso, Swissam business school, Profi Dress garment factory, Russkiye Prostory tourist agency, TimePad event management service and f-[PR] communication agency.