Restaurateur, gastronomic enthusiast, co-founder of the "Resto Practik" project and "GastroSreda" movement , Aurora Ogorodnik shares her thoughts about the gastronomic tastes of Ukrainians and the development of gastro culture in our country.
In 2013, in your interview for bit.ua you said that the level of development of restaurant business in the country could be compared to any ripe fruit, which was the market those days. Then you expected transformations. Did these transformations happen in the way you expected? What is the restaurant business now?
Transformations happened. The restaurant market is evolving, this process can’t be stopped. But the development went a little in a different way. Naturally, the forecasts of 2013 did not come true. And it is even more interesting to observe what is happening now. The most important achievement of the last decade is the influx of new blood into the industry. Young, ambitious people come, breaking old rules and foundations. They make projects that mastodons have not dared to implement, and the brave ones win. Yes, maybe they do not earn millions, but they win hearts. I would say that now restaurateurs are more progressive than guests, they often overtake, anticipate consumer’s requests.
Many new restaurants opened in Kyiv recently. Vietnamese and generally pan-Asian cuisines are in trend. What is the future dynamics in your opinion? What will be in vogue?
I do not presume to predict, but I would not say that really a lot of restaurants are opening. There are cafes, bistros, coffee shops, new fast food outlets and yes, some restaurants. The market is filled with supply. This industry is an excellent illustration of the "long tail" concept when every consumer can find the goods for his/her needs. So almost everything will be fashionable.
Please, name a few favorite places in Kyiv and "delicious" must-visit chefs.
I try to go everywhere, especially to visit new places. But, of course, I return to my favorite locations. This is Kanapa and everything that Yaroslav Artyukh cooks. I like to try something new in his restaurants and to take a chance to talk to him. Of course, Alex Yakutov and his "Gra z Vognem” (Game with Fire). This is the chef who could rest on his laurels, but he continues to study and to experiment. I like all new projects of Dmytro Borysov; it is incredibly delicious there: Ostannya Barricada, Vatra, Bessarabia. If there are free tables (but this is almost impossible), I try to get into Lubimy Diadya (Beloved Uncle), to meet Vova Tashaev and to eat “from his hands”.
A question from the fantasy field: how will the food of the future look like? Let's say in 50 years?
I can’t predict but I think, there will be much less meat, some mixtures will appear (Soylent was a harbinger), which will satisfy the needs of the body in the daily rate of all necessary products. And I hope that we still will be able to drink a glass of wine with a piece of delicious cheese.
Interviewed by Anna Vishtak
Photos provided by Aurora Ogorodnik