A passionate foodie, a keen film buff and a brand new mama, we’re thrilled to welcome Alissa Timoshkina to Table Talk. Having left her native homeland of Russia back in 1999 to settle in North London, Alissa rose to fame by combining her two loves food and film to launch KinoVino – a groundbreaking supper club which offers film screenings and sit-down dinners with unique menus inspired by films. From silver screen to her hometown of Siberia, Alissa took her love of food one step further in her debut cookbook ‘Salt & Time’. A collection of recipes which transforms the perceptions of food of the former Soviet Union and pays homage to her roots with delicious dishes including restorative Solyanka fish soup, fragrant Chicken with prunes and light-as-a-feather semolina cake.
Between crafting recipes for a forthcoming festive KinoVino supper club at Benk + Bo this December, launching a brand new community for mothers ‘Ima’ and raising her beautiful daughter Bobbi Rose, we caught up with Alissa to talk about food, family and her favourite baby-friendly bites around London…
1. I’d like a table for…
3 in Rochelle Canteen. It’s the most beautiful cosy setting which makes you forget that you are in London. You can sit outside under the vines and there’s a lovely lawn for the little ones to crawl around. The food is of course just outstanding!
2. Early-birds catch the coffee at…
I love Allpress Espresso in Redchurch Street. There isn’t really much space to sit but you can grab a take away one and wonder around the shops or down to the Columbia Road market.
3. Best brunch with kids?
My local cafe Bear and Wolf is an absolute gift for new moms! They have the best coffee, the most delicious brunch menu, a lovely kids menu, an entire playroom, an outdoors space and a buggy parking area. It really is the most amazing place to go to with babies and toddlers.
4. Children’s menu must-visits…
Aside from bear and wolf we absolutely love Duke of Cambridge, the gorgeous seasonal organic pub in Angel. They are so family friendly (with a toys cup board and plenty of space to run around) and their food is so fresh and delicious. They don’t have a kids menu as such but often happily adapt their existing dishes to your kids needs.
5. Where do you grab a bite with mums en masse?
Ah since me and my girlfriends became moms we’ve not managed to gather en masse yet! Syncing our schedules is such a headache. But we have been talking about Dishoom or Caravan in Kings Cross for months!
6. Hidden gem for treating tiny ones?
My girl is only 12 months so she doesn’t really care much for going out to eat. Her favourite treat is till a snuggle on my breast.
7. Best piece of advice for dining out with kids?
Treat them like an equal dinner companion and interact with them throughout the meal, even if it makes the conversation somewhat limited. Kids are often excluded from the communication and are fed before the adult food arrives. I feel it creates an odd dynamic. but if chatting and eating together is not enough make sure you have some toys as a back up too.
8. Date night – takeaway or take me out?
Oh take me out please! We stopped doing take aways as I still have something to clean up or wash up. It’s only a real treat when there’s no cleaning to be done at the end of a meal.
9. My earliest food memory…
A holiday at a Black Sea resort of Sochi when I was three. It was back in the 80s during the soviet era. We went to a canteen that served dumplings and a watered down honey drink called “medok”. I was obsessed with it and asked my mom to take me to that canteen every day.
10. Five mums, one table – who’s joining you?
Ina May Gaskin, Esther Perel, Michelle Obama, Olia Hercules and May Lindstrom