At some point, I realized that I love to eat, drink, cook — that I enjoy those things, and something must be done about it. That I want a restaurant. Or not a restaurant but some bar. And that I should begin by learning how to cook professionally and manage restaurants. I needed intensive training to quickly learn how the restaurant is set up, to dive into the problems, legislation, accounting, to understanding the specifics, figure things out, ask all the questions, and learn whether I’m ready or not. That’s why I studied restaurant management at Hurma school opened by Dmitry Levitsky and Gosha Karpenko. And when I did all of that, I realized that I don’t want to be a chef in the kitchen. Because you must be an excellent manager AND you must always have inspiration, you must cook constantly and spend 12 hours a day in the kitchen… Today, I’m probably ready to let go of everything else and just start making some pastries or empanadas. Back then, I wasn’t ready. When we opened, there were no wine bars in Moscow, especially with French cuisine. The only wine-centered project at that time was done by Liza Stakhanova. I wanted to do something unusual, something that nobody had before. And to instill this culture, I guess. Almost all the waiters, bartenders, the chef, and part of the kitchen team have been working at Touché since the opening. And they remember every guest by name. It’s as if you’ve come to a good old friend: you can crash on the couch — no problem, take a book from the shelf — nobody is going to say a word, and if you come with your own bottle of wine — go ahead, drink it, we’ll bring you a cool wineglass and cheese crackers. This is a story of coziness and homelike comfort. And this is unique. It’s something on the level of emotions and not some clear formula that makes us cool.

We were the first to come up with the idea of guest appearances from other restaurants. We didn’t just invite the chefs; we brought the restaurant’s whole team in! We brought the bar, the sommelier, did wine pairings, menus — we’ve been doing this since 2017, every month, promoting, showcasing others. We brought the wonderful Grebenshchikov brothers who were unknown at that time, Hayk Veyshtort, Roman Kiselev, and many other talented chefs. We brought Yam’Tcha from Paris, Marv & Ben from Copenhagen, people from Spain and Tel Aviv. It was fantastic!

When we brought the Mougaritz restaurant, where Taras Kirienko used to work, we closed Sakhalin for a week, so that Mougaritz could do their tasting menu at our kitchen. On the one hand, it’s hard to forego the earnings, but on the other hand, it was so cool to make a tasting menu out of food that our restaurant was never meant to cook! Six people came from Mougaritz. And another 40 wanted to come and work at our kitchen for free, just for a chance to work with them.

Guide restaurants with Larisa Mamedova participation