Today on the magazine we caught up with mother and daughter team at Gobluka Kitchen to talk cookbooks, recipe ideas and go-to ingredients for a well-stocked pantry. 

We love the incredible chemistry between this duo, thanks so much Anya and Masha for taking the time to answer our questions!

Tell us a bit more about yourselves

Credits: Gobluka Kitchen

A: I was born and grew up in a small town in Russia, and moved to the U.S. in the 90s (when I was in my 30s) because the political and financial climate in Russia felt very unstable at that time. I also love travelling and exploring, and always felt like there was much more for me out there than just small-town Russia. To give a bit of background, before the fall of the Iron Curtain in the 90s, normal citizens were not allowed to travel outside the USSR, with some rare exceptions. I grew up that way, so once that regime fell, I felt a strong urge to see the world.
I studied to be an electrical engineer in Russia and later worked in dentistry in the U.S., but neither of those professions turned out to be for me, and I always used cooking as a creative outlet, my way to relax and to procrastinate. Meanwhile, Masha (my older daughter and Golubka Kitchen partner) decided to become a vegetarian as a teenager, so I started experimenting with vegetarian cooking at that time and really loved that creative challenge.
I had my second daughter, Paloma, when I was 40 (18 years apart with Masha) and experienced some serious thyroid problems after her birth. I have Hashimoto’s, which is an autoimmune disease, and it flared up so much after pregnancy. My doctors were not helping me feel better, so I started researching lifestyle changes that I could implement to help myself stabilize. That’s when I learned about raw food. I started eating plant-based and raw, and very quickly began to feel better. Since I love cooking, I also saw this new approach to eating as a way to have fun in the kitchen and experiment with making that kind of food taste comforting and delicious. Masha recognized that as my strength and decided to make a blog for me to share my recipes. So, Golubka Kitchen started out as a raw foods blog and later transitioned to being a blog about whole food plant-based recipe ideas and self-care, as our lifestyle and interests evolved.

Credits: Gobluka Kitchen

Masha: I grew up in Russia and moved to the U.S. when I was 12 to live with my mom. I was always creative, specifically with writing and painting, and was really lucky to have an amazing art program at my high school that nourished those interests. I went on to study at RISD and ended up majoring in fashion design. This is when my mom was getting into raw food, so I would come home on break and try all these amazing, healthful dishes that she made. I really liked looking at food blogs at the time, and I had the epiphany that my mom should have one to keep track of all her recipes. I made her an account on Blogspot and took pictures of the dishes on my point and shoot. That quickly evolved into an interest in food photography, we bought a DSLR, and I’ve been slowly teaching myself still life photography ever since.
Once I was done with college, I moved to NYC for a fashion job. After a few years of working in fashion full time, I started to realize that it’s not my path. It’s a very stressful field, and I kept feeling like the stress was unnecessary and harmful to my health. I also struggled with the sheer volume of product that fashion brands put out every season, which inevitably creates so much pollution, waste and extra stuff in our already overcrowded world. I left my full-time fashion job and now mostly focus on Golubka Kitchen with my mom. We also write cookbooks and host vegan retreats in Italy (we have one coming up this October!).

Do you believe eating well can be considered a form of self-care?

A: Yes! To us, eating well an essential part of self-care. It all starts from within. I also think that the concept of ‘eating well’ can really differ from person to person depending on their constitution, state of mind, season, etc. Sometimes, an indulgent dinner with your loved ones can be just as nourishing as the most seasonal, plant-based meal.

When did you start blogging, and what were your inspirations and intentions behind setting up a blog?

A: We started blogging in 2010 when I was just getting into raw food. We had no specific hopes or goals when starting the blog. We both just wanted a creative outlet, something that we could work on together. Nowadays, it’s much more intentional. We try to make our recipes very useful, approachable, and unique.
M: We want them to solve a problem for people. We also recently started interviewing women we admire about their self-care routines since we are interested in all aspects of self-care. It’s become such a hot topic in the wellness world recently, and we really want to demystify it and show that there are a million approaches one can take. We also just love getting a glimpse into the lives of women we admire.

When did you begin to view your recipe creation as more than just a hobby?

A: Probably when our publisher contacted us about writing our first cookbook, The Vibrant Table.

What is the process behind your recipes?

A: It differs from recipe to recipe. We are often inspired by seasonal produce, dishes we try at restaurants, other chefs and bloggers, traveling. We also often aim to solve a problem with our recipes, like “what’s a quick summer weeknight dinner that everyone will love? what kind of dish can be made on the weekend to feed a family for most of the week? how can people utilize vegetables that they normally wouldn’t pick up in a delicious and approachable way?”

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to start their own blog?

M: Find a voice that’s authentically yours, post only about things that you’re excited and inspired by, invest some time in learning how to make appealing visuals.

Credits: Gobluka Kitchen

Quick-fire Questions

Favourite food?
Favourite drink?
Favourite recipe?
Best place to eat out?
  • A: Okonomi in Brooklyn
  • M: I’ve recently been liking Fancy Nancy in my neighbourhood in Brooklyn
Cupboard staple?
  • A: adaptogenic/superfood powders such as maca, ashwaganda, etc.
  • M: tahini
A go-to ingredient that makes every meal taste better?
  • A: fresh herbs and whole spices
  • M: miso
What do you love most about the other?
  • A: Wisdom and calm demeanour.
  • M: There are too many things, it’s hard to choose just one, but let’s say determination and ability to relate to others.

Don’t forget to check Gobluka Kitchen’s cookbooks and their next vegan retreat in Italy coming up this October.