I'm a pastry chef and a co-owner of Lamm's pastry shop.
I was born in the small military town of Akhtubinsk in Astrakhan Region — it gets freezing there in winter and boiling hot in summer. When I think about it I remember watermelons, fishing, and sun...
But I moved to Moscow 13 years ago and I already consider it my home city. Now I live on Leningradsky Prospekt, close to Belorusskaya metro station.
A lot of places in Moscow are tied to important memories for me, and mostly happy ones. There are some streets where I just can't help smiling as I walk along them.
It all started as a hobby. For a long time, baking was just something I enjoyed doing. I liked making pies for the whole family and gathering everyone around the table. But at one point, I realised that I enjoyed my hobby a lot more than my main job as a PA in an office. There aren't many things that people will always enjoy. But desserts are one of them.
I decided to quit and focus on baking. As my abilities developed, I realised I had enough knowledge and skills to open my own pastry shop. Which is exactly what my husband and I decided to do.
I don't like the word 'work'. I prefer to call it 'what I do'. That's because my life has developed in such a way that I've never just done one job at a time. I've never just been a journalist or a pastry chef — I have different professions at the same time, and it seems to me that pastry is the perfect epitome of everything I've ever done.
My old classmates from the Faculty of Journalism and my former co-workers are all frequent visitors to my pastry shop. So are the people who ordered my very first cakes.
My life in Moscow is my own little island. It's a place I'm always happy to be, and where the people I like always are. It's a great thing to be able to create your perfect community like this. Moscow has the right audience: it's very receptive to new things
There aren't many things that people will always enjoy. But desserts are one of them.
I like to make food. I like turning something very plain into something beautiful, something that enthrals the imagination and the taste buds.
I also like meeting visitors — watching people come to our pastry shop with their families and loved ones, watching a mother sit with her daughter at a table and trying éclairs, drinking tea and just chatting. Most of all, I like watching people enjoy some face-to-face interaction — I'm that kind of person, too.
I believe that Moscow is a great city for those who want to start over from scratch. This is a city of opportunities.
When my husband and I decided to open a pastry shop, we had to choose between several different cities. But we realised that it would be much easier here. To start a business in Moscow, you just need to submit an application and pay a laughable sum of money to register as an Individual Entrepreneur. After that, you can do whatever you want. There are very few cities where you can launch a business and start doing something new so quickly.
Moscow has the right audience: it's very receptive new things. In comparison, people in Germany (where my husband is from) are more conservative, and starting a business like ours would take a very long time there. In Moscow, if you have a lot of acquaintances, you just need to say, "Hey, guys, we opened a pastry store". And you'll start off on the right foot immediately because everyone will come along to support you and try something new.
My favourite place in Moscow is Zamoskvorechye. I used to live in Novogireevo, and whenever I wanted to take a walk in the city centre I'd go to Tretyakovskaya station and start from there.
I usually take the No. 904 trolleybus to Kitay-Gorod, then walk from Slavyanskaya Square along Varvarka Street and past St. Basil's Cathedral. Then I pass the bridge, Baltschug Island, and Pyatnitskaya Street until I arrive at Novokuznetskaya, close to my 'baby' — Lamm's.
I adore the Leo Tolstoy State Museum. I also like Kolomenskoye when the apple trees are in bloom. I love Moscow's boulevards, especially Tverskoy, Nikitsky and Gogolevsky. A lot of memories from my student years are tied to them.
Moscow is one of the most contrasting cities I've ever visited. To me, not loving Moscow is like denying your own identity. It's temperamental, a little exotic and sometimes illogical — but it's yours. And it personifies Russian hospitality so perfectly that you just need to understand, accept and love it.
The special Muscovites project is dedicated to the heroes of our city: ordinary people with their own views on Moscow. You can meet them in a café, on the street, at the theatre or the supermarket. Perhaps, you sat across from their table, stood in the same queue or were on the same bus late to work just yesterday. Muscovites, let's get acquainted.
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About the heroes of our city: ordinary people with their own views on Moscow
'Moscow is the most comfortable city for living. There is a lot going on around here every day'