Hezret Berdiev was named the best young chef in Russia, Baltics & CIS region during the S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2016 regional heat and he will now put his passion for cooking to the test at the Grand Finale in Milan under the guidance of mentor chef Vladimir Mukhin.
We spoke to him about his preparations on how he turned a passion into a profession.
My dish is unique because…
Because is made of 90% specific Russian products.
What are the main influences in your signature dish?
Of course is part of an experience I did in the past, with very big influence from my last and actual experience. The long talk about food with chefs from abroad help me to develop and include in my plate some new technique.
How are you collaborating with your S.Pellegrino Young Chef mentor in order to perfect your dish for the final?
Chef Vladimir Mukhin give me is full availability and I get chance to cook my dish in his kitchen of White Rabbit and together with his team try the dish. And after sharing honest and very constructive feedback.
What led you to choosing a career in the kitchen?
First I start as necessary to make some money and pay my study, but finally I felt in love with the art and make become my priority passion and occupancy.
Who has been a mentor to you throughout your career?
As I say before I had the chance to meet many good professionals in my career. To be honest all of them give me something and make me become the cook. Of course I hope to meet many more and carry on my professional growing.
What are your professional ambitions?
Become owner of a restaurant and carry on sharing my passion, doing good and interesting food, with the guests who honor me with a visit.
What’s the best dish you ever tasted? Where did you eat it and who cooked it?
Of course the food that my grandmother cooked for me will always be the most tasty I will ever remember.
What is the most exciting/challenging element of the S.Pellegrino Young Chef competition for you?
The mix of emotion I experienced already during the first phase was very new for me. The atmosphere of the competition is so exciting. The opportunity to compete with best young chefs around the all world now is most exciting/challenging part happen to be when slowly after competition you realize what have you just done.
What will you do if you win the competition?
I think that I trained already enough with my dish but I will carry on anyway trying to improve till the last minute. Once in the competition I will planed to cook for the most Vip customers I ever had and try to do my best and more. It is already a big reward be in the final, so I will just relax and do my job.