Nina Tasarova


"I’m inspired absolutely by everything, especially France"



What made you want to become a chef?

Very rarely but it happen – that people from the birth are destined to have a great future. Mozart could write a Symphony when he was just 5 years. Einstein was a child when he expressed interest in the theory of relativity. Michelangelo was playing with a hammer and chisel in his cradle. Even in the pastry chef profession there are stars where natural tallents and intuition merged – this is Philippe Conticini. And for example Pierre Herme has started to study a pastry art at 14 years old.
I can’t say that I have been cooking during all my life and that my first memory from the childhood is my vague image shrouded in a haze of flour. No. I have two high educations in other areas – director-producer and HR in IT area. But it always seemed to me that it wasn’t my place. 
I woked up one day  when I was almost 24 years old  and thought: "What if I cook something special?" And suddenly this “special” was successful, so I decided to dedicate my life to a pastry. I cooked, tried, experimented, combined, erased, drew, built the schemes,  tried again and enjoyed the result. 
France was and remains for me as a country – discovery in the world of culinary skills. People can say anything about other countries – everyone has a right to their opinion, but for me France is not only a country that brought a food into the cult and art for me, not just a place of a quality products and famous Pastry Chefs… but it’s the country of my soul. Everytime when I step off the plane, I become so calm, like I come back home after a very long separation and I feel that now everything will be great because I’m at home. 
So I knew exactly in what country I should start learning this beautiful science. I lived inspired after reading books of French masters and of course I wanted to try it all out, it was like a magic for me. 
But it’s very hard to follow your dream. But how can you live if you don’t have any purpose in your life? What should you do if it’s a part of you? I felt asleep thinking about cakes, I saw cakes in delirium  and silently cry into the pillow because I couldn’t just stand, go to the kitchen and start to bring ideas to life because of a weakness, chills and high temperature. I was dreaming of new ideas of assembly, decoration and flavor combination. Was it normal?  I don’t know, I just can’t live otherwise. 
Now every day of my life is a happiness that lives deep inside of me. And every morning all over again. I’m doing a right job, it cannot be otherwise. Sometimes I work during 16 hours per a day and it goes in one breath, I want to fall asleep and wake up in the morning  to repead all again.
Who has influenced your cooking style or your philosophy on food?
Certainly on the first place is Pierre Herme, because I studied the basics of pastry art and even French language by his book PH10. Also I want to mention Adriano Zumbo and Kirsten Tibballs from Australia. Excellent skills!

What inspires you or where do you get your inspiration from?
I’m inspired absolutely by everything, especially France. I get inspired in France and I feel deeply lost and weak if I don’t go there at least once in six months. When I create a new dessert I can be inspired by the weather, flowers, unusual pattern on the grids, interesting interior and dishes! I can take a new form for the dessert in the shop, and staying at the checkout I can imagine a new image of a dessert – what will be the best combination for this dessert, for thid form. Sometimes I create dessert “under the decor”. Yes-yes, sometimes it happens. I experiment with chocolate, ..., macarons, caramel... I do something well and I understand that this will be a perfect decoration for a cake or individual cake. And the best ingridient’s for it will be so-and-so... And that’s all. I want to start to cook and decorate as soon as possible, to see  if my ideas were right. And I’m wrong very rarely.
Today I’m a Russian artist-patissier and an Ambassador of the Cacao Barry French chocolate brand and of the Life Is a Game chefs’ uniform producer. A graduate from Ecole Nationale Superieure De La Patisserie, I have been a participating to numerous professional competitions, a consultant in pastry skills and a columnist in a number of pastry journals.
I received a professional training in France and annually attends professional development programs in top European schools. I work in Russia as well as abroad and hold master classes all over the world. I represented Russia as a patissier.  
Follow your dreams and they will come true for sure.

What is your favourite method of cookery or preparation?
I like to work with the chocolate and elements of the molecular cuisine.
What is your favourite ingredient?
Tonka beans, vegetables in the desserts and herbs.

What is your favourite kitchen tool?
Whisk and my favorite Japanese knife.
What is your favourite section in the kitchen to work on during your apprenticeship?
I like working with the stove.
Where you like to eat out?
I prefer restaurant with the European cuisine
What would you like to see change with the cook schools?
I would like to see more equipment and technology in the tools for more comfort in the work
Your advice to young chefs?
Don’t be laze, learn hard, constantly strive for the self-development, never stop and follow your dreams.

What do you look for when hiring staff?
The excitement, twinkle in the eyes, desire to learn new things and grow in the same direction with the entire team.

What would you like to see change in the industry?
I would like to see more preference to the natural products and ingredients.

How do you deal with awkward guests?
I always try to negotiate, try to find out what doesn’t suit the guests and try to find the way out of the situation without the loss.

What is your first memory of food that blew your mind?
The restaurant in Strasbourg 1* мишлен «….» where I was invited for the dinner and each dish impressed me to the depths of my soul.

What is your favourite escape to relax?
I prefer to relax  at home at my kitchen.
What drives your ambition?
I just enjoy that I can teach, to give people something new and that we all change this world for the better
What is your signature dish?
Blueberry-lavender Opera.

How do you motivate your team?
With example of my experience.

How do you think restaurants should be rated?
By the level of the customer focus, diversity of the menu and interesting, fresh ingredients.

If you had to build the best kitchen team who would be in your kitchen all stars?
I take my best friends from world of pastry. It would be great team.