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10/05/2018

Gayane Breiova: New aspects of Armenian cuisine

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How did you start your restaurant business?

In 1994, after arriving in Moscow, I joined the closed complex "Slovak House" as a waitress. From that moment my acquaintance with the restaurant business had started.

Why did you choose Moscow for your work?

I did not choose Moscow as a place to work. It was my choice of residence.

Was it difficult to open first restaurant?

No, as at that time in 2001 I had knowledge both in cousin and trading hall operation and I had partners who already owned successful restaurants.

What, in your opinion, are the main criteria for successful restaurant?

Gather together a team with like-minded people in love with their work, and the realization that we do not sell dishes, but sell real live emotions.

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What would you recommend to try in "Panaehali" and Gayane's for those who have not already had you?

In "Panaehali" I would advise you to try risotto from wheat cereals with chanterelles and hemp seeds, beef manti, curd with cottage cheese and purslane, samsa and the most delicious "Esterhazy" in the world.
In the restaurant Gayane's - my favorite harisa, trout fillet with peeled croup and peas, salad from fried eggplants, tomato chili sauce and tarragon, and, of course, Mikado cake - there is no such tasty even in all of Yerevan.

Armenian cuisine is not the most popular abroad. Was it hard to introduce it?

Everything you do with love does not require any struggle. National cuisines in Moscow have become very popular and here people are open to everything new.

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The audience of your restaurants - is mostly Armenians or not?

In the restaurant "Panaehali" 90% is Russian, as well as expats. And in the Armenian restaurant Gayane's - 60% Armenians, and the rest are Russian and foreigners.

What do you think should be done to raise the popularity of Armenian cuisine in Russia?

First Armenian cuisine is the products of Armenian origin. We need to introduce Russian chefs to our products. For this we need strong serious lobbying from Armenia, participation of our suppliers at various exhibitions, festivals, Expo, Prodexpo. It is necessary to create a condition under which all professionals will have opportunity to taste, get acquainted with the product, keep the competitive price and excellent quality. It does not mean that we are popularizing Armenian cuisine in this way, but this will allow us to introduce our products and thus include dishes in the menu of many restaurants, cooked by our products. And the popularization of Armenian cuisine is going gradually. It would be nice if Armenians living here would visit Armenian places, not Georgian and Azerbaijan restaurants and bring their guests here.
One of the areas that I develop is raw foodyism and developing cuisine. I call it "New borders of Armenian cuisine", but this does not mean that it loses its traditional character, i.e. relevance.

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What is lovely to you, new experimental combinations or a well-executed classical recipe?

Everything is close to me, if it is done qualitatively and interestingly.

How would you rate the modern Armenian restaurant market? What, in your opinion, has changed and what else needs to be developed?

My last visit to Armenia was very gratifying. What changed, is that the projects opened are initially very well qualified. It concerns the interior, the competent use of the place, the wonderful names of the restaurants, the preparedness and knowledge of the attendants, the interaction of the hall and the kitchen, the knowledge of the wine menu. It is necessary to develop everything and always. I often repeat that in the restaurant business it is necessary to run to stand still, that is, not to go back.

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Do you have a favorite restaurant in Yerevan? Where do you most often go, when you visit Armenia and what do you usually order?

Unfortunately, I cannot say which restaurant is favorite for me, since I do not live in Yerevan and every visit is more familiarization with new projects. But after visiting the restaurant "Ankjun", I know for sure that I will return there again.

What is your favorite dish?

It's trite - harisa. This dish helps me to return to my childhood.

Do you agree with the statement that although there are a lot of greenery in the Armenian cuisine, meat the first thing that is associated with it? If yes, what Armenian dishes would you recommend to those who lead a healthy lifestyle?

Agree. Personally I always ask my guests not just to order dishes on charcoal, i.e. barbecue, and chose, for example, kyufta, as I think it is dietetic from one side and traditional for our cuisine from the other side.

Do you have plans to open a restaurant in Armenia?

Yes, and God willing, I will do it in 2018.

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