National cuisine is, first and foremost, a tradition. And Shota Dvalishvili has inherited this tradition from his ancestors, in the literal sense of this word. Initially, he wanted to become a military pilot, but finally cookery prevailed over his dreams about great aviation.
Shota Dvalishvili: I belong to the third generation of chefs in my family. When the male members of our family were at home, they were preparing dishes in the kitchen and later in the evening, they were inviting guests for a feast. Nobody has even taught me any recipes – I learnt the most important thing from my grandfather, Shota Dvalishvili – he made me understand what the taste was. A person grown up on unpalatable meal will not be able to prepare Chashushuli. Even the taste is determined by the tradition.
Mingrelian dish should be bitter; therefore, it should not lack pepper, while Imeretian dish should be seasoned with coriander, vinegar and nuts. Regardless of what fantasy you may have, you need to give due consideration to the culture, which you inherited from your ancestors. As for me, I was learning from such people that I will not be right if I do not continue their road.
Our traditional dishes were being improved for centuries. Their ingredients were changing differently in various periods. One can read out the history of the country in the history of its cuisine. There are a lot of old recipes kept in various regions of Georgia and one can easily recognize “an ancestor” of modern Georgian dishes in them. Therefore, it is not necessary to pour soy-bean sauce on Mtsvadi made of calf meat. If you familiarize yourself with your roots, you will find out something new in well-forgotten old.
Taste white cherry or fig jam along with a slightly salted Imeretian cheese and you will immediately taste the traditions and the experiment.