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Georgians about delicious meat in Kazakhstan and their restaurants in Tbilisi


Georgians about delicious meat in Kazakhstan and their restaurants in Tbilisi

Nika Metreveli, 34 years old, hometown — Tbilisi, chef

Elijah Benashvili, 35 years old, hometown — Tbilisi, chef

About how it all began

Nika. Before becoming a cook, I worked for six years as an animator, and even earlier I was a football player. Then I realized that I wanted to study at the culinary academy. After the academy, I took part in a TV cooking show that I won. And when returned to Tbilisi, I started working at a close friend Meriko Gubeladze restaurant. There I met Elijah, and we became friends, and our duo formed.


Together we went to Moscow, cooked in restaurants Patara and Didi. And this summer in Tbilisi we opened our restaurant Veriko. Everyone praises and loves our cuisine.

Elijah. I started working in this field after 30 years, so I have been working for 5 years. Before that, worked in aviation, a representative in airlines. This is interesting, but for ten years such work has time to get bored. At first, I just watched shows like «Master Chef». They talked about foods and dishes that I had first heard of, but it felt like I knew what they tasted like. Then I began to cook for myself and friends. Two months after studying at the culinary academy, I was invited to work as a cook in a hotel that was just opening. Then I worked in different places, one or two months. I also worked in a small vegetarian restaurant for about a year, also in parallel on local television, where I cooked live for two hours.

A year later, I was offered a job in Moscow. We went to different cities: Novgorod, Samara, Almaty, where we cooked dinners for gastronomic evenings.


We opened our restaurant Veriko at the old winery in Tbilisi. And the second restaurant is 2Wine, two wines, two cuisines, Georgian and Mediterranean.

We are comfortable to work together. Especially when we went to Moscow, the two of us were more comfortable, freedom and more time. In another country, two heads are better than one. Our views on some things have become similar, but at first, we argued a lot about recipes, ingredients.

About Georgian cuisine

Elijah. We like Georgian cuisine, Mediterranean, Italian and Greek.

Nika. In Georgian cuisine is good for making an experiment, because there is a wide variety of products, an interesting story. You can do it differently, but not so much because itself it is saturated. You can change the server or side dishes.


Elijah. All the restaurants we opened were of Georgian direction. But we do not try to all products and spices to be Georgian. Sometimes we change them, but the Georgian taste is still preserved.

Nika. In Georgian cuisine there are a lot of walnuts, spices, garlic, cilantro, sharpness — this is the basis, which we leave. If other products can be added, we add them.

Elijah. The main philosophy is to use good products. You just need to understand the dish, its character, and then you can experiment with it.

About Astana

Nika. We are for the first time in Astana. The first impression, except the cold we noticed, is that the city is building quickly. Astana is a large market centre.

Elijah. The fact that so much has been built in 20 years is shocking. There is still free space, wherein 20 years everything will be even more arranged and inhabited. First of all, we liked the people, and they are friendly. When we were in Almaty last year, we joked you won Georgia in terms of hospitality.


Nika. We managed to visit the bazaar. There everything is nicely arranged, comfortable and neat, we liked it.

Elijah. Here delicious dried fruits and good meat. Lamb is delicious. In Georgia, a little different taste of meat and lamb is rare.Nika. We like pork, about 80% of people eat pork and about 20% prefer veal.

About dinner in Astana

Elijah. In Astana, we cooked Georgian cuisine: snacks, hot dishes. The idea is to set the table like at home for the holidays. We had no starters, and everything was immediately covered, a little later we served hot, and at the end the dessert.

We cook as we do understand Georgian cuisine. We do not cook according to my mother's or grandmother's recipes, we cook by the taste, which we felt and remembered.


Nika. In the menu was kuchmachi — chicken giblets with mushrooms, green apple in walnut sauce, salad with tomatoes, dishes with Georgian herbs, khachapuri, kubdari with meat, oyster mushrooms, fried in Kakhetian oil, chicken kharcho, guda cheese. Dessert is nut brittle, in Georgia it is cooked for Christmas.

Elijah. Therefore, if you have not been to our dinner in «Darejani», then in Tbilisi visit our Georgian restaurant. We have a comfortable atmosphere like at home. We will meet you in Georgia the same way you met us here.

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