Firsthand: what can love for cooking grow into

The creator of the culinary studio DELI Maria Sorokina told how she moved from consulting to gastronomy and who she considers the most important taster.

For three years, the usual hobby has become a full-fledged business. And starting with the private master classes and the DELIvery catering project, Maria and her husband, Andrei Bugaysky, now have space for edible art. In hisculinary studio DELIthey are happy to share the secrets of delicious food. And how everything was conceived, Maria told in an interview.

Photo: archive press service DELI
Tell us how your love for cooking started.
Maria Sorokina

When I was a child, I really liked being with my mother in the kitchen, I especially remember how we baked cookies every New Year. Conscious passion began, of course, later - somewhere in the second year of the institute. I studied economics and finance, and in my free time I disappeared in the kitchen in an embrace with Gastronom magazine and the confectionery book Le Cordon Bleu.Then my parents gave me a New Year course in cooking school. After him, they took me there as a free intern, and I worked there for three months on weekends. I still think that this was the best work in my life.

Photo: archive press service DELI
In the past, you are a management consultant in a large company. What made you drop everything and open your own culinary studio?
Maria Sorokina

If in a word, despair. At first, I sincerely enjoyed working in consulting, but after several years I lost the sense of meaning. I no longer felt that I was bringing any real benefit in my work. Then I remembered a culinary hobby that had been postponed to a dusty corner for a long time, but how to turn it into an alternative way to make money, I could not think of any more years. This was especially difficult, given that I was already used to earning a lot and not thinking about money. But once I came across in Moscow to a small culinary studio, which could be rented for the evening. Then I tried to hold my first culinary workshop and felt the ground under my feet. It was clear that my income would be reduced several times and I would need to completely change my lifestyle, but it was also clear that I would survive. And going to work has become really painful.Consulting is a very demanding profession, where there is nothing to do without sincere dedication and full commitment. Then I left.

Photo: archive press service DELI
Now there are a lot of culinary studios. What makes your Deli project different from the competition? What do you have and no others?
Maria Sorokina

The main thing, I think, is that we strive at all costs to preserve the soul of the project. It began with the fact that we did everything together with my husband with my own hands. Now this is a big project, we organize a lot of culinary workshops and holidays and prepare literally tons of food. Of course, now we are not doing everything ourselves, we have a whole team. But this is a team of really passionate about the project and just very talented people who are in some very deep sense “with us”. With them we are sure that every guest, every holiday and every box of food will have a warm and human approach, our approach.

Who is your main taster when you cooked a new dish? Whose word is dearest to you?
Maria Sorokina

The first in importance - the impression of her husband. When I have the opportunity, I always try to give mom and dad a try, their opinion is also very valuable.The opinion of the team is also very important, and without its approval, the dish does not go anywhere. All our employees understand good food, love to eat, and they should listen to them. In addition, it is for them to cook and sell this food with us; if they are not on board, nothing will come of it.

You are lucky enough to travel a lot for work and study. Did this help you in inventing unusual dishes or maybe in organizing the workflow?
Maria Sorokina

Of course. Traveling for a long time was the biggest source of inspiration and education. I visited a huge number of culinary workshops on trips (I always tried not to miss the opportunity), and they greatly expanded my horizons. As for unusual dishes - very few people are able to come up with something really unusual in cooking (if you do not take individual geniuses such as Ferran Adria, for example). The outlook allows people to offer something unusual for them simply because they have not yet come across this, but they should not be taken as an invention. We strive for diversity, yes, we are striving for, but even more striving for simple cordiality. For food to be good, to bring joy, it does not have to be unusual.The business school helped me to organize the workflow, and from trips - an internship in a restaurant in Israel.

Photo: archive press service DELI
What motivates you to get up and do your favorite thing every morning?
Maria Sorokina

There is no need to romanticize too much. Any business, even a very beloved one, having turned into daily work and a source of income, ceases to be pure joy. In it appear affairs which please, and affairs which strain. In addition, I, like everyone, have days when I don’t want to do anything at all. So getting up every morning is motivated by need. But thanks to the fact that, in general, I am doing meaningful business, which I feel as my own, I feel that my life has meaning.

What do you advise women who really want, but are afraid to start their own business?
Maria Sorokina

Start with something small and simple. That which does not require you to give up your adjusted life, put your financial security at risk, invest serious money. To do something on a weekend for family or friends, to start with a free website with your own hands - these are all conditional examples, but I hope they convey the meaning. First, you check to see if you really like it that way.Secondly, you will gradually come to some proven in practice options for realizing your dreams, and you will have nothing to fear.



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