How I found myself loving to cook

My culinary adventure began with a move away from my parents, then I realized that my mother would not come to cook for me every day and I would not be able to eat quickly cooked food in the microwave... something I would not want to do anyways!

 

 

 

I began to devote a lot of time to cooking. I invited my friends to visit me, always pleasing them with new dishes prepared by me. Their enthusiastic faces made me realize that I was on the right path in what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Only a few years later I decided to approach this dream professionally. My first step was to study pastry, an adventure that took me to the southernmost heart of Italy - the island of Sicily, where I learned Italian cuisine. Then it was France - Le Cordon Blue Paris, where I learned to visually serve dishes and perfect my craft, the French way, and lastly it was Spain, which taught me to experiment with textures and tastes.

 

 

 

My professional career began with a culinary studio called "Culinaryon" in Moscow, where, as a sous-chef, I helped to teach people how to cook different cuisines of the world. There I got the chance to participate in various gastronomic exhibitions and events with TV hosts in culinary programs of Italy and Canada such as the Food Network with Chef Anna Olson and Chef Enrica Rocca.

 

People began to notice me as a chef and invited me to different events and private gatherings where I would display my talents. I had the privilege to personally cater for the Embassy of Italy in Moscow, Ambassador of Great Britain to Russia and the Kremlin. 

 

I continued to diversify and refine my skills by managing to work with world famous companies such as KENWOOD and Electrolux.

 

 

 

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When I moved to Tampa, Florida, I had to become accustomed to large portion sizes as well as the serving of large dishes. 

To get used to this new idea of cooking, I did some research on restaurants in the city with European cuisine, style, and serving portions and came across a restaurant called "On Swann". It was my first and only job interview as the team hired me immediately! I could not believe my luck. This place is where I received my first start in the United States.

 

 

After some time at "On Swann", the founders of the restaurant said that they would like to see me in their new restaurant called, "Oak & Ola" but this time to serve as a pastry chef and to stand up their pasty section. At "Oak & Ola" is where I was honored to work alongside The James Beard award-winner, chef Anne Kearney. Working for her was one of the best opportunities of my career and I can proudly call her my mentor and friend.

 

 

Working with people and cooking is my passion and I wanted to continue to expand, grow, and simultaneously explore a different path. This is why I decided to start my culinary Instagram blog - Appetit by Alisa, where I am happy to share my recipes and restaurant reviews with you. Along with this website, my Instagram page will bring you closer to the way I view, analyze, and deliver everything that is food, directly to you.

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@Alisa_Golenko

 

Now my journey continues in Tampa, Florida. I would be honored if you would join me and provide me a chance to charm you with my dishes, whether it is at a private dinner party or to share culinary life hacks during one of my cooking classes, or even a special occasion where I can cater for you! Hope to hear from you soon!