Mother and Daughter Pierozhi

I love when famous chefs and cookbook authors celebrate their first teachers – their mothers. I came across this video of Anya Von Bremzen who recently wrote the book ‘Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking‘ with the help of her mother Larisa Frumkin.

“…Anya and Larisa, embark on a journey unlike any other: they decide to eat and cook their way through every decade of the Soviet experience—turning Larisa’s kitchen into a “time machine and an incubator of memories.”

Anya Vom Bremzen on her mother (from an interview with Tasting Table):

“I learned to cook from my mom almost by osmosis”

When Anya was ten, she and Larisa fled the political repression of Brezhnev-era Russia, arriving in Philadelphia with no winter coats and no right of return.

“Our first kitchen was this a ghastly kitchen in a communal apartment in Moscow, where 18 families shared one kitchen and everyone was stealing soup meat from each other. There were so many knife fights, children weren’t allowed in. When we moved into our own apartment, it was such bliss having our own private kitchen that I would just spend the whole time watching what my mom was cooking.”

Larisa on her daughter Anya:

“She was always at my side, always asking all kinds of questions about literature or music–but never about cooking”

“She was probably interested in what I was doing, because much later it just happened to be her profession.”

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See their recipe for pierozhi here.