Igor *Iggy* Kuznetsov is a chef, who worships slow and dedicated handcraft. He established his name as a ramen pioneer in Vienna, Austria from 2015 to 2018. However he quit the noodle business to concentrate on freelance cooking specialising in creating singular experiences. In December 2019 he opens Noble Savage - a small eclectic restaurant in the centre of Vienna. By the end of 2021 Noble Savage closes its doors in Vienna for the sake of the search for a quieter spot. More Noble, more Savage.
Iggy augmented his culinary technique at Basque Culinary Center, San Sebastian, Spain and sharpened the skills in Tokyos renowned kitchens, including Shinobu Namae´s l´effervescence and Thomas Frebel's INUA.
His cookings eclectic flavours reflect strong influences from Asian cuisines, for instance Japanese, Korean and Thai, but also retain a touch of various European traditions. Iggy believes that deep down we are all savages and instinctively feel what good food tastes like. When a dish is cooked fresh and with care, we cannot help it but relish it with a smile. Good food, cooked with local ingredients in a simple yet sophisticated way, and most importantly with respect towards the nature and community, inherently leads to healthy and happy life.
2019 opens the restaurant Noble Savage
2015-2018 Head chef / founder at karma ramen, Vienna
2019 Training at INUA, Tokyo
2018 Perfecting culinary technique course at Basque Culinary Center, San Sebastian
2018 Training at l´effervescence, Tokyo
2016 Training at Nihonbashi ôsaka Washoku, Tokyo
2015 Training at Yamato Ramen School, Kagawa
was a wildly popping up chef´s table throughout 2019
25.04.19 - Wolves & Sheep, Supersense, Vienna, Austria
23.-25.05.19 - Iggy cooks with Panda, Panda, Porto, Portugal
30.05.19 - Pigs & Grapes, Supersense, Vienna, Austria
15.06.19 - Japanese Farmers go Europe. Washubaru AGI, Tokyo, Japan
01.08.19 - WALD1/4 x JAPAN, Henzl´s Ernte, Vienna, Austria
"I wasn't raised as a chef. I didn't have the luck to be born into a farmers or chefs family somewhere in Southern France. I grew up in the suburbs of Moscow and that in the 90s. We had no good ingredients available at grocery stores, practically barely anything available. However, we had homegrown tomatoes and potatoes, and those were tasty. My parents also kept chickens. On my rooms balcony. On the 5th floor.
My mom’s cooking was very simple, but delicious, probably as most mothers. However, my curiosity led me to wonder whether there was anything else, something surprising, beyond mothers food. My first attempt to put a pan on the stove happened when I was 4 years old: I cooked play dough, I mixed it until it burned and ruined my mother’s pan. When I was 5, I used to make oatmeal cookies, when Mom baked bread.
At the age of 18 I left Russia. For the last 17 years I've been living in Austria, acquired vital professional knowledge and skills both in Japan and in the Basque Country. Being a hopeless enthusiast of Asian food, freshly baked bread and sharing a large warming homemade grandma-style dish, it doesn’t work for me to identify with one particular country's cuisine. Neither can I identify myself with one nationality. For me, food should be independent from stereotypes and defined by two things: firstly, best quality ingredients produced with love for the planet and community, which allow the guest to experience the local terroir; secondly, inspirations from around the world which enable new surprising layers of textures, aromas and flavours. I don’t like using recipes, but prefer to cook based on my senses and intuition. I believe that only through affectionate handcraft can a meal evolve into a fulfilling and delightful feast.
Once somebody said I’m “team universe”. I consider myself a citizen of the world and so I see my cooking as well. I think we are all savages, but we are learning to contemplate the impermanence and enjoy a moment in life."
Vincent Van Gogh. 1890. The Wheat Field. Sunrise