From kitchen shyness to becoming a culinary adventurer: Meet Palate Sensations alum Elena Krymova

Palate Sensations Culinary School Alum Elena Krymova

For expat Elena Krymova, the journey to explore Asian flavours began in Singapore where she made her overseas home for 12 years.

When she first arrived, she was reluctant to leave her dietary comfort zone which consisted of the famous Western triple combination: pizza, pasta, and burgers.

“I was not very adventurous in the beginning and I was scared to even start trying Asian food, as I was not familiar with it at all,” she shares. For several months, she distanced herself from the idea of trying Asian food, until her colleagues slowly introduced some local dishes to her.

This whetted her appetite for local flavours and sparked her interest in cooking as well.

Elena masterfully slicing an aubergine. Knife skills are a foundational lesson in Palate Sensations Chef In Training.

“As for cooking, I never really had any particular interest in it until very recently. I hardly cooked at home. However, some time ago I became curious about how certain flavours of my favourite dishes are created, and I wanted to be able to replicate some recipes at home that I liked, and that brought me to Palate Sensations,” she says.

Elena completing intensive, hands-on classes at Palate Sensations Chef In Training Intermediate.

Since then, Elena started to cook more. She further refined her cooking skills and techniques by enrolling in Chef In Training Intermediate. "I just got more and more excited about cooking various new dishes from different cuisines since then.”  

Here’s Elena’s culinary journey—a journey that has transformed her from having conservative food preferences to one who is happy to sprinkle her taste buds with unknown spices, being open to whatever may surprise her next! 

Question: If you could choose a favourite cuisine, what would it be and why? 

Answer: I really cannot choose just one. By now I have many favourite cuisines! But if I really need to narrow it down, the first place would be shared between Italian, Thai and Indian cuisines.  The reason for choosing Indian and Thai cuisines is the complexity of flavours and exotic spice combinations. Italian cuisine, on the contrary, uses simple ingredients and techniques but that results in great flavours, too.


Investing one's time and effort into learning a new skill is worthwhile, says Elena, shown here during a class.

Question: Why do you think learning how to cook a variety of cuisines is a worthwhile investment of one's time? 

Answer: it’s a new skill, it’s a hobby, and it’s a way to give back to your family. The knowledge stays with you for the rest of your life and travels with you to wherever life brings you, so you can cook your and your family’s favourite meals anywhere anytime. For example, I am now leaving Asia for good, but I am bringing all my newly acquired skills and newly learned recipes with me. If I ever feel nostalgic or crave a particular Asian dish -- I will now be able to cook it myself. Plus, hands-on cooking classes are an interesting and exciting pastime. I enjoyed all the classes I attended and liked all the dishes we cooked. I was looking forward to each new class. Being able to cook a variety of cuisines means meals will never be boring. 

Elena now happily serves exciting new dishes that make mealtimes never "boring".

Question: Who do you cook for?

Answer: For my family mostly, sometimes friends. 

Question: What do you think sets Palate Sensations apart from other culinary schools? Please share your experience with us.

Answer: First of all, it’s a wide range of various classes from different cuisines -- everyone would be able to find something to their liking. Secondly, the availability of classes of different formats at different times including evenings and on weekends which suits people who work full time. Thirdly, good organisation and convenient set up -- the school provides all the facilities, tools and appliances. Last but not least, friendly staff, knowledgeable and experienced instructors and proven fail-proof recipes.

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