Tiko Tuskadze: from Georgia with a passionate love of food

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For the restaurateur, watching her grandmother and aunt cook instinctively and exquisitely was the inspiration for her own career

Tiko Tuskadze grew up in Tbilisi in the Soviet republic of Georgia as an only child in a family where food dominated. She had two formidable grandmothers: one who loved to cook and one who hated it. Both had a ritualistic approach to mealtimes. “My mother’s mother, Pati, was very different to the other side of the family,” she says. “For her, food was made because you had to eat. With Tina, my father’s mother, you lived for eating. She would say to her neighbours, ‘Don’t make anything for dinner, come to ours.’”

Tuskadze went on to introduce Georgian cuisine to London with her Little Georgia restaurants (in Hackney and Islington). Her aunt Nana, her father’s sister, is immortalised in Nigella Lawson’s book Feast: “Nana’s Hachapuri” is a tribute to the Georgian cheese bread that featured everywhere in Tuskadze’s childhood.

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