Ella Walker talks to the Russian cook about her culinary recollections.

It is Alissa Timoshkina's intent to bring Russian cuisine to far more taste buds than are currently familiar with it.

We caught up with the British-based pop-up restaurant cook and supper-club host, whose debut cookbook, Salt & Time, explores the food of her childhood - and really celebrates beetroot.

These are her biggest food memories...

Her earliest memory of food is...

"We went on a holiday to Sochi, the Black Sea resort, and there was a canteen that made dumplings and a sweet honey drink - I think it was literally hot water with honey, maybe a bit of lemon, but I loved it so much and I invented a name for it, like 'dumpling-honey drink'.

"Every single day, I'd ask to go back to the dumpling place because I wanted that honey drink, and mum was like, 'Jeez, what's so special about that?' But it was my first holiday, that trip. I think I turned three-years-old there. I have so many vivid flashes, like being in the sea with my grandpa and tasting the honey drink.

"Sochi is so close to the Caucasus, and we saw Georgian 'churchkhela' (Georgian walnuts left out with grape molasses) - they melt over the walnut and it looks like a salami. It's so delicious, and in the markets, they'd have huge bundles of those things."

Timoshkina's culinary high moment is...

"It was a big challenge last January [2018]. I was invited to do a residency at this pop-up experience called Nuclear Winter, [there was] a theatre company doing site-specific plays and immersive experiences. They rented a big warehouse and designed it as Soviet Russia in the Sixties, you had to get a visa to get in and there was a dining area where people could book into a supper club.

"They invited me to be the chef to curate the dining area. It was for a whole month, so every week, I thought I'd do a different part of the Soviet Union, and that was a fun idea - but I didn't think about how much work it would be to change the menu all the time, and it wasn't a fully-equipped kitchen.

"I think we had 500-600 people [eat with us throughout the residency], which to me, who's not a professional chef, to undertake the whole thing and test the recipes, it was quite a huge thing. And making 10 litres of borsch! Oh my God, what was I thinking?! But it actually went so well. I was very happy."

The worst disaster she's ever had in the kitchen is...

"I've had loads probably. I was helping Olia Hercules (author of cookbook Mamushka) on a dinner, and I was in charge of making this amazing stock. I went to salt it, and the box of salt had been sat in a damp patch and had soaked through, and the bottom gave way over the stock. It was terrible, but we managed to scoop it out really quickly, and it was OK. We rescued it!"

Salt & Time: Recipes From A Russian Kitchen by Alissa Timoshkina, photography by Lizzie Mayson, is published by Mitchell Beazley, priced £25. Available now.