Russian food and drink is not that familiar to the people of England – many have sipped vodka, some have tasted Borscht, a wonderfully vibrant beetroot soup – and some have had Stroganoff (a Russian classic). However very few people will have had Stroganoff served the way the local Russian’s do. Chefs in the West have decided that they like to make mushrooms a key ingredient. No, no, no. Mushrooms are not part of the real Russian Stroganoff. Ours is made with onions (instead of mushrooms). We do a popular version which is has loads of chicken, in a fresh cream sauce lightly spiced with a traditional Russian blend of spices and herbs used for generations of Russian’s when making Stroganoff. Come sample ours. It sells out very quickly every market. See you bright and early. Only available at Treacle Market, Bakewell Market and sometimes at Moseley Farmers Market.
What an achievement for Leeza who excelled at this year’s British Pie Awards (2017) not only beating her tally of 6 awards last year but winning her first Class Champion and Gold awards. The full list of winning pies is below.
Her pasty – and Class Champion, with a filling of Chicken, Cranberry and Walnut was a great favourite last Christmas with our customers but who would have believed that when it came to the nominations for “Best Pasty of the Year” – with Ginster’s Cornish Pasty being our world famous rival nominee that we would come first ! I didn’t expect that when I heard who we were up against. But there you go 🙂
Watch out for these at our future events.
- Creamy Chicken with Cranberry & Walnut Pasty – Class Champion
- Chicken, Sweet Potato, Squash, Moroccan Grains of Paradise Pie – Gold
- Creamy Chicken with Cranberry & Walnuts Pie ( a Silver and a Bronze) from different categories
- Salt Beef, Mustard and Gherkin Pie – Silver
- Triple Cheese Pie – Silver
- Lamb, Quince & Pistachio Pie – Bronze
- Nutty Gruyere & Olive Pie – Bronze
- Cream Cheese & Apricot Pie – Bronze
I am a believer in “synchronicity”. What’s that you may well ask. Well it’s been described as “… a concept, which holds that certain of life’s events are “meaningful coincidences” if they occur with no causal relationship yet seem to be meaningfully related”.
Well we had a synchronistic moment when a stranger approached our Russian food stall at St. Albans. His name we now know is – Stephen Harvard Davis –
– a Business Consultant that specialises in team transition and who also writes novels as Stephen Davis. More on Stephen at Facebook.
Here is what we learned from him – and summarised in his Facebook post:
It’s a small world.
In St Albans farmers market today I met Elizaveta Murina. Her family had a shop in Nevsky Prospect and ran the baker’s shop in St Petersburg, before the revolution, and mentioned in my novel ‘The Tsar’s Banker’.
She’s still baking and keeping the family tradition alive after 200 years under the name Cossackcuisine.com.
I must add her cakes are delicious.
– Go see for yourself here. And it was also just a few weeks ago we chose to make reference to Cossack Cuisine’s St. Petersburg heritage by adopting the strap-line for our business – “Cossack Cuisine. 200 years in the baking”. And now we find that Leeza’s 19th century family business has been immortalised in Stephen’s book – by an amazing coincidence (synchronicity – at work, I do say !)
By the way the book has great reviews – go see what people have said on Amazon here
This year will extend the number of markets and food festivals we attend – though we will be dropping out of some of the less busy events. Please bookmark our events page and watch out for the new-to-us events we are attending in your region over 2017. Here is the link you need here.
We create from scratch our Russian Beetroot and Garden Pea salad – see it here. It also has fresh garlic and basil added to make it taste authentically Russian. We always seek the most healthy ingredients for our food. And basil fits the bill.
Basil also is considered one of the healthiest herbs. It’s best when fresh, exuding a sweet, earthy aroma that indicates not only the promise of pleasantly pungent flavor, but an impressive list of nutrients. Vitamin K, essential for blood clotting, is one of them. Just two tablespoons of basil provides 29 percent of the daily recommended value. Follow the link above for more information.
We have a new range of Piroshki (Russian Pies) rolling out over the first few months of this year. Look out for Chicken Stroganoff piroshki (based on our popular Chicken Stroganoff stew), plus Minced Beef and Onion, Chicken and Cranberry (which sold very well just before Christmas last year) plus several other new varieties.
* I am afraid there are a few issues which have been causing us a great deal of extra administration recently. I hope that the information given below will help you to better understand the terms and conditions when booking events at the xxxx
* Please do not reply to this e mail as it has been sent out to all stallholders for information only.
We are experiencing an unacceptable amount of queries asking us to let stallholders know what they have booked with the xxxxx this year? With well over 500 stallholders and over fifty events each year you can imagine how much extra administrative work is involved in researching and responding to these queries.
* It is essential that all stallholders take the responsibility for keeping a record of events booked with us throughout the year.
Cancellations are being taken far too lightly.
Too many casual cancellations are being made. A booking is a firm commitment, not something that can be change on a whim.
* Increasingly, stallholders are waiting until we contact them about an upcoming event that they have booked with us before letting us know that they wish to cancel the event. If you have to cancel an event please let us know as soon as possible. Your booking remains on our database until you instruct us otherwise. We have a very long waiting lists for some events which makes it all the more important that we know when you are not able to attend an event that you have made a booking for.
> I am losing the will to contine appraising this message – the following is like – why? Why can’t the author just accept that they have let off enough steam about how frustrating their customers are to them. But, well, they have to continue.
* The Terms & Conditions clearly state that payments are non-refundable. As most of you know, we do try to accommodate by moving a payment to a future event. However, this is not an invitation to change bookings at will. We would like to make clear the criteria we use when cancellations occur.
* If we have been given what we consider to be a one off reason for cancellation that could not have been avoided, then we will move the payment made for that event to a future event of your choice.
* No payments can be moved more than once, and only one cancellation a year would qualify to be moved. Your booking is a firm commitment to attend.
* Post dated payments made in advance are also considered to be a firm booking. It is not acceptable to ask for these payments to be returned or destroyed. It would not be fair to those stallholders paying well in advance if post dated payments were given preferential treatment.
> It seems that the organisation needs to overhaul their own terms and conditions. Now that requires an initiative. After all the years of trading I have never been on the end of such an outpouring of disatisfaction from the main person who facilitates an event to happen. The author should take stock of the situation, according to their perspective, and re-define the rules, offer the support that traders want but that irritates the author, and genuinely ask how can their organisation help you support you so our organisation thrives. We didn’t hear that at all in this message. Perhaps an appropriate change by this organisation is needed.
Thanks to a cancellation we finally got to appear at Levenshulme Market on Saturday 16th April. We had never been there before except for a quick look round a few weeks earlier. Though it was late and had just poured down – what’s new, it is near Manchester – the capital city of rainy days 😉
Anyway we took our hot food set up and this included Fresh Pumpkin Soup, slightly curried served with pumpkin oil and pumpkin seeds together with a Carrot Brioche bun. This is a classic Russian soup. Forget about Borscht – this is what everyone in St. Petersburg wants to eat – the other is for the tourists !
We also had an array of our multi-award winning savoury brioche pies – see news of our awards here – including Chicken & Chorizo and Cheesy Mushroom. Plus the unusual stuffed potato cakes – the choice today was mushroom or beef. Both dishes were served with our legendary handmade garlic sauce, plus the two most popular Russian salads – Spicy Carrot and Winter Salad.
Here’s a review from our Facebook page: (here)
We had the pleasure of working next Leeza at Levenshulme market on Saturday. She was kind enough to let us sample some of her pumpkin soup served with homemade pumpkin bread and I can honestly say it was the most amazing soup I have ever tried. Then came the pies… OMG the pies. First of all we had the mushroom pie and it was amazing, the effort and skill in the baking really speaks for itself.. we then had the spring onion and egg mayo and all I can say it was pure magic. Then came the bacon and black pudding pie, we took this one home and reheated it in the oven and it was delicious. The pastry on all the pies was a semi brioche and baked to absolute perfection. 10 out of 10
While a couple of tweets echoes the great comments we received at our busy stall.
We hope to be invited back soon. We will post future dates here. <bookmark it 🙂
Not specifically related to our food but as an Englisman and having met and listened to Russians objectively speak in a dispassionate way about how their country could be perceived – then I find this article speaks the truth – well sort of ! 🙂
But most of all know something of how the Russian will not let you leave their home without being , let’s say, “well fed” and “well watered” !
“….when you sit down for dinner with them, they’ll feed you until your stomach explodes and pour you shot after shot of vodka until your liver explodes too.”
I can vouch for that !
Not a joke. We have a pie in development that will please vodka lovers. Russian-born or not !
Note – We have similar positions available in Cheshire (e.g. West Didsbury, Wilmslow), Staffordshire (e.g. Uttoxeter), Nottinghamshire (e.g. West Bridgford) – note: we will deliver and collect everything from you. No need to drive over to Sheffield.)
What we have:
Uniquely, we – Cossack Cuisine – are the only people offering fresh, handmade Russian food at public events in the U.K.
What we need:
In brief, we want a small team of people – each of whom will ultimately become responsible for running our food stall at an artisan food event.
Food enthusiasts based in or near to Sheffield to help us grow in the North and Midlands region. Those who join us will be passionate about being part of creating the next big cuisine in the U.K.
We require you to be a driver, with a full British and clean licence. Also we would prefer an owner of a hatch-back style car/van. We pay AA recommended per mile car allowance. Sometimes we will hire a van for you.
What you do:
Tasks include taking boxed food and stall equipment, setting it up, selling produce, taking payment, offering advice and information to our customers, packing up, delivering unsold food/equipment back to our Sheffield base. The cycle concludes with completing appropriate paperwork. The typical day starts around 6am and finishes around 6pm.
What you get:
A fair rate of pay for working on a stall at a farmers market. Mileage allowance. A 30% staff discount on our highly praised food.
What you do now:
Email me if you are interested. Even tell me what your favourite food is and why – OR – tell me a great food shop or restaurant that I should go to. Then tell me why I should hire you. Thanking you, Steve – firstname.lastname@example.org
More Info > here
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.
Lloyds Catering Equipment Ltd of Rotherham (here) have written up an interesting and hopefully helpful case study of how they helped us get started with the right equipment for our new cafe premises in Sheffield.
- My quote sums up how we got alerted to Lloyds:
“We spoke to a number of experienced chefs in and around the Sheffield area and we kept hearing that Lloyds were the people we should speak to about getting our business operating at a higher level”
Steve Jones Cossack Cuisine
- And why we chose them:
“We found Lloyd’s to be very informative and none of the hard-nosed sales tactics we expected to find at a successful catering equipment company. They were interested in making our business a success because if that happened they could be sure we would come back for further advice and equipment, and that’s how it has turned out”
Steve Jones Cossack Cuisine
- Read the full case study at their web site here.
Lloyd Catering Equipment