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Festive Treats from City’s Top Chefs

Cook your way into the hearts of friends and family this holiday season with these gourmet recipes.

Published: December 25, 2013 (Issue # 1792)



  • A delectable take on the classic Russian New Year favorite from the chef at Grand Hotel Europe.
    Photo: Grand Hotel Europe / For SPT

  • Andrea Accordi, the executive chef at the Four Seasons Hotel Lion Palace.
    Photo:

Another year is coming to an end and St. Petersburg is beginning to prepare itself for the upcoming holidays. Like Thanksgiving in America, New Year is a chance to overindulge around family members who won’t judge you when you refuse to stop eating. In the spirit of giving, The St. Petersburg Times would like to offer a couple of suggestions for appetizers that can liven up your own New Year celebrations and make it all the more difficult to get up from the table.

Chestnut and Almond Soup with Black Truffle Pesto

For 6 People

If there was ever a time of year to get ambitious with your food, this is that time. For all those looking to leave their fellow partygoers in a state of gastronomical ecstasy, try this soup recipe given to us by Andrea Accordi, the executive chef at the Four Seasons Hotel Lion Palace. Since starting to cook at the age of 14, Accordi’s renowned ability in the kitchen has taken him all over the world, from the fog of London to the smog of Bangkok and now to St. Petersburg, and won him a Michelin star along the way.

For the Chestnut Soup:

- 100 grams of pancetta, sliced into large pieces

- 600 grams of fresh, cooked chestnuts (boil them for one hour and scrape out the meat)

- 2 cloves

- 1 bay leaf

- 4 juniper berries

- 50 grams of butter

- 30 grams of honey

- 500 grams of milk

- 500 grams of chicken stock

- Salt and pepper to taste

Make a bouquet of spices by wrapping the bay leaves, juniper berries, and cloves in a piece of cheesecloth. In a pot, melt the butter and add the pancetta and bouquet. Throw in the chestnut meat and honey, and roast for five minutes before adding the milk and chicken stock. Sprinkle some salt and pepper to taste and let it all simmer for 20 minutes. Remove and discard the pancetta slices and bouquet and pour the soup into a blender and mix until the broth is fine and smooth.

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Times Talk

ALL ABOUT TOWN

Wednesday, Apr. 23


Problems facing the elderly are in the spotlight at Senior Generation 2014, an international forum at LenExpo beginning today that focuses on drawing attention to and providing information about some of society’s most vulnerable members. An exhibition combined with a trade fair will help those interested be better equipped to help this demographic.



Thursday, Apr. 24


Learn more about Denmark during the Danish Business Delegation’s visit to SPIBA this evening starting at 5:30 p.m. at the Danish Culture Institute. Danish Consul general Klaus Sorensen will be in attendance and the buffet following a presentation on Danish companies in Russia will be the perfect opportunity to network with the assembled businessmen.


AmCham’s Human Resources Committee Meeting is scheduled for 9 a.m. this morning in their St. Petersburg office. Check their website for more details.



Friday, Apr. 25


Light Music presents the main events for their Cultural Kitchen project at Loft-Project Etagi today. A B2B event that focuses on Finnish food, arts, travel, music and design, the evening will conclude with a dinner by chef Jyrki Tsutsunen and dancing to music by Aino Venna. The event, which began yesterday with presentations by tourism and cultural institutions, concludes today with a preview of Finland’s Flow festival and other musical events. Invitations are available from www.culturalkitchen.fi.



Saturday, Apr. 26


At 6 p.m. this evening, stylist Liliana Modigliani offers 50 simple ways to up your style quotient with beauty tips at the Galeria shopping center on Ligovsky Prospekt. The event is part of the final day of the shopping mall’s Fashion Saturday sales event, this week focusing on top brands located on the ground floor as well as presentation from fashion experts on sprucing up your spring look.



Sunday, Apr. 27


Families shouldn’t miss Childhood Planet 2014, the trade fair that started yesterday and concludes today at LenExpo. Not only will goods and services be provided for children and families but the event hopes to promote Russian brands and eco-friendly products using the latest technology available in the childcare industry.



Monday, Apr. 28


The Hotel Indigo will be the site of SPIBA’s Acting Skills for HR and Other Managers master class this morning starting at 9 a.m. The event will begin with coffee before moving on to the class itself and conclude with a tour of the recently opened hotel. Confirm attendance by Apr. 24.



Tuesday, Apr. 29


Improve your English at the British Book Center’s Interactive English Lesson tonight at 6 p.m. Students at pre-intermediate and intermediate levels are welcome discuss topics that are selected to help learners master the more difficult aspects of English grammar and vocabulary.