Hi, I’m Marina and welcome to my Blog.
The name for the blog, Tipsy Kitchen, came about from the simple fact that I love my wine, especially while I cook. There’s a phrase by W C Fields: “I cook with wine. Sometimes I even add it to food”, which describes me perfectly.
Food has always been my greatest passion. As long as I remember if I had to name a “hobby” it would undoubtedly be “Cooking”, “Eating out” and “Travel”. And I can confidently add – Feeding my family and friends. Am definitely a feeder. Must have taken after my mum! And yes, being Russian, I am a big meat eater, which makes my husband extremely happy about it!
I love coming up with new recipes over a glass of red, twists on existing recipes or trying something I have not done before. And I am very excited to share those with you together with, hopefully useful and entertaining products and restaurant reviews. AND, quite recently – surprise, surprise … Zero (and Low) Alcohol Products/Venues Guides and Reviews. As despite my love for wine, it just stopped loving me back. I can still tolerate it occasionally in very moderate amounts but mostly I have been alcohol free for the last few months (and never thought I’d say it – Loving it!). I am STILL cooking while sipping wine, just the alcohol free one (and good ones do exist!!). I have found that although the interest and uptake of AF drinks has gone up so much recently, there isn’t much in a way of trusty reviews. Hence this has become my new project to separate the good from the bad and the ugly in that area.
Originally I come from Vladivostok, town in the Far East of Russia, and I have been in Melbourne for close to 20 years now. My mum was a great cook and I have learned my skills from her from the early age. Living in the major fishing port, Vladivostok, I was very spoiled growing up with the abundance of amazing fresh (or snap frozen if it’s winter!), wild caught seafood, all kinds of fish and shellfish imaginable. Even now there are hardly any fish farms. Being cheap and available extended to the whole fish such as salmon, so I also have learned how to scale and gut the fish, remove caviar membranes, “milk it”- remove caviar pearls from it’s membrane, and marinate it. Eating red caviar by the spoons with just buttered piece of bread (or blini if mum felt fancy) for breakfast was a regular occurrence in our house. I still absolutely love all kind of seafood.
However good meat cuts such as steaks were either not available or way too expensive. So I grew up with my mum using cheaper cuts of meat that took longer to cook, minced meat, chicken and a lot of offal. It never crossed my mind that there’s anything wrong with eating chicken hearts or livers, and don’t start me on salmon sperm sacks (soooo delicious panfried!!!). I still believe in eating the whole animal. Not only it’s sustainable but delicious as well!!
Having come to Australia, I have realised what a food novice I was. For example I have tried grilled lamb for the first time over here (in Russia, we could only have mutton) as well as proper steak, kangaroo (obviously), and duck (you could get a goose if you lucky, but mum never bothered). I have not tried other cuisine from bad Chinese (sweet and sour pork was as good as it gets I thought), and I definitely didn’t drink wine! But because I LOVE experiencing and learning new things, it didn’t take long for me to “acclimatise”!
My passion for food has led to opening my little food business 10 years ago.
I was trading hand made delicious Russian dumplings (Pelmeni) at Prahran Market and Sandringham Farmers Market. Unfortunately, despite making THE BEST Eastern European dumplings ( I still stand by it, and happy to challenge anyone at the cook off), due to the nature of the business, I couldn’t sustain it. But although I decided to move on from it, I am still very passionate about this part of my life as well as Russian/Eastern European Cuisine. Many of those recipes can be found in my first food blog: https://www.instagram.com/pelmenikitchen
As I said I love to travel and experience new places. I love taking local cooking classes to teach me new tricks. Couple times I took off overseas for few days just for my own food tour (can be found on my IG food blog above). And the fact that I was a flight attendant for most part of a decade made exploring Australia and the world much easier.
Travel for me equals eating local food – street stalls, markets, places that local recommend – love it. I just get fascinated by different cuisines and flavours! I ate my way around the world quite extensively but there’s still so much more to cover!! And I do believe travel shapes us and gives us different perspective, let along shaping our taste buds and challenging our food habits. And I will eat EVERYTHING. Often I choked on few things I have put in my mouth, but nevertheless, I will at least give it a try. Apart from Alpaca and Guinnea Pigs in Peru… couldn’t do it, they were TOOOO cute to eat!!
I live in Bayside area of Melbourne with my husband Evan and my cat Kiska. Previously a flight attendant, cabin manager and travel agent, I have been driving Melbourne trams and now training newbies to be tram drivers for the last 7 years and am loving it!
If you want to get in touch with me, feel free to drop me a message here or DM on socials.