Twin Cities: Philadelphia and Nizhny Novgorod, cooking with Chef Alexander

Chef Alexander's bliniFrom Thursday May 9th – Saturday the 11th I accompanied Russian Chef Alexander through the markets to prepare an event in Twin City Park. The event is sponsored by International Visitor’s Council (IVC) in honor of our twin cities in the world. Nizhny Novgorod is one of them, and Chef Alexander is one of its citizens.
On Thursday we went to the Reading Terminal Market to pick up fresh salmon, dill, watercress, parsley, lemon, etc. We then went to the spice shop on 9th Street and Herta was there to welcome us and we were treated to free spices. Michael, a nice young pastry chef student from Ukraine, was helping me with my rusty Russian. We had a bite to eat at Sabrina’s café and then went home for Chef Alexander to prepare the marinated salmon. Since my fridge was full of the food I had prepared I took this prepared food to a backup fridge in a room near the concierge in order to make room for the food prepared by Chef Alexander.
We then drove to the Spring Mill Café so Alexander could have a taste of my food and enjoy a nice ride along the Schuylkill River. A very well learned gentleman named Yuri was my next help in Russian that night. I was ill prepared to feed him properly when I discovered he was strict Kosher. He smiled and said he was completely comfortable with just some white wine. Alexander tasted my pâtés, rabbit à la moutarde, mousse au chocolat and a few wines. He was quite happy.
The next day at my house Alexander prepared blinis with cream cheese sauce. The phone rang and my nice concierge informed me that all my food had been thrown away by mistake! They needed the fridge for Mother’s Day flowers and they thought my food was old stuff. I had to run to the store and prepare new crepes, ratatouille, raspberry sauce, etc. so I spent the night, more or less, cooking. Saturday morning came and I was ready! It didn’t rain, the weather was beautiful and everybody was happy. Alexander and I flipped crepes and blinis and I demonstrated how to make brioche dough. When everything was put away and everything was clean, I decided to walk quietly to the Four Seasons where they know me well. I had a beautiful table by the window and I enjoyed a very peaceful lunch with champagne. What a beautiful life!

Thank you to Nancy Gilboy, IVC President and CEO, for thinking of me for the position

Chef Alexander in Michele's house

Chef Alexander

Chef Michele and Chef Alexander

Chef Alexander cooking

Chef Michele and Chef Alexander

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