Interview by Kalina Mazur
What kind of culinary education did you have?
None at all. I was a concert pianist. I went to Juilliard.
How did you get into cooking?
I had a hand injury and I was looking for something new to do. I always wanted to write a cookbook about Russia, so I did my first book. It was called Please to the Table, and it ended up going to a great publisher, Workman. It won a James Beard Award and became this classic book on the subject—and I was in this thing suddenly.