I prefer simple techniques, simple plating and Italian style. I think you should keep it simple and focus on the quality of products rather than on the number of techniques.
There is a pattern with many of our students – they come from countries with diverse and vibrant culinary traditions, and culinary arts intrigued them from an early age. A Moscow local, Gleb Nekrasov is one of those students, and a fan of simplicity, simple plating and Italian style and a future Professional chef of Italian cuisine.
How did you become interested in food?
Kitchen and cooking have always had a special place in my heart, and carried a peculiar appeal. I started cooking in childhood, I think the first dish I made was instant noodles. I was also inspired by Asian cuisine, so I just experimented and it usually turned out really tasty. Now I cook every day at home because I have the time and you have to cook if you live alone. I regularly prepared food even as a teenager and I wanted to be independent. Some people say cooking is not for men but I don’t see the logic behind it, cooking is essential part of everyday life and if you want to eat, you should know how to cook. My first encounter with the hospitality industry was when I worked as a bartender and later I interned as a cook.
What was your favorite dish growing up and now?
I liked omelette with cream, nutmeg and parmigiano. I like parmigiano to this day, and naturally, I prefer and admire the high-quality products, e.g. tomatoes from the capital of Azerbeijan, Baku, are incredible, rich and fresh. I am in the Italian culinary program, and Italian products are also full of vibrancy, colors and life, I like pure products. However, it is hard to decide what my favorite dish is. It depends on the mood I am in on a particular day, I always want to eat something different. I like pizza but I can’t eat it every day, it would be too much. For example, I dreamed about eating pizza a couple of weeks ago. However, it is hard to make the perfect pizza at home, you would need a very good oven, great flour, tomatoes, and everything.
What/Who inspired you to follow this career path?
My inspiration was very simple, I read books and watched culinary videos. Also, there are many great chefs who understand the culture of cooking and from whom you can learn a lot. Gastronomy and culinary arts are more than just preparing food, style and atmosphere are very important as well, so high quality products, equipment etc.
Why did you decide to enroll at Kul IN?
It is the preparation course before ALMA, I wanted to study in Italy and this joint program seemed like the best option. I looked at other schools but for one reason or another, they were not a good fit for me. Kul IN has good reviews and I decided to enroll. Mentality of people was also a big thing for me. I am from Russia and all Slavic people have pretty similar mentality and customs, which made studying in Croatia feel familiar, it didn’t take me long to adapt and get accustomed to the environment and people, language barrier is also not a huge problem.
For more information on the Italian Culinary program, click here.
What has been your favorite lesson? Why?
It is not just about what is interesting per se, you should also love those lessons that are just useful. I usually ask a question, and look it up on the Internet later to get more information. Pasta class was great. I don’t like elaborate procedures or using too many techniques, I prefer simple techniques, simple plating and Italian style. I think you should keep it simple and focus on the quality of products rather than on the number of techniques. Don’t get me wrong, it is important to know different techniques, culinary terms but I aspire to be one of the chefs that prioritize simplicity.
Can you share with us your plans for the future? How will the Kul IN experience help you get there?
Right now, I don’t want to go back to Russia, I plan to work in Europe for a couple of years in different restaurants. Eventually, I have plans to open a small place, like a focacceria, something simple but with style. I don’t want to be driven solely by money, people who are always lose themselves. They forget the reason they opened the restaurant in the first place, the prices go up and the quality of products and services plummets. I would like to open something like the All’Antico Vinaio in Florence. It is the best focacceria in my opinion. Among other things, they make stuffed focaccia with tomatoes, mozzarella, creamy gorgonzola. Furthermore, their portion sizes are great and prices are affordable.
Do you have any advice for future students?
Be attentive in practicums, carefully consider all information you are given and evaluate it. Think through everything you do, analyze information, google the things you learn. Learn to be independent and think of your instructors and the information they give you as your starting point. Also, study and get interested in chemistry because it is very important. The chef at the restaurant where I interned was a chemical engineer and he used this knowledge a lot in his career as a chef.
Follow Gleb on his Instagram profile: https://www.instagram.com/glebnekrasoff/