Experimenting with Kvass in Texas

Kvass Tasting Party

“What’s more absurd than a novel about salmon fishing in Yemen?”

Kvass Madness 2016

It’s time to summarize my 2016 kvass quest. Last Sunday, my kvass-craving guests came to Lyukum Cooking Lab to celebrate kvass! I had 5+ batches of kvass and three traditional Russian cold kvass-based summer kinds of soup to taste. Everybody was asked for honest opinions so we could identify the recipe everyone liked the best. The result was somewhat unpredictable. Or, somewhat predictable, because tastes differ. Four recipes out of five found their respective fans.

Kvass Tasting Party

Kvass Tasting Party

Read more

Fresh Bread and Heirloom Tomatoes

Heirloom Tomatoes

Heirloom Tomatoes

Heirloom Tomatoes and Fresh Bread Baked at Home

Heirloom Tomatoes and Fresh Bread Baked at Home

What is better than delicious fresh tomatoes, fresh crusty bread, some Italian basil and fragrant extra virgin olive oil!?

Easy to bite and chew, with perfect crispy and light crust, ciabatta (my recipe) is perfect for grilling. It is also one of the easiest breads to make at home. It doesn’t require special ingredients, skills, or equipment. You need some bread flour, yeast, water, baking stone, and hot oven.

Heirloom Tomatoes and Fresh Bread Baked at Home

Heirloom Tomatoes and Fresh Bread Baked at Home

There was a time when I tried different ciabatta recipes and techniques in my search for the best one to my taste and my busy schedule. Today, I am ready to share with you my tips and tricks. We’ll make it step-by-step together, and you’ll see you can effortlessly incorporate making this delicious bread into your life!

Heirloom Tomatoes and Fresh Bread Baked at Home

Heirloom Tomatoes and Fresh Bread Baked at Home

Enriched Bread



Smoked Plumcots, Bacon, and Brie Pie

Smoked Plumcots, Bacon, and Brie Pie

Plumcot Pie

Plumcot Pie

“Qu’ils mangent de la brioche!”

September 19, 10:30am

Duration: 3 hours
Number of students: 3-5
Pricing: $55 per person

With slight variations, this kind dough is used for many baked products all over the world. In French cuisine there is very rich and tender brioche. Famous challah, enriched with eggs (and sometimes vegetable oil) comes from Jewish cuisine. In Ukraine, we have our own basic and versatile recipe for moderately enriched dough. It is used for small, round pastries called pampUshky (there are also deep-fried pampushKY, which are similar to doughnuts). Savory garlicky pampushky are served with borsch. Sweet ones can be plain or filled with fresh berries, jam (povydlo), poppy seed filling, and dusted with sugar powder. The same dough is used for pies, braided and intricately decorated loafs of sweet bread, and rolls. All these beautiful sweet breads are light and puffy, never overly sweet.

This dough is easy to make and shape. It doesn’t stick. It’s a pleasure to touch. When well kneaded, it is soft as a baby’s bottom. You can make more dough in advance, keep it refrigerated for up to 3 days, and have fresh baked delicacies every day. Come and share the joy of baking soft and tender pies with me!

We will make:

Dough recipe

for 2 pies

  • 500g all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp instant dry yeast (SAF)
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 55g sugar
  • 240ml warm (105°F) whole milk
  • 1 large egg

You will learn:

  • About all-purpose flour
  • The science of gluten, how to make it stronger or weaker
  • How to make 50% hydration dough for enriched bread with tender crumb
  • How to shape and bake layered buns, rolls, and braided or open pies


15 min before the class — Pleasure to meet you! Introductions.
1 hour — Making and handling 50% hydration dough for enriched bread. Demo and practice.
1 hour — Shaping and baking pies. Demo and practice.
1 hour — Tasting and socializing.

Class conclusion, questions and answers.

Drinks. If you’d like to enjoy your pies with your favorite drinks, you are welcome to bring your own. Still water, hot coffee and tea will be available.

Appearance. We will eat collectively cooked food. Please make sure your nails are well groomed and clean. If you have long hair, tie it back or cover it.

Have comfortable clothes and shoes. I’ll provide you with an apron.

Please, let me know if you have any food or kitchen chemicals allergies.

Use Cooking Classes Request Form below to request this class.


Cooking Classes Request Form

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Cooking class name (required)

Cooking class reason (required)

Cooking class day and time
Request date and time for your event or choose your day and time preferences.

 Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday

 8 am - 11 am 11 am - 1 pm 12 pm - 3 pm 3 pm - 6 pm 6 pm - 9 pm

Number of students

Your dietary restrictions or preferences


Where to Find Asian Ingredients in Austin

Fresh Wasabi

When shopping for Asian ingredients in Austin, start with International foods isles in local HEB supermarkets. If you live in a neighborhood with many immigrants from Asian countries, chances are your HEB has a very decent collection to choose from. Obviously, some of them will be in fresh produce departments, and the rest will be located on various shelves among packaged foods.

The nest stop is — Read more


Culinary coach and personal chef with extensive knowledge of various ethnic cuisines,
I bring my best discoveries to you!