Without a doubt, Igor Grishechkin is one of the best representatives of a new generation of young chefs responsible for a true renaissance of the Russian culinary scene. The CoCoCo restaurant, previously opened by Alain Ducasse, is just a five-minute walk from the Hermitage, and is a part of the luxurious SO / Sofitel Hotel.
The aforementioned restaurant was opened in 2012 by the renowned Russian entrepreneur and ballerina Matilda Šnurova, a former wife of the famous Russian rocker Sergei Šnurov of the Leningrad band which emerged from the LavkaLavka project as one of the first to start supplying seasonal produce from farms in the northwest regions of Russia. This concept is still a novelty in Russia. Matilda initially connected with the young chef Igor, who expressed his desire for the evolution of the national cuisine and immediately accepted the opportunity to realize it.
Even though there is a stereotype that Russians only eat caviar and blinis, chefs like Igor are proof that Russian cuisine is much more than that, and their find their inspiration in traditional recipes and local produce.
Judging by his enrollment in the management-oriented studies of society and culture, you could say that Grishechkin's path was not really meant to enter the gastronomical realm at all, but after serving in the military and by looking for his true self in various jobs, he turned to creating in the kitchen since that was one of his childhood favorites – cooking. He completed cooking classes in his hometown, Smolensk, moved to Moscow to study the culinary arts, and then gained experience in very famous Moscow restaurants such as Casta Diva, Remi, Ragout and Blogistan.
After moving to St. Petersburg, he got in touch with Matilda and that is when the whole CoCoCo story began - their mission being the revival of the Russian cuisine and culinary traditions by emphasizing the use of seasonal local produce. Igor's gastronomic cuisine is based on a blend of modern techniques and traditional Russian cuisine ingredients. By following this main principle, he has faced the challenging but exciting task - to create interesting and memorable dishes using simple products. A good example of this is his amuse-bouche served in a Fabergé egg, of course, not one of the 50 made by the famous Russian jeweler for the emperors, but one made from crispy egg whites that contain yolk sauce. His unlimited source of inspiration are Russian culinary customs, often combined with childhood memories and the nostalgia for past times.
The great news is that this very talented chef is coming to Croatia for the very first time and will be joining the list of grand participants at this year's Weekend Food Festival. Weekend Food Festival is an event that brings together the best global experts from the world of gastronomy, catering, mixology and the world of wine, oil and coffee. This is a great opportunity for professionals and foodies alike to learn from the best experts, to get inspired, but also to enjoy three days of hedonism in the Old tobacco factory from May 14th to May 17th, 2020.