Wednesday, October 1, 2014
 
Follow sptimesonline on Facebook Follow sptimesonline on Twitter Follow sptimesonline on RSS
MOST READ



PARTNER NEWS



BLOGS



OPINION



WHERE TO GO?

The Romanovs in St. Petersburg

History of St. Petersburg Museum

 

  Print this article Print this article

Modern Cuisine With a Conscience

Cafe Ukrop is changing the way locals think about their food with its vegetarian menu.

Published: July 30, 2014 (Issue # 1822)




  • Photo: Ukrop

Although Lev Tolstoy, one of Russias most famous writers, was a known vegetarian in the 19th century, not eating meat is still uncommon to many Russians. However, eating vegetarian food is slowly becoming more and more common in Russia and its rising popularity is especially evident in St. Petersburg, where a number of vegetarian cafes such as Cafe Ukrop spoil their visitors with their handmade, fresh and original vegetarian, vegan and raw dishes.

With its casual, modern interior and a young, energetic staff, Cafe Ukrop is one of the hippest places in the city. Aleksander Gamayunov is the co-owner and co-founder of Ukrop, which opened its first cafe on Ulitsa Marata in 2012 with a partner and a second one last November at Malaya Konyushennaya Ulitsa.

At that time I had been vegetarian already for five years, Gamayunov said, speaking to The St. Petersburg Times. There were only a few places in the city where you could eat vegetarian food which was not inspired by Asian cuisine, and I wanted to offer a menu that was familiar to me, he said. As a result, the restaurants menu offers not only meatless dishes but also raw and dairy-free meals, even with its desserts.

It is quite unique that we offer so called raw desserts, which means that they only entail fresh, unprocessed ingredients, Gamayunov said. Among the other various dishes made of vegetables, herbs, grains, lentils and different kinds of cheese, there are also typical Russian dishes, such as Russian salads, mushroom soup and varenki, Ukrainian pastries.

According to Gamayunov, his aim was to establish a new type of business. We are not merely motivated by profit, as our main goal is to create a place with an intimate atmosphere where people may try something new and where the employees believe in their work and feel at home, he said.

However, at the beginning, the project was not easy to set up. At the start we didnt make a profit and we had to work very hard. However, I always asked myself what I would do if I wasnt dependent on money and I knew I would do the same, said Gamayunov. Although more Russians have since become more interested in a vegetarian lifestyle, it is still not as accepted here as it is in Europe, Gamayunov believes. Being vegetarian was probably more common in Russia before 1917 because people talked more about this kind of diet in those days.

During the Soviet Union, the absence of meat became a symbol of poverty and vegetarianism was secretly condemned as a western tendency. Now the market for vegetarian foods is still developing in Russia and not yet widely commercialized, which, according to Gamayunov, has its advantages. Over the next three years, vegetarian restaurants will be run mainly by idealistic people with the right values but afterwards it will become big business.

Pages: [1] [2]






 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Wednesday, Oct. 1


The St. Petersburg International Innovation Forum 2014 kicks off today at Lenexpo, where it will be presenting the latest and greatest ideas until Oct. 3. Focusing on economic development and the decisions and measures necessary to encourage development in Russias most important industries, the event is a possibility to discuss the innovations currently available in a variety of fields.


Representatives of the Russian and international media industries arrive in St. Petersburg for the first ever International Media Forum being hosted by the city until Oct. 10. With a variety of events on tap, including workshops, lectures and film screenings, the event plans to reemphasize the citys reputation as the countrys culture capital and as an emerging market and location for the visual arts.



Thursday, Oct. 2


The celebration of the bicentennial of the birth of Mikhail Lermontov continues with todays free exhibition in the citys Lermontov Library at 19 Liteiny Prospekt. Titled Under the Rustling Wings, the temporary exhibition will feature the costumes and scenery used in the 1917 production of Lermontovs play The Masquerade, which he wrote in 1835 when he was only 21 years old.



Friday, Oct. 3


Learn more about how to manage and evaluate employee performance during SPIBAs Human Resources Committee meeting this morning on Employee Assessment: Global and Local Trends. Starting at 9:30 a.m., the discussion will touch on such topics as the partnership between HR and business, reliable assessment strategies and more, with Tatiana Andrianova, the head of the SHL Russia and CIS branch in St. Petersburg, as the featured guest. Confirm your participation by Oct. 2 by emailing office@spiba.ru or calling 325 9091.


AmChams Procurement Committee Meeting is at 9 a.m. this morning in their office in the New St. Isaac Office Center on Ulitsa Yakubovicha.



Saturday, Oct. 4


Wine and cheese lovers will get their chance to revel during Scandinavia Country Club and Spas Wine Market Weekend. Going on today and tomorrow, wining diners can listen to live music, take part in culinary classes and, of course, sample a variety of fine wines from around the world. The cost of admission is 400 rubles ($10.30) for adults and 200 rubles ($5.15) for children.



Sunday, Oct. 5


Look for the latest fall fashions at the Autumn Market today in Freedom Anticafe at 7 Kazanskaya Ulitsa. The minimarket plans to offer clothes more flattering than the puffy jackets that are a staple of the citys cold-weather fashion, while offering the same amount of protection from the biting winds blowing off of the Baltic.



Monday, Oct. 6


SKA St. Petersburg, the citys KHL affiliate, welcomes Slovakian club HC Slovan in a match-up tonight at the Ice Palace near the Prospekt Bolshevikov metro station. The puck drops at 7:30 p.m. and tickets can be purchased on the clubs website or in person at either the arenas box office or the clubs merchandise store on Nevsky Prospekt.



Tuesday, Oct. 7


Learn more about Russias energy industry at the St. Petersburg Energy Forum that begins today and runs through Oct. 10. Attracting industry experts and political and business representatives, the forum plans to welcome more than 350 plus companies and their representatives to discuss the future of Russias largest economic sector.



Times Talk