Before you read these stories by David Gigauri, there are some things you need to know about him. Well, first of all, David is the author of the book called “Be My Guest: The Georgian Recipe for Cooking Success” available at IERISTORE.COM. David, together with his co-author Anna Saldadze, collected interesting historical anecdotes and facts about the national cuisine and Georgians who lived outside of the country. This book spells out the favourite recipes of some of Georgia’s most exceptional expatriates, along with their stories, and in their language (hence the occasional imperfections in English). The recipes themselves are either authentically Georgian, improvised versions of the originals, or personal dedications to Georgians themselves – like Lobster à la Bagration by the ‘King of Chefs and Chef of Kings,’ Marie-Antoine (Antonin) Carême. Secondly, David himself lives in London, he is one of those proud Georgians who keeps promoting the culture of his beloved country, even having grown up abroad, and he is the nicest person you could ever meet. So, there we go, passing the word on to David Gigauri:
“… The event that became the genesis of the book, was precisely in a format that became the concept of the book – two Georgians abroad discussing food and drink. I was at the Hemingway Bar at the Ritz Paris visiting my future co-author Anna Saldadze, when a little trivia fact about the location kicked off a two-hour discussion…and led to a book. As a passing comment, it was noted that at this precise bar, the Ritz cocktail-making legend Frank Meier created a drink for a socialite Georgian emigre Nicky Tumanishvili (called Nicky’s Fizz, made with gin and grapefruit, delicious!). This triggered a conversation that took us across the globe and generations, from General Bagration defeating Napoleon (while having a lobster dish created in his name), to enigmatic muse of the Silver Age Salome Andronikashvili writing about making Chikhirtma soup in post-war London, to the stage of New-York City Ballet and its founder, the great gourmand George Balanchine. Eighteen months after our rendezvous in Paris, Be My Guest: The Georgian Recipe for Cooking Success was published as a collection of entertaining culinary stories and recipes from some of the biggest names of Georgian emigration. The bespoke visuals of the book give Georgian gastronomy a new look, and it’s now available in a smaller format (and in German too).