Learn to cook traditional Megrelian recipes passed down from Shota's grandmother



Shota Natadze
Your host speaks:

Georgian, English, Russian, German

A former alpine ski racer and national champion, Shota is also passionate about food. He learned to cook from two of the best chefs – his grandmother and mother! He lives with his family in a beautiful, bright, spacious flat overlooking Tbilisi. The famous tower atop Mtatsminda Park is visible from their front balcony. Their home is decorated with a mix of contemporary and traditional furniture, interesting artwork, and family photos and heirlooms. Being in the national ski team, Shota got to travel around the world and had the opportunity to taste food from different cultures. This made him realize that Georgian food is really unique and is something he should be proud of. He is excited to share his country’s unique culture and cuisine with people from around the world.

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What will you experience

Shotas experience includes makret visit, cooking experience and in home meal.

Market visit: (1-6 guests) Visiting a local market is always interesting, fun and educative. After you meet Shota at his home he will walk you to one of the oldest, traditional markets in Tbilisi. The place is huge, colorful and has a characteristic smell of old Georgian bazaars. Here you can find any ingredient used in traditional Georgian cooking. Walk through the market with Shota and learn about fresh, seasonal, regional produce, sample a few new ingredients and buy some to take back for your cooking class (only if you have selected a market + cooking + meal experience).

Cooking experience: (1-6 guests) During your cooking class you will learn to cook traditional Megrelian recipes passed down from Shota's grandmother to his family. Sofia and Shota are great teachers, and in your 1 hour hands-on cooking class they will guide you through the entire cooking process, step by step. First you will start by preparing the bahze (a traditional creamy walnut-based sauce), grandma’s secret recipe! Shota and Sofia will explain every step of making bahze. Then put on gloves and help mix spices and squeeze fresh walnut oil from ground walnuts. Next learn to make ghomi, a traditional dish made from coarse cornmeal and a traditional Georgian salad of tomato, cucumber, onion, herbs, and fresh sunflower oil or lobio, a kidney bean stew.

In-home meal: (1-6 guests) Shota's home is in the heart of of Tbilisi's oldest neighbourhoods – Mtatsminda, which overlooks all of Tbilisi. He lives there with his father, mother, sister and grandmother. Hospitality is their business — literally! The family owns and operates a restaurant in Tbilisi and a hotel in the ski resort town of Bakuriani. They are natural hosts, very welcoming and curious. Shota’s father, David has been in the restaurant business since 1996 and his mother, Sofia enjoys home decor and designing - her artistic touch is visible all around the home. 

For your meal you will be served traditional Megrelian cuisine from the Samegrelo region in western Georgia. The signature dish is roast chicken in bazhe, a traditional creamy walnut-based sauce seasoned with coriander, marigold, and a unique Georgian spice blend. You will also try ghomi, another traditional Megrelian dish made from coarse cornmeal that resembles polenta, served with slices of sulguni cheese that melt into the warm ghomi. The meal also includes classic lobio, kidney beans stewed with herbs, spices, and special Racha ham, garnished with marinated peppers, beets, and jonjoli, the flavorful pickled flowers of a shrub native to western Georgia, served with Georgian bread and homemade mint lemonade.

Sample menu
This is just a sample menu to give you an idea of the types of dishes the host cooks. Your menu will vary according to seasonal availability.
- Ghomi and Bahze - fried chicken served in a walnut sauce with Georgian spices and side    dish that is made of shovel and flour
- Gebjalia - melted cheese with mint in sour cream
- Pkhali - various vegetables mixed in a sauce
- Lobio - beans cooked in a Georgian style
- Georgian bread and homemade mint lemonade

Things to consider

Shota can also offer vegetarian and vegan meals - 3 kinds of different pkhali (a traditional Georgian dish of chopped and minced vegetables) and salads. Please let him know in advance if you'd like this option.

Price does not include :

Transport - 24$ per car (3 person)

Alcohol - 4 $ per person

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4 hours

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