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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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Sunday, Apr. 20


Celebrate Easter at Pavlovsk during the Easter Fair that begins today and continues through next Sunday. Visitors will have the chance to paint Easter eggs and children can take part in games as well as help decorate a tree in honor of Christianity’s holiest day.


Today is one of the final days to see the exhibit Cacti — Children of the Sun at the Peter the Great Botanical Garden. Starting Apr. 17, budding botanists will marvel at the variety and beauty of the desert’s most iconic plant.


Monday, Apr. 21


Improve your grasp of Neruda, Bolano and Marquez at TrueDA’s Beginners Spanish Lesson this evening at their location on the Petrograd Side. An experienced teacher will be on hand to help all attendees better understand the intricacies of the language and improve their accent.


Tuesday, Apr. 22


SPIBA’s Breakfast with the Director event series continues as the association welcomes Andrei Barannikov, general director of SPN Communications, to the Anna Pavlova Hall of the Angleterre Hotel this morning at 9 a.m. Attendees must confirm their participation by Apr. 21.


The AmCham Environment, Health and Safety Committee Meeting is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. this morning in the their St. Petersburg office.