Radisson Blu Hotel Batumi's Georgian chef Irakli Todadze
01 May, 2019
Radisson Blu Hotel Batumi's Georgian chef Irakli Todadze
The name Irakli Todadze rings a bell with many people in the Black Sea littoral. The Hotel “Radisson Blu Batumi” with the head chef Irakli Todadze offers their signature dishes to locals as well as tourists in Adjara. The guests are welcome to taste exquisite menus at “Clouds” and “Etim” restaurants.
irakli todadze
According to Irakli Todadze, he is a self-taught chef who carefully listened to the senior cooks’ recommendations. Apart from mastering the art of traditional Georgian dishes, the chef has traveled
around the world to get to know international dishes and grow professionally. Although he finds it hard to single out a favorite dish, Todadze’s recipes continue to amaze the customers. We offer you an interview with the head chef of the Hotel “Radisson Blu Batumi”.

Tell us about you – Where did you study cooking and when did you decide to pursue a culinary career?

I was studying at college. My first cooking experience in a restaurant was back in the 90s. It was love at first… I was 19 years old then. Cooking immediately won my heart. Different flavors, aromas and search for new tastes have led me to become a chef.
irakli_todadze
Who is your chef role model?

It comes as no surprise that I was obsessed with role models in the beginning. Their recipes seemed interesting to me. As I grew up, I have learned that lesser-known chefs are capable of creating masterpiece dishes as well. I have realized that I could not single out a chef as there are multiple gifted chefs out there. It is safe to say that there are plenty of young gifted chefs in Georgia, too.

Speaking of young chefs, how often do you happen to work with beginner cooks and do you share your experience with them?

I am working with beginner cooks on a regular basis in order to increase their engagement in culinary. My recommendations always refer to creating a unique taste and flavor combinations.

You have probably worked at various restaurants abroad – Can you recall the path to your success?

I am a self-taught chef. I have learned numerous things from senior chefs and now it is safe to call myself a chef. In the 90s, I worked at a number of restaurants in Georgia and beyond. One of the destinations was Dubai. I would like to add that we did not have many opportunities to gain experience in culinary as we could hardly find the necessary product at that time. I have been working as a cook since 1998. As for studying abroad, with the help of my friend, I continued my professional career in Dubai in 2000. I was 20 years old then. It was there when I was first introduced to unfamiliar dishes. My studies and working experience in Dubai lasted for 2 years.

As you have an experience of living in Dubai, can you tell us what makes Georgian cuisine different from the foreign one and what does Georgian cuisine mean to you?

Georgia is more and more refining its cuisine every day soon to join the international culinary. The country seems to have enormous potential for international development. For instance, as the Italian dish “Lasagne” is popular and familiar to most of the chefs around the world, so will become our signature dishes “Adjarian Khachapuri”,” Khinkali” and “Chakapuli”.
irakli_todadze
What is the signature dish that makes you proud before the guests?

It is Georgian cuisine. I can’t single out a dish. Georgian cuisine is just improvisation. There are no limitations or standards, but complete freedom to the cuisine.

As you have worked at various restaurants in Georgia and beyond – What does being a head chef at “Radisson Blu Batumi” mean to you?

I have been working at the restaurant since its opening day in 2009. “Radisson Blue Batumi” gave me a chance to further succeed in my career. Although I have changed occupations, I would always find something related to culinary in them. Our guests are treated with particular consideration and offered with a wide range of dishes. It should also be mentioned that the restaurant is distinguished by its high-quality service.
irakli_todadze
As you are working in a littoral city, your guests are not only Batumi folks, but also tourists – Tell us what is the most-ordered dish on your menu?

It is safe to say that the winner is “Midiebi”. The dish is cooked according to a special recipe and with different ingredients. In 2006, we opened “Iveria Beach” where its customers were offered our distinctive recipe. I remember people would come even from the capital Tbilisi to taste “Midiebi”… The recipe is still available on the menu of the “Clouds” restaurant.

As for your future plans – What kind of goals have you set in that regard?

I aim at making culinary more and more popular occupation among youth. I plan to get more beginner cooks engaged in the field and to equip them with the necessary practical experience.
irakli todadze
And, finally, what do you do in your leisure time besides cooking?

I have only a limited amount of leisure time but, in general, I love woodworking. I have created a lot of wood items…

Related stories:

Khachapuri featured on Youtube by Chef John

Georgian chef and embassy counselor at Fox 5 morning show

The Guardian about Georgian chef Tiko Tuskadze

Famous US chef and author recommends: Visit Georgia!


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