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Farukh Ulugjanov: "The dishes say that you can create in the kitchen too"

Lamb with ratatouille and bone marrow sauce. The most famous restaurant experimenter of Uzbekistan, Bakhriddin Chustiy, could not resist this product of author's cuisine, cooked at the culinary championship "Oltin Pichok" (Golden Knife) by former prize-winner of rowing races on canoes of Republican and Asian levels Farukh Ulugjanov. He was not only among the jury members who put the highest marks for this creation, but later he invited the author to work in his new restaurant Sal-Sal, which is now popular with the guests of the capital.

- There was no mistake of fate when you had to re-qualify from an athlete to a cook. Farukh, how old are you in the kitchen?

- Looking at what cuisine. If we talk about the restaurant’s kitchen then I have been working for the eighth year already. And I cook for a long time. By the way, in my stay as an athlete, when we went to the sports camps, I was also responsible for the kitchen. I cooked and cook at home, while relaxing in nature with friends, at work, wherever I have to. It helped me to survive in a difficult turning point in my life when our coach Vyacheslav Yuldashev went to work by invitation in Iran, after which our team practically ceased to exist and disintegrated.

- Are you a cook by nature or did you learn the subtleties of professional cooking skills?

- I graduated from the Fergana College of the Olympic Reserve, that is not connected with cooking. And I loved to cook since childhood. I received a professional school at the workplace in St. Petersburg, where I received an invitation as a chef of Uzbek national cuisine, where I proved myself on the best side. "Grapes", it is the name of my first restaurant, was a member of a holding company that constantly opened new restaurants. And as one of the best specialists I was constantly transferred to new restaurants to help their advertising. At the same time, I myself tried to learn, master other cuisines. In total, over the years of work in St. Petersburg, I managed to work in seven restaurants, master different cooking techniques, learn the subtleties of Italian, Japanese, Thai, French, Ukrainian and Russian, Georgian, Arabic, Mexican and American cuisines. All this allowed me to get a good base, which made it possible to become not just a cook, but a chef.

- By the way, how long ago you began to work on the positions of the chef?

- For the second year already. After I got married, a child appeared and I returned to a small homeland - to Fergana. The first year I worked as a chef in one of the prestigious restaurants of my native city, from this restaurant I was delegated to participate in the culinary championship "Oltin Pichok", where I took first place.

- Please, tell me, did you receive the invitation from Bakhriddin Chustiy to work in Tashkent as soon as you became the owner of the first place?

- No, only in two months. Bakhriddin, by the way, was a member of the jury at that competition. But I did not hurry with the answer, a few days after I gave my consent to work in Tashkent.

- Bakhriddin probably liked your creative approach to cooking, the author's beginning?

- This question, you certainly ask Bakhriddin himself, he knows better. The fact is that all participants prepared author's dishes. The task was to prepare a meat dish from meat, brought from the region, which was represented by the participant. So, I think, his choice was influenced by some other professional skills of work. After all, cooking skills are not only to be able to cook deliciously and nicely serve dishes, those who work in public catering, well understand what I'm talking about. Work of the cook is a huge number of professional subtleties and complexities.

- Farukh, and how does the work of an ordinary cook differ from the work of the chef?

- The fact that the chef is the chief, he must keep the kitchen in good shape, properly organize and adjust the work of the unit entrusted to him.

In addition, it seems to me that the chef is a more creative profession in all respects. At the same time, he not only decides how to improve the work of the kitchen, but also develops new recipes. I, for example, stay three times a week in a restaurant after all the employees have gone home and start to experiment, embodying all of their boldest ideas. These days I'm leaving work well after midnight, in the morning.

- Judging by the fact that 50% of the menu of your restaurant is your author's dishes, you work very fruitfully. How do you do it? Do not you want to have a rest after a productive working day?

"So this is something to stay after work and experiment in the kitchen." Under the influence of emotions from the seen and heard for a day new dishes are born. It is at this time that the emotional state reaches a level where you easily go away from traditional established formulas and mix things that at other times you would never have mixed.

- And why your menu has not the dish that you were preparing for the championship "Oltin Pichok"?

- In the future, perhaps, we will introduce it into the menu, while it is presented in a simplified form. The fact is that the bone marrow sauce is difficult to prepare for a variety of reasons, including the relative deficiency of the main component - the bone marrow.

- Please, tell me, is it difficult to advertise a dish from the author's cuisine series?

"Nothing in life is given simply." But I want to emphasize that our clientele is very receptive to novelties. You can see how many in recent years there have appeared in our restaurants from the fact that we have never eaten, but this is mostly the delicacies of the cuisines of certain peoples and countries. People like it, people are willing to try something new. In this context, the author's cuisine finds its worthy place, in which traditions and customs of different cuisines are mixed in one. The success of promoting the author's dishes in the ability to properly serve a dish, tell the visitor about it. If you succeeded in this combination in combination with the achievement of high taste qualities, then there is a high probability that you will hear words of gratitude in return.

- You are in the kitchen, the visitor in the hall: how do you hear the words of gratitude, meant for you?

- It happens differently: sometimes they pass through the waiter, sometimes they are summoned to the hall ... I judge and on the dishes that go to the sink. At heart both calmly and also happy when the dishes return empty. It inspires me to do something new for the visitors ...
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