"Since marine college I made my first time sea journey. I preferred galley to control cabin with the captain himself. In my heart I've always been a cook."
Head chief Alex Yakutov's open kitchen will meet you hospitably within the walls of the former publishing house “Zhovten”. His restaurant “Publicist” represents the idea of cultural legacy preservation hence redefined Ukrainian folk recipes in menu and authentic factory notes in decor. Currently, Yakutov prepares his cooking book for printing, which helps to better understand restaurant's menu.
"I want to discover tastes well known to the nation. To bring life in them for everyday usage and recognition of the Ukrainian cuisine in the future. I've traveled around all Ukrainian regions; there are have a lot of amazing people and delicious food in both east and west sides of the country. The culture of our cuisine was enriched by the Greeks, Tatars, Moldovans from the east, by Polish, Austrians and Jews from the west. My goal is to keep recipes for people to use them, to taste our culture. For example, I was born in a fisherman's family, for me sturgeon borscht is the taste of my childhood. For some it is a new dish and usual for others, but I take it as a specific Ukrainian region born taste. The book with recipes gathered from all over the country should be worn out, greasy, written all over with pencil."
“Publicist” working style is a huge grill, a wood-burning oven, a solid team and open kitchen placement. The energy of process, live fire, extraordinary spices are felt in every dish. You can see cooks preparing meals, the meat they use being roasted over an open- oven, the carpaccio being sliced, food being prepared for dishes.
"Our rule towards our guests is integrity. The open kitchen not only provides taste impressions, but allows people to see something new and interesting. With such type of kitchen we can watch our guests. We can see guests’ emotions during eating, their discussions about our meals tastes. The powerful source of inspiration for cooks comes from giving them a new dish from menu and watching their reaction."
Everyone who works with Alex at “Publicist” is considered as part of his family not just a team member. He succeeded in creating a very warm relationship with his team. Alex has been working with the majority of them for many years.
"Kitchen is my next main priority after my restaurant's guests. It's very important for me to inspire cooks. I want to motivate them to achieve new heights, do their own researches. I've been raising high food culture standards in them. Thus, cooks can do real magic, create new dishes with me in the kitchen. It's crucial to train the staff and raise them to a higher level in the restaurant."
Alex has paid special attention to the kitchen's equipment. Some things, for example, a grill he designed by himself. The rest of the equipment is the best one can buy.
"When I pick up tools, speed and comfort are important for me. I'm really bothered with the kitchen and want to buy not only the most expensive tools but the best ones to reach my goals. Furthermore, the way we express our love to the tools we're working with is selection of knives, a leather roll for them and an apron. I consider working with instruments as an extension of arm."