Born in 1979 in the Italian city of Siena. For five years studied at the city’s culinary institute of Pellegrino Artusi. Following his studies, Christian apprenticed and worked at the restaurants of Siena, Monteriggioni, Cortina d’Ampezzo, and then London. At Moscow restaurant Christian, named in his honor, the chef mixes Italian classics with experiments, which is why risotto sits next to coal-colored pirozhki.

I grew up in a restaurant. My Dad is a chef, and I began helping him while I was still at school, at the age of 13, I think. With time, I grew interested in how things are done in the kitchen, I went to study at a hospitality institute, and began working with my father. He has a small family restaurant for 50 people not far from Montalcino in Tuscany, where I am from. There were only two of us in the kitchen.

My father is still the most important person for me. He has this very emotional relationship with food. The restaurant is not a business for him. He’s doing it because he loves cooking, just like I do. He taught me the most important thing in our craft — respect for food. Local, seasonal products are the foundation for any cook. And another thing that he taught me is that it’s important to always learn something new. That’s what I have from my father.

I worked with him for two years, learned everything that I could, and then started apprenticing around our town and in the south of Italy where I have relatives. I roamed around for another couple of years, until I got a permanent job at a cool restaurant in Siena, Osteria La Chiacchera. There, I became a sous chef, the owners trusted me, and when they decided to open a restaurant in England, they sent me there to get the kitchen running. For me, it was a big victory: I was 23 years old, but already a chef, and in another country to boot.

Thanks to this English restaurant, I ended up in Russia — one of our guests had three casinos in Moscow and my Rossini filet impressed him so much that he offered me a job. I came — I thought I would work here for a year or two but ended up staying.

For three years I was the chef at the legendary Mario. At some point, I became the brand chef of several restaurants of the Ginza Project, and opened my own restaurant, Christian. Several years ago, I decided to leave all other projects and only do my own. When you work at several places at once, you are everywhere and nowhere. You end up with an average Moscow kitchen. And I wanted my restaurant to have the best kitchen in town.

After several years of work, many people turn into chefs who perform some routine. This shouldn’t happen. A cook should always learn, ask questions, discover new techniques. You should never stop.
I have been through everything in life. I had worked in a family restaurant, I had worked in the world’s dirtiest kitchen, and I had worked in a beautiful clean kitchen with 70 cooks running around. The most important thing in our work is not to think that if you are a chef, you already know everything and should leave the regular work to lowly cooks. Every day should be like the first time, like your first day in the kitchen.

Many years ago, my Dad told me: “You have become better than me.” He only does traditional Italian cuisine; his recipes are old. And I always want to be contemporary, I’m interested in learning new things. I think that’s normal. And if my son becomes a chef, he will know more than I.

I dream of opening a restaurant in the woods, so that there wouldn’t even be a single house in the radius of five kilometers. A room for 30-40 people with glass walls, so that you could look through the glass at giant trees and feel that you are truly dining in a forest. I would also live there, on the second floor, go mushroom hunting, send my cooks to the woods to gather leaves. And I want only the people who come there to try something special, with a soul, to know about this place. I was already offered a chance to open something like this outside of Krasnoyarsk. But in my dreams it’s Tuscany, of course.

Guide restaurants with Christian Lorenzini participation