ITALIAN CULINARY PROGRAM OF ALMA SCHOOL
At the time you started focusing on studying, you had already been working in a restaurant. How important was it to invest in your education?
In my opinion, investing on personal education is key to a successful future career. Without it, I would still be a Chef de partie at a local hotel, for sure.
Tell us about your background. What did you do before joining ALMA?
Before ALMA, I studied in 2 culinary schools: Le Cordon Bleu, where I achieved the French Cuisine Diploma and in a Thai Cooking School, where I gained the Thai Cuisine Diploma.
At that moment, I had already gained about 7-8 years of cooking experience in hotels in Saint Petersburg, Russia, and I was holding the position of Head Butcher at Marriott Vasilevsky.
You then decided to learn the Italian Cuisine. Why did you choose ALMA?
I heard about ALMA from a couple of my Italian colleagues. They mentioned that ALMA was the best Italian school. That piece of advice was what made me choose to study here.
What is the most important thing you learnt at ALMA?
First of all, I achieved a great understanding of the Italian food culture, lifestyle, eating preferences and wines. Furthermore, I gained deeper knowledge about ingredients, techniques and cooking methods.
After ALMA you started working in Milan at VUN Restaurant. What was it like going from the school to a 2 Michelin-starred restaurant?
Tell us more about that experience.
It was extremely hard, from beginning to end. It was completely different from everything I had ever done before. Until that moment, I was weak; then I became hard “like a stone”. Nothing scares me anymore (laugh). Thank you, ALMA.
You worked in Russia, Thailand, Italy, Vietnam, Qatar, and now you are the Executive Chef at the Rixos Hotel in Kazakhstan. You have a 15 years’ experience in international hotel brands; what is your advice to those who would like to follow your path?
Well, first of all you should understand that your personal cooking skills are nothing without professional knowledge foundation. I have three professional diplomas and nevertheless I feel a constant desire to increase my knowledge. Be yourself. Don’t be scared of what can make you stronger. Invest on yourself now. Stay positive. Cheers!