5 minutes with the Berezutskiy brothers from Twins

Most twins who grow up together might hate the idea of being identical in the things they do and the paths they take, but not the Berezutskiy brothers. Since 2014, Ivan and Sergey have worked hand in hand to grow the success of their restaurant, Twins, which won a place in the Top 100 on the World’s Best Restaurants list 2016. Their second restaurant opening, Wine & Crab, is now the latest IT place to be seen on a night out in Moscow. We catch up with them ahead of their appearance at the World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2017 event.

Aspire Lifestyles: How many years have you both been in this profession and how did it all begin for you?

Berezutskiy brothers: Wow…we started to cook since we were young, helping our mother out in the kitchen. Professionally, we have been cooking for about 17 years now! Ivan and I have been running the restaurant together since 2014 and it’s been quite the journey.

Ivan: Our mother was an engineer, and so was our grandfather. Eventually I entered an engineering course, whereas Sergey decided to go to culinary school. As we kept in touch when we were both studying, I came to realize that I was probably going to be surrounded with men if I continued in engineering school! Sergey, on the other hand, had plenty of female classmates and he went for an internship at a restaurant near the ocean. I was, of course, intrigued by the whole prospects and that’s when I decided to switch courses instead. I came to realize that cooking was very interesting and that’s when it became a serious profession for us.

Aspire Lifestyles: Tell us more about the type of cuisine you specialize in and why did you choose it?

Berezutskiy brothers: The cuisine that we specialize in is what we call Modern Russian. Of course, everyone naturally loves the food they remember as a child so it is the same for us. We were born in Southern Russia, and we loved this homemade soup called “Kubansky borsch” or soup “Ukha” as our grandfather used to cook it from several kinds of fish, so we reinvented these dishes in the restaurant.

Our other weakness is sweets as our mother used to bake all kinds of cakes for us and our classmates. Everyone always loved it when we brought them to school and we loved to help out in the kitchen whenever she bakes. The smell of fresh pastries when you step into a home or kitchen is just the best welcome.

Aspire Lifestyles: Can you share more with us about who inspired you both most in this journey?

Ivan: I had the honour of working with several teachers and I would say Adrian Quetglas was one of the most important ones as he really contributed to my foundational skills. I received another facet of training with Ferran Adrià of El Bulli. Ferran Adria is someone who really defined excellence in culinary skills therefore the time I spent learning at his restaurant has very strongly affected my sentiments and professional skills.

Sergey: For me, the training in Alinea, the two-Michelin starred restaurant in Chicago with Grant Achatz was very important. Achatz has changed a lot of things in the culinary world through his creative innovation and to work with someone like that is a very rare opportunity that I cannot sing enough praises of.

Aspire Lifestyles: Last question before we go, which are your favourite countries to travel to and would you ever consider opening a restaurant outside of Russia?

Berezutskiy brothers: We love to travel to different countries and most recently we were in Copenhagen to visit René Redzepi of Noma. Everywhere we go, we try to taste the specialties of that place, not just the high end restaurants but also the gastrobars, burger joints, food-trucks, food markets – everything. To open a restaurant in another country would mean we have to physically move there…so that is not something that is on the horizon right now.