– For the third time the festival “Kaluga. Street. Food” is being held, – said one of its organizers, the deputy head of the Agency for Business Development of the Kaluga region, Irina Khavroshina. – The fact that we have held it for two years in a row and quite successfully, both in terms of economic effect and support for entrepreneurs, allowed us to participate in the federal contest. We received a grant, federal funds were allocated – this festival is held within the framework of the national project of the tourism and hotel industry and the federal project Increasing the accessibility of tourism products. This allowed us to expand the festival, make it more massive. This year there were 45 gastronomic projects, 40 of them from Kaluga.
Each festival participant has their own goals. Some see it as a source of additional income. For others, especially young companies, this is a way to get noticed. And here someone is trying new dishes – will they be popular and should they be included in the main menu? As the restaurateurs themselves affirm, participating in the festival has an economic effect. Suffice it to say that last year, 30 participants in the catering sector earned in three days a total revenue of 10.3 million rubles. In addition, they all noticed an increase in the influx of visitors to their establishments for at least a month. And someone updated the menu in accordance with the tastes of the inhabitants of Kaluga.
In addition to supporting entrepreneurs, the street food festival, as conceived by the organizers, aims to develop food tourism. Today, the flow of tourists to Kaluga has increased significantly, and it is important to retain guests. And here, in addition to visual sensations, taste is also important.
The chef of “Coffee-cult” Artem Shcherbakov is one of the ideologues of the local festival of coffee lovers and a regular participant in “Kaluga. Street. Food”. Last year, their stuffed Russian roll was the winning dish. This year he offers a new menu: Pozharskaya cutlet with different fillings on a stick, like a popsicle, Pushkin potatoes and much more. All this is prepared quickly, served in such a way that you can take it with you and have a snack on the go.
In addition to supporting entrepreneurs, the street food festival aims to develop gastronomic tourism
– Hearty, tasty and more comfortable than a cheeseburger. And it’s also funny: with a laugh, two girls shared their impressions of the “cutlet ice cream”, that they decided to eat something while traveling this way. – We are used to eating something only in fast food restaurant chains. But today here we see that many Kaluga cafes are ready to offer a snack – fast, tasty and varied.
In addition to the “cutlet ice cream”, as consumers called the dish, there were also chocolate dumplings at the party: in little glasses they looked like real dumplings with butter and bay leaves, but in reality their content was white chocolate and sponge cake. . These dumplings from the Kvartal cafe ended up on the list of Larisa and Yulia Milinyushkins from Kaluga – the girls studied the offers of restaurateurs on the festival website in advance and made a list of what they would like to try.
For Kaluga rye, people stood in line at the tent of the “Gastronom” restaurant even before the official opening. Buying two at a time. Rzhanik is a very tasty rye flour bun, generously filled with chunks of sumptuous baked pork, plus a signature sauce and sun-dried tomatoes.
– Rzhanik is a Kaluga notion. How is it different from a hamburger? It is more satisfying, without chemistry and freezing: we make the bun ourselves, the sauce – ourselves, the meat too. We know what we cook with: everything comes from local farmers. If I have a choice between rye or hamburger, I would choose rye, if only because the meat here is not cutlet – explains Alexander, serving the next portion to customers.
– Street food is when it is convenient, fast, tasty and of high quality, – says Andrey Kryukov, chef of the Gastronom restaurant. – I am in favor of the development of gastronomic taste. If you look at the inhabitants of Kaluga, they are still not used to eating something new. They are used to shawarma, to hamburgers. I would like to teach Kalugaans to come to a cafe or restaurant not only to sit down, but also to enjoy new flavor combinations. I want to do tastings, show what we can do.
Similarly, as it turned out, many Kaluga restorers argue. And many are willing to offer their fast food options. But at the moment it will not be possible to really compete with well-known brands. According to Ilya, the chef of Obnisk’s “Private Practice” cafe, there are unfortunately no real prospects of taking burgers out of the minds of Russians and replacing them with something more diverse and local.
– Nowadays, few local restaurateurs are dedicated to the fast food chain. Here you need a network that reduces prices. However, in Russia it is still a young business, so everything is possible. We are learning. If the institution gets serious about street food, it could one day compete with well-known brands. And we have something to offer, – argues Ilya.
It is noteworthy that in Kaluga guests from different parts of the country offered their own street food options. So, Natalya Kosmacheva came from Smolensk to cook Dnieper porridge on the square – barley with walnuts and crayfish tails. The inhabitants of Kaluga ate 1,200 kilograms of this porridge in two days. .
Fikhrad Mingalimov was born in Tashkent, came to Kaluga 20 years ago, where he opened a cafe of Uzbek cuisine “Taste at height”. At the festival, he prepared an authentic Uzbek pilaf: 100 liters were used up in two hours. According to him, omelettes and samsa are real street food. Fikhrad says that he participates in the festival to bring joy to the people, but the additional income is not bad either: last year he earned almost half a million.
Izhevsk guests presented their version of the snack. They brought a Russian oven on wheels, in which they cooked Udmurt perepech and tabani with salt. Perepechi is when a filling with cheese and herbs is placed in dough molds, and tabani are pancakes with a filling, and the filling is kneaded directly into the dough. Everything is baked in the oven.
– Long trip. It seems that we are promoting that such a dish exists. Even reaching zero is already good. In Moscow, Moscow Region, queues form at festivals. At first with caution: I baked one again, then they took 8 each. It is beautiful and delicious – stated chef Vladimir Moroz.
According to him, apparently, in Kaluga a permanent point can be opened. Although it is not yet a chain of Udmurt-style fast food restaurants, it is already in its infancy.
Food festivals are very popular among the inhabitants of Kaluga. Thus, the forum of coffee lovers “Coffee Energy” together with the festival “Kaluga. Street. Food” became the winners of the competition “Trade in Russia 2023” in the nomination “The best shopping festival”. Last year, Kaluga Street Food entered the top 10 of the best events according to the Federal Tourism Agency and received federal status.