Andrey Dellos, who has opened this elaborate Russian restaurant on West 57th Street, founded Café Pushkin in Moscow 13 years ago to resolve a common misperception — generated by a popular French song — that there was already such a cafe. Mr. Dellos, 56, who trained as an artist, said his cafe, in a 19th-century Russian mansion, is “a fairy tale.” The New York version, on several floors, suggests Versailles, not the Kremlin, with carved wood and plasterwork in voluptuous 18th-century style, gilded sconces and a huge chandelier.
The menu — directed by Andrey Makhov, the executive chef of the Maison Dellos company, with Jawn Chasteen, who is from Ohio, running the kitchen — is clearly rooted in Russian tradition, though its accent is also French. Offerings include classics like sturgeon galantine, blini with caviar, and meat in aspic, as well as modern fare like tuna tartare, and a Caesar salad with chicken Kiev. Other tastes of Russia include a hearty borscht, pelmeni dumplings, delicate pojarski cutlet paved with tiny croutons, and pastry-wrapped piroshki, like Russian empanadas. The elaborate desserts, often traced with gold, are by Emmanuel Ryon, who is French (and it shows).
Andrey Makhov is the Executive Chef of Café Pushkin in Moscow and Brasserie Pushkin in New York City, both part of the Maison Dellos Group, and a member of the Russian Craft Guild of Chefs.
Since graduating cum laude from culinary school in 1982, Makhov went on to earn a degree from the Plekhanov Russian University of Economics; a food service technology and organization faculty. In 1991, he began working at the legendary Hotel Metropol in Moscow, where he started as cook and worked his way up to chef in 1997.
Maison Dellos offered Makhov the position of Executive Chef at Café Pushkin in 1999. Throughout his 30 year culinary career, he has been traveling and studying the cuisine of Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Italy, Monaco and the United Kingdom. His specialty is Russian cuisine; however he is also a master of French and Mediterranean preparations. Makhov has achieved numerous accolades throughout his career, including the “Best Cook” at the Moscow Masters contest in 1998. He has been recognized as a top chef in Russia, winning international culinary challenges, such as the “Salon Culinaire-96”. He is also a successful author, publishing the cookbook “Classics of Modern Cuisine” in 2007.
EXECUTIVE PASTRY CHEF
Emmanuel Ryon is the Executive Pastry Chef of the Maison Dellos Group. He completed his pastry education at the prestigious Ambérieu-en-Bugey in France and then graduated with honors from the Ecole Nationale Superieure de la Patisserie in 1995. After pastry school, he started working at the Palet d’Or, in Saint-Fons, and then moved on to Wittamer Patisserie in Brussels, Belgium.
He continued working at renowned patisseries throughout Europe, before joining the French Alpine Guard, regiment #13 in 1996. Once returning from the armed forces, he began working as a pastry consultant for the Bellouet Gastronomique School in Paris, France. He soon became the international pastry consultant, overseeing pastry programs in France, Spain, Mexico, Columbia and Belgium. His responsibilities included organizing the curriculum for the pastry program, and supervising the training of professional pastry cooks.
In 2005, Ryon joined the Maison Dellos Group in Moscow, Russia, where he took the role of Executive Pastry Chef at Café Pushkin and Casta Diva. He would soon be promoted to Head Pastry Chef for Café Pouchkine Patisserie located in Paris. Ryon is a well decorated pastry chef, receiving such accolades as the National Award for ice cream and ice carvings. He has represented France in the World Confectionary Art Contest and was awarded first prize in 1999 at the World Championship of Patisserie in Lyon, France. His biggest achievement was receiving the honor of Meilleur Ouvrier de France in 2000, earning him the right to wear France’s colors on his uniform for life. Ryon has written the book, “The Art of ice creams and sorbets” and has two more currently in the works. Ryon is now the pastry chef at Brasserie Pushkin located in New York City.
The ground floor of the restaurant has a retail pastry counter that will become a vodka, caviar and seafood bar in the evening. Later this year, Mr. Dellos plans to open a restaurant called Manon at 407 West 14th Street and plans for a couple of Pushkin pastry shops in chic neighborhoods: 41 West 57th Street, (212) 465-2400.
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