Celebrity chef Olga Martynovska: Baltic herring and sprat can be used to make delicious dishes
Ukrainian-born Olga Martynovska, who has lived and studied in France, is a chef who is recognised in every sense of the word. She is someone who loves food, and loves making it.
Olga fell in love with the culinary arts while living in France. She quickly proved to be more skilled in the kitchen than even she would have thought. Her passion for cooking prompted her to take part in the third season of the TV series ‘MasterChef’, which she went on to win. It was a life-changing experience: emboldened to turn her dreams into reality, she decided to become a proper chef. In addition to prize money, her TV win secured her a place at the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu Academy in France – where she again came top of the class. Upon completing her training there she decided to return to Kyiv, where she went into partnership with a number of restaurants and started working on the Ukrainian version of ‘MasterChef’.
However, Kyiv soon proved too small for the budding chef. She made the decision to return to Paris, where her talent and achievements were highly regarded: it was not long before she earned the title of Best Foreign Chef working in the French capital. While demonstrating her skills in kitchens around Paris, she continued to advise restaurants in Kyiv and other Ukrainian chefs from afar so as to maintain the restaurant scene there at a world-class level.
“Expensive ingredients don’t always make for good food,” Olga says. “What’s important is how fresh they are, their quality. That comes through in their flavour. My latest discovery is Baltic sprats and herring, which have been popular in Ukraine for a long time but which have rather fallen off the radar of late. You can make some really delicious dishes from them, and they’re quick and easy! Everyone knows the health benefits of eating fish, but it’s often assumed that only applies to the likes of salmon. That’s why I’ve come up with 20 recipes specifically using Baltic sprats and herring – to inspire everyone to try them for themselves.”
Baltic sprats and herring can be found in stores all over Ukraine, and it is worth seeking out those bearing the Baltic Premium Fish quality mark, since consumers can trust their provenance and quality.
Fun facts about our celebrity chef
- Judge on the TV series ‘MasterChef Professionals’
- Co-owner of and chef at Les Foodies restaurant
- Winner of the third series of MasterChef
- Graduate of Le Cordon Bleu Academy
- Former intern at L’Oiseau Blanc restaurant in Paris and at the Paul Bocuse restaurant L’Auberge du Pont de Collonges
- Blogger on Instagram with 184,000 followers
- Opened her own culinary academy in Ukraine in 2021, which already has 1400 students