Katrina Kollegaeva

food never feeds the belly alone

What was the first bowl of food you recall your mother, granny, nan cooking for you? You're smiling, I'm quite sure...

I am a business development specialist with nine years of experience in the ethical food sector and a freelance food and culture writer (Guardian, Financial Times, Time Out). I am also a food anthropologist and since 2012 I have been creating pop-up dining experiences - where I both host and cook.

Now I consult on business development and content creation, using a blend of my commercial experience - with a storytelling method. 

Storytelling and the bottom line? In our increasingly globalised world, stories help us all to remember why and how we are human. And bring our customers back. 


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Business consultancy

Having worked with the likes of John Lewis, Ottolenghi, Pearson (FTSE 100), the Bank of England, Baxterstorey, I have learnt that the most successful businesses tap into an emotive element alongside the commercial.

I work with businesses in food and other sensory sectors - from independent retailers to contract caterers and spas - on combining business development with story-telling. Such as:

- content creation and management, on-going media promotion

- new business development (eg pitches, tenders for contract caterers)


- making sustainable and ethical food a viable part of the business

- strategies for engaging current customers


I write about food, travel and culture and have published in the Guardian, Financial Times, Olive, Calvert Journal, Easyjet and Gastronomica amongst others. I was a regular Time Out London restaurant reviewer 2009-2012. 

I use my freelance writing and the MA in Food Anthropology to support businesses to grow their customer base through the power of their story.

I also continue publishing, in particular focusing on the food and culture of the 'New East', or the former Soviet Union + ethical/ingredient based stories (my dissertation was on salo, Ukrainian version of lardo) and what I call food kinaesthesia, the feel factor of food.

Samples of my writing online:

Guardian on10 best restaurants in Moscow

Delicious on the where to eat in Tallinn 

Speciality Food Magazine on importance of story-telling in retail

Guardian on Crimea's champagne ‘renaissance’

Calvert journal on Tallinn's food scene

Olive Magazine on Estonian dining

Easyjet on ’48 hours in Moscow’

Financial Times on winemaking in Crimea

Hear me talking about ‘Making Russian Food Sexy’ on Voice of Russia

Private cheffing

I cook and host dinners, from small intimate dos to large theatrical feasts.


My style is a combination of Middle-Eastern and Mediterranean flavours combined with my own Eastern-European roots. Bold, playful, made to share. I particularly enjoy savoury baking: bread, pies, tarts, and fermenting and pickling foods. 


Here are a few samples of my menus.


Pop-up dining:

Since 2011 have been running pop-up dinners Russian Revels with my friend and a collaborator Karina Baldry. We have been commissioned by the likes of the Royal Academy of Arts, the V & A, A Curious Invitation, the Oxford Food Symposium; and featured by the Guardian and Time Out. 

In 2018 we started Produkt - communal dining with talks and food anthropology. Single ingredients are a focus. Bread, honey, olive oil, yoghurt - we cook a dinner inspired by that product and invite people we find fascinating to give talks. 


The soul of Eastern Europe

Contact me

Please get in touch to discuss how I could support your business.

Or indeed, just for a cup of nice coffee. I love the random power of human connection. 

0776 99 42 887