Chef Alena Solodovichenko, executive chef at Sfumato and Soiree Wine Bar, is a force to be reckoned with. From achieving a Michelin recommendation to earning an array of prestigious awards, including the GQ Russia Super Woman of the Year Award, she has accomplished a great deal. Here we discover how she seeks to revolutionize urban dining.
What are the key aspects of your culinary philosophy and practices that have contributed to your success?
To be honest, everything is simple, especially since cooking is my passion and my life; I’ve been doing it for 16 years. In my profession, it’s crucial to have a clear understanding of a restaurant’s concept. Furthermore, it is primordial to work with the best products and ingredients available. Additionally, one needs to ensure clear and coordinated efforts from all staff members. This is what makes a restaurant successful. Moreover, it contributes to the guest’s experience by making them feel cared for and wanting to return.
How do accolades help boost a chef’s career?
Nowadays, media and online platforms greatly influence a chef’s career and the image of the restaurant. Often, guests want to visit a restaurant because the chef is someone they’ve heard and read a lot about. Some of them have even found them on social media. They might even have followed them on social media and found them interesting. It remains for us to continue doing the work we love honestly and passionately.
Your culinary philosophy incorporates honesty, sensuality and grace. How do you integrate these elements into your dishes to create a unique dining experience?
To be honest, I don’t know how this happened. Reflecting on dishes crafted seven years ago, I recognize a lack of skills in creating visually appealing presentations. Nevertheless, I kept practicing, honing my craft, watching, reading, exploring new ideas and attempting new techniques until I got better. Eventually, I found and developed my own style.
How do you plan to continue captivating the discerning palates of your guests?
There are many goals for Sfumato, and organizing more special dinners is definitely one of them. I love creating unique and memorable culinary experiences for our guests. Right now, we are closely working with suppliers and will soon announce something exciting happening at Sfumato.
What is your motto?
My motto in all areas of life is: “Do more than is expected of you.” I am convinced that this is the key to success.