Postcard from... Moscow
Few globally regard Russian cuisine as among the world's finest but, inside the country itself, the cabbage and beetroot-based dishes are still a source of national pride.
When Benjamin Osher, the American chef at Moscow's Nobu, one of the world's premier restaurant chains, was asked on to a prime-time cookery programme on state-controlled television, he thought he would be showing off the Japanese-inspired cooking for which Nobu is famous to a Russian audience. Instead, he found himself thrown into a bizarre cook-off with the Buranovskiye Babushki, the singing grannies who were Russia's entry at this year's Eurovision Song Contest and have since been promoted as unlikely patriotic heroes.
The babushki said they hated restaurants and nothing was as good as home cooking, and both they and the American chef made three courses, which were judged by "experts" in the studio. Up first was a soup. Osher made a delicate dashi soup with mushrooms, while the grannies made a chicken and cabbage broth sprinkled with dill.
"Home-cooked food is much better than your restaurant food!" one granny reprimanded Osher, who smiled awkwardly – and, on the whole, the audience agreed, right through to the unappetising-looking sour berry dessert that the grannies made, which was up against a Japanese banana dessert.
A "doctor" explained that the grannies are so healthy in their old age because they eat only Russian food, and the jury voted overwhelmingly in favour of the babushki, with the cabbage broth beating the Nobu soup by eight votes to nil.
- 1 Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Pro-Russian rebel 'admits to shooting down plane'
- 3 Israel-Gaza conflict: The myth of Hamas’s human shields
- 5 Dutch paedophile club to fight their ban at the European Court of Human Rights
Lana Del Rey: 'I have slept with a lot of guys in the industry'
Peaches Geldof cause of death: 'Heroin addict' socialite had taken fatal dose of drug, inquest concludes
Peaches Geldof inquest: Tragic final moments of socialite's life reveal she lied to husband about failed heroin tests
Israel-Gaza conflict: The myth of Hamas’s human shields
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Was a Russian-made missile really parked in this quiet square?
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains
£49000 - £55000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client is...
£48000 - £54000 per annum + Benefits package: Progressive Recruitment: My clie...
£35000 - £45000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: If you're pa...
£45000 - £55000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: SAP Business...