The heritage of Leeza Murina’s Cossack Cuisine goes all the way back to the early 1800’s in St. Petersburg, the capital of Russia in those days. Then her family owned two of the city’s largest farmer’s markets and their own business was in the supply of grains and wheat through the Grain Commodity Trading Exchange that they also owned.
On top of this they also ran a chain of shops selling milled flour and fresh bread products. One of their most famous customers was the Tsar of Russia whose staff made the same kind of food Cossack Cuisine has available today.
In recognition of the good service provided by her family, Leeza’s great grandfather was the 3rd generation of the family to carry the title of Honorary Citizen of St. Petersburg in recognition of the services provided by the family in the provision of wheat to the city.
As a sideline, they also had a family bakery supplying their neighbourhood with baked goods similar to that Cossack Cuisine makes today in Sheffield, South Yorkshire.
This food business was seized from her family during the Communist Revolution of 1917. After this her family went on to become internationally famous in the field of music – like her grandmother who was the first and youngest music conductor in Russia in the 1920’s and went on to teach so many of the world’s best conductors such as Dmitri Kitayenko.
Instead it was the creative artisan food producers in her family tree from the 19th century, particularly the baking maestro’s, that gave her the natural born talents to make her award-winning food for her Cossack Cuisine catering company in the 21st century.
At our beginning, we decided to see if the people of Sheffield might like our Russian food, so we popped over to Crosspool Street Market and offered 50 small Brioche Pies for sale at 1 pound each. They were sold out in under one hour!
Encouraged by that we progressed and expanded in every way. Now we have debuted at Meadowhall at their first Artisan Market – such a big contrast in venues ! That’s a sign of how far we have come – never mind the SIX medals at The British Pie awards earlier this month.
Despite going BIG in Meadowhall we will be back at Crosspool’s Festival Street Market on Sunday (12-4pm) 26th June 2016. See you there !
The 8th Annual Pie Awards took place in Melton Mowbray on 11th March 2016 and this year 816 pies were entered from 132 professional bakers and butchers. Undergoing a thorough judging process from over 100 top pie experts including TV chefs, food writers and expert pie makers in their own right the winning pies were awarded an accolade based on a range of criteria including appearance, taste and texture.
This year Leeza exceeded last years award collection by 600% by picking up six awards for the following pies:
- Salmon & Cream Cheese – *Highly Commended (*This is higher than a Gold Medal)
- Sea Bass & Cod Pie – Silver Award
- Spring Onion & Egg – Bronze Award
- Bubble & Squeak Pie – Bronze Award
- Lamb, Apricot & Chestnut – Bronze Award
- Forage Fruit Pie- Bronze Award
Over the next few weeks and months these award winners will be added to the range of pies offered at the events (here) we are attending and you will be able to taste what the Judges at the British Pie Awards thought were “exceedingly nice pies” !
I know it’s only a small thing but we were more than delighted to find that Bakewell Farmers Market have featured a photo of our stall and food in their 2016 Dates leaflet.
I remember when we were waiting and waiting to move from their waiting list to attending the market – what is now – all those years ago!
I have to say that it is now our busiest market and we have a small army of regulars who come to buy our Russian food. We have expanded our range of artisan foods to include Chicken Stroganoff, Salmon and Cream Cheese Piroshki and the best selling Russian Winter Salad.
I would encourage you to go visit their Facebook page for all the latest on what’s coming up at the nest Bakewell Farmers Market.
I don’t know who is more excited? Moseley Farmers Market in Birmingham for winning Farmer’s Market of the Year for the 3rd time or us, Cossack Cuisine, for having been invited to attend on a 3 month trial basis! Let’s just say we are both ecstatic.
We have had so many buyers of our food from the Birmingham area at our events asking when will we come to their area. Well? We are on our way!
We had our first appearance at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham Farmers’ Market there in February and will be back in April (we missed March because of preparation for delivery of pies for the 2016 British Pie Awards event – we won a Bronze last year).
We have an application awaiting a decision to attend the Farmer’s Market at Birmingham University too.
We will be attending the Moseley Farmer’s Market in March, April and May – and finger’s crossed the trial goes well. Please come and see what we offer – much of the Russian food we show here will be available to buy – and you can even order it on a “Click and Collect” basis too.
If you attend – come up and tell us you read this post – and we will give you a free Russian Tart (very much like a Pastel de Nata) – if we haven’t already sold out !
See you all soon.
Calling all lovers of fine food and drink!
Meadowhall is hosting its very first Artisan Food & Drink Market, bringing together the very best produce Yorkshire has to offer and Cossack Cuisine will be there with it’s award-winning Russian fayre.
You’re invited to join in this three-day celebration of gourmet delights from Thursday 24 March until Saturday 26 March, where a wide variety of the region’s finest food and drink producers will be sharing their wares.