Signature dish:Steak Tartare and Ossetra
Living in Julia Child’s apartment in Paris was one of the major inspirations that led me to be a chef. Born in Russia and raised in NYC, I started my professional career at Daniel, which was a groundbreaking experience for me. Later, I moved to Paris to pursue my gastronomic dreams as well as to meet the city’s most renowned chefs. In the process, I learned an absurd amount about French culinary traditions. Always inspired by Japan, I headed to Tokyo where I worked with Zaiyu Hasegawa at DEN, a two Michelin star restaurant which was named TOP 50 Best Restaurants in Asia. My biggest mentor was Pascal Aussignac, who I had the pleasure of working with in his Michelin star restaurant Club Gascon in London. I believe that peace and harmony are attainable through food. I embrace tradition and modernity after years of traveling, cooking and eating. When I cook, the seasons inspire me – the ingredients and the flavors, freshness and complexities of the seasons. A good chef contributes to society and makes customers happy.
Additionally, I have 15 + years of private chef experience, collaborations and food styling. I offer private cooking lessons, plated dinners, small/large gatherings. I work with locally-sourced, organic ingredients and have experience cooking with vegan, vegetarian, and kosher dietary restrictions. I have knowledge of Asian, Mediterranean, Spanish and French cuisines as well as a wide-range of pastry making. I am able to travel in New York area, along with the occasional longer distance travel.
The food was ok, but not great. The gazpacho was not bad, but too heavy on the herbs. This took away from the expected freshness of the soup). The tuna tartare was lackluster. It didn’t taste like tuna, which I expect had to do with too much soy sauce. Between the tuna and the main course we had a frisée salad. Unfortunately, the salad was soggy and many of my guests did not eat it. The main course consisted of beef filet and mashed potatoes. The beef was excellently cooked and very tasty, but the mashed potatoes were too thick unlike the velvety consistency that one has come to associate with well prepared mashed potatoes. Finally, the dessert, tarte tatin, was very good (worth a repeat). Maybe I would use chef Vera again, but for a substantially pared down dinner.