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The-main-course
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This week on The Main Course, host Patrick Martins welcomes to the show Chef Mike Poiarkoff of Vinegar Hill House. Having been at the restaurant for six months now, Mike shares his experiences so far at the charming Brooklyn spot and what brought him specifically to that kitchen. Patrick and Mike shed light on the somewhat mysterious process of coming into a restaurant as a new chef and "trying out" for the position, with Mike securing his role at Vinegar Hill House by simply cooking his own style of simple, rustic food. Mike goes on to explain his way of cooking with the wood-burning oven at the restaurant and how he, for instance, achieves the perfect crust on a chop. Growing up in a close-knit Russian community in Pittsburgh, Mike was introduced to traditional cooking techniques at a young age and, from the sounds of it, this has given him a unique perspective in the kitchen. This program was brought to you by Rolling Press.

"I didn't attend culinary school, I never worked in a professional kitchen. I had the opportunity to learn from somebody very talented, from scratch... I was pushed early, and that was probably the best way that I could have learned." [11:39]

--Mike Poiarkoff on The Main Course


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Tasteofthepast
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With all of the focus on ethnic and regional cooking in the modern food movement, why is Russian cuisine so often neglected in the foodie canon? This week on A Taste of the Past, Linda Pelaccio sits down with Darra Goldstein, Professor of Russian at Williams College. Darra is also the founder and former Editor in Chief of Gastronomica, and the author of two books- A Taste of Russia and Georgian Feast. Tune into this episode to learn about the staples of Russian cooking. Why did Russian peasants crave sour foods? Learn how Peter the Great Westernized Russian cuisine for the upper classes. Tune in to hear Linda and Darra discuss some traditional Russian beverages such as vodka, kvass, and kefir. Listen in to learn about traditional Russian aversions to ocean fish and bears! This program has been brought to you by Bi-Rite Market.

"The new Russia is so fascinating... The capital cities of Moscow and St. Petersburg- you would hardly be able to recognize them if you lived there when it was the Soviet Union. There are many foreign chefs working there." [7:00]

"One thing that distinguishes Russian cuisine is the stove's falling temperature." [22:50]

-- Darra Goldstein on A Taste of the Past


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