Gourmands of Moscow are in for a treat this weekend as the food festival "O, da! Eda!" (Oh yes! Food!) comes to Gorky Park. The festival shines a spotlight on the best restaurants and food producers the country has to offer. This year's theme, "Made in Russia," celebrates the unique regional products, chefs and restaurateurs that are redefining Russian cuisine.
"Moscow is one of the most dynamic and fast developing gastronomic cities in the world," Artyom Balayev, producer of the festival, said in an interview with The Moscow Times.
"Pavilions will offer visitors the chance to try their hand at preparing new dishes, watch the best chefs in action, support their favorite Moscow restaurants in gastronomy contests, discover the latest gadgets, pick a taste destination at the gastronomic travel agency and much more."
Kiosks from more than 30 of Moscow's most popular restaurants and 60 pop-ups from the city's hottest start-ups will populate the festival grounds over the weekend.
Alongside a lecture program for budding restaurateurs, an ecological food forum and a food styling pavilion where you can learn to take better Instagram snaps of your meal — yes, really — there will be plenty of opportunities to sample new dishes and generally eat yourself silly. Children can take part in a special program of culinary activities. It's time to start loosening that belt.
Food Festival. June 10 — 11
Learn from the professionals
The festival's food theater will host a jam-packed program of master classes and talks from some of the city's most illustrious chefs. Look out for Mikhail Lukashonok, of Moscow's locavore restaurant "Mark and Lev," Sebbi Kenyon of meat-eaters' paradise "Voronezh" and Artyom Losev of "Kutuzovsky 5." Talks will cover subjects from Russia's gastronomic tradition, to the latest food trends and how to eat vegan in Moscow.
Ragout Cookery School
Ramp up your culinary skills
Moscow's Ragout Cookery School, which trains chefs and offers culinary classes to amateurs from the general public, will run a series of master classes over the weekend. Learn how to whip up a zingy lime tart, the perfect ratatouille, a sea bass and cucumber ceviche or a warm salad of green beans, broccoli, bok choy and lemongrass. Perfect for impressing your guests at dinner parties this summer.
Worried your kids don't know a carrot from a cucumber? At the festival's "Young locavore" school children can learn about the origins of their food, including how and where it is produced. Budding chefs of the future can participate in a number of child-friendly cooking classes or enjoy games and face painting.
Food Styling Pavilion
Presentation is everything
While most of the talks in the food styling pavilion will focus on subjects like table decoration and the appropriate cutlery and glassware for your social occasion, given Muscovites' obsession with Instagram the food photography session at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday is sure to have a good turnout. After all, a delicious meal isn't a delicious meal if no one knows about it.
Food Film Festival
Cinema in the park
Gorky Park's summer cinema will hold mini-film screenings over the course of the weekend. Shorts will explore current trends in the food industry and offer audience members a gastronomic tour of different world cuisines from the comfort of their own seats. The idea is to explore how food in society has become a social, cultural and philosophical object of discussion.
Urban music while you eat
Rap might not seem the most obvious accompaniment to a decadent meal, but this year's festival will feature performances and poetry readings from artists including Pasha Kravtsov, Assai and Kostya Potapov. The program will provide an eclectic accompaniment to the weekend's food-focussed festivities.
"O, da! Eda!" takes place in Gorky Park. 9 Krymsky Val. Metro Oktyabrskaya, msk.odaeda.me. June 11 and 12, msk.odaeda.me