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Festive Treats from Citys Top Chefs

Cook your way into the hearts of friends and family this holiday season with these gourmet recipes.

Published: December 25, 2013 (Issue # 1792)



  • A delectable take on the classic Russian New Year favorite from the chef at Grand Hotel Europe.
    Photo: Grand Hotel Europe / For SPT

  • Andrea Accordi, the executive chef at the Four Seasons Hotel Lion Palace.
    Photo:

Another year is coming to an end and St. Petersburg is beginning to prepare itself for the upcoming holidays. Like Thanksgiving in America, New Year is a chance to overindulge around family members who wont judge you when you refuse to stop eating. In the spirit of giving, The St. Petersburg Times would like to offer a couple of suggestions for appetizers that can liven up your own New Year celebrations and make it all the more difficult to get up from the table.

Chestnut and Almond Soup with Black Truffle Pesto

For 6 People

If there was ever a time of year to get ambitious with your food, this is that time. For all those looking to leave their fellow partygoers in a state of gastronomical ecstasy, try this soup recipe given to us by Andrea Accordi, the executive chef at the Four Seasons Hotel Lion Palace. Since starting to cook at the age of 14, Accordis renowned ability in the kitchen has taken him all over the world, from the fog of London to the smog of Bangkok and now to St. Petersburg, and won him a Michelin star along the way.

For the Chestnut Soup:

- 100 grams of pancetta, sliced into large pieces

- 600 grams of fresh, cooked chestnuts (boil them for one hour and scrape out the meat)

- 2 cloves

- 1 bay leaf

- 4 juniper berries

- 50 grams of butter

- 30 grams of honey

- 500 grams of milk

- 500 grams of chicken stock

- Salt and pepper to taste

Make a bouquet of spices by wrapping the bay leaves, juniper berries, and cloves in a piece of cheesecloth. In a pot, melt the butter and add the pancetta and bouquet. Throw in the chestnut meat and honey, and roast for five minutes before adding the milk and chicken stock. Sprinkle some salt and pepper to taste and let it all simmer for 20 minutes. Remove and discard the pancetta slices and bouquet and pour the soup into a blender and mix until the broth is fine and smooth.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Friday, Aug. 22


Get ready to pledge allegiance to the flag during National Flag Day, paying tribute to when, 23 years ago today, the iconic hammer-and-sickle was replaced with the tricolor that now flutters in the wind. Petersburgers will be treated to a free concert on Palace Square, a military parade and a culminating air show featuring Russias Russian Knights stunt pilots.



Saturday, Aug. 23


Uppsala Park plays host to Fairy Noon today, a performance of five separate fairy tales ranging from folk classics to more haunting selections. There will be three different renditions of the tales throughout the day and tickets start at 500 rubles ($13.80) for adults and 300 rubles ($8.30) for children.


Classic Finnish cartoon characters the Moomins expect to receive a warm welcome from Russian fans during todays Moomin Festival at the Pearl Plaza Shopping Center at 51 Petergofskoye Shosse. Become a kid again or introduce a new generation to the beloved creation of Finnish writer Tove Jansson.



Sunday, Aug. 24


The tortured genius of Dutch master Vincent van Gogh gets his day in the centers Konnushnaya Ploschad during Make Art Like Van Gogh, a daylong celebration of the artist that will allow amateur artists to try and replicate the work that made the famed painter world-renowned.


Experience a variety of dances highlighting the diversity of the world around as at the final day of the Ethno-Dance International Dance Festival that has been at the St. Petersburg Humanitarian University of Trade Unions this past week. Tonights performance will feature Egyptian dancers accompanied by local orchestras.



Monday, Aug. 25


Today kicks off the Elena Obraztsovoy International Competition for Young Vocalists in the large hall of the Shostakovich Philharmonic. Talented youngsters will showcase their range over the next six days before a winner is chosen on Aug. 30.



Tuesday, Aug. 26


Love movies but hate all those words? Then check out Rodina Cinema Centers Factor of Consensus film forum this evening. Silent movie classics from the beginning of the 20th century will be screened and accompanied by a pianist, who will provide the soundtrack for the ongoing action. The screenings begin at 7 p.m. Check Rodinas website for more details.



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