POSTED: Saturday, February 22, 2014 - 10:00am
UPDATED: Saturday, February 22, 2014 - 10:04am
SOCHI, RUSSIA (CNN) — The winter games in Sochi are giving people a good reason to try out Russian cuisine.
A big day for celebrity Chef Elena Chekalova.
She’s debuting a new cookbook by feeding the country's elite.
13 signature Russian dishes and her reputation are on the line.
Healthy eating is the theme, not something Russia is renowned for.
"We have a lot of processed food and that's why we become very fat people," Chef Elena Chekalova told CNN.
Russian president Vladimir Putin may want a soviet style medal count at the Olympic Games but the food has definitely improved since those days.
This classic dish Pshionnee-Ya Blini with a cheese and yogurt topping combines fresh ingredients to produce complex flavors.
"Elena here is cooking pork with prune sauce and ginger and i have to say, it smells delicious."
The next dish looks like it's namesake, Kremlin salad, essentially beetroot topped with pickled herring.
There were too many courses and not enough time but Elena says her secret to producing good Russian food is really universal.
"Very nice products, very fresh organic, no processed food," Chef Chekalova said.
After 13 gruelingly delicious courses, my take on Russian cuisine is, when can I have it again?