Chef Name: Nina Tarasova
Title: Chef Patissier, pastry consultant and owner of online school ‘Pastry is Magic’
Awards: The best Chef (Russia) Lady Awards 2019;
The best book about French Cusine (in Russian) «On the road from caramel plates»; by Gourmand World Cookbook Awards in 2016
As well as being one of the top consultants in the confectionery sector, she has many other notable qualifications. Such as:
Ambassador of the French company ‘Life is a Game’ (uniform for the chefs);
Ambassador of Belgian chocolate ‘Cacao Barry’;
Ambassador of the professional cookware ‘Bergner’;
Ambassador of ‘RaviFruit’;
Ambassador of ‘Sosa Ingredients’
Creator of silicone moulds (in conjunction with the Italian brand Silikomart) “Moodlight Sonata” and “Ode to Cocoa), and metallic frames of her own design.
How old were you when you started cooking professionally?
What’s your earliest and fondest first memory of food?
I remember that at school I really enjoyed the ‘crafts’ lessons, when the girls would cook, and the boys would make something (stools, hangers, etc). These were my favourite lessons. From that time, I realised that it is a pleasure to create “metamorphoses” as I called them, out of ordinary products. When, for example, by combining flour, eggs, sugar and butter, you can create an air sponge cake, or crispy cookies.
Which chefs inspire you most and why?
Joel Philipps from Strasbourg, France. He is only the second chef in the history of Michelin to receive his first star just six months after the opening of his restaurant, and when he was not yet 30 years old! I think it deserves not only respect, but also admiration.
What are your two favourite cookbooks and why?
PH10, by Pierre Herme. This is the first book that I translated from French on my own and, not yet being a pastry chef, I prepared half of the recipes from this book, honing my first skills from it.
And the second book is a multi-volume called Modernist Bread. The collection, which is sold in one, weighs 25 kg! It includes everything you can find in the world about bread and muffins. It is my priceless collection.
Which two ingredients could you not live without?
Butter and eggs.
What is your favourite comfort food to cook at home?
Pasta with seafood, and crepes.
If you could eat at any Michelin star restaurant in the world today, where would it be and why?
Le Cerf with one Michelin star, in Strasbourg. It is a symbiosis of the best products, perfect combinations and virtuoso cooking.
And who would you take as your guest?
My sister, she always enjoys eating something new.
What do you look for in a good chef?
Endurance, honesty and creativity.
What advice would you give to chefs starting their career paths now?
Always strive to move forward; work on yourself to become better than you were yesterday. Nothing is impossible. If one person can do it, then you also can. If no-one else has done it, be the first!
Nina Tarazaova is Chef Patissier, pastry consultant and owner of online school ‘Pastry is Magic’