A little about me
cook. taste. eat. learn
My name is Irma Laghadze, but my friends and family call me Mia. I would like to tell you a little more about myself and Georgian Flavors. I was born in the city of Kutaisi, Republic of Georgia, where I grew up in. Kutaisi is a capital of the Imereti region, bordered by Samegrelo and Guria. Each of these regions is famous for its delicious dishes, and despite their influence Kutaisi was able to develop its own unique culinary style. I am the fourth generation of my family, where my great grandmother, both grandmothers, my aunts and my mother were all great home cooks. However, I was not deeply involved in cooking until the age of 23. Before that I would only bake some cookies with my sister and childhood friends. Then I happened to develop my cooking skills as everyone else was busy minding their own businesses and I had to cook for myself, which I found really appealing!!! Since I was mostly cooking alone, I started to refer to my mom’s recipe books for cooking instructions. Of course, I was asking thousands of questions and it took me some time to master the family recipes, and this is how I fell in love with cooking.
Later, I was given the opportunity to join culinary tours as a guide and a photographer. I was able to introduce Georgian cuisine to various people from all over the world. I spent six years in the tour business, contributing to the development of world class culinary tours and cooking classes as well as professional wine tours. During the pandemic we were not allowed to do any tour business. In the meantime, I attended a 10-month cooking school in Tbilisi. It was an intensive training course that greatly benefitted me for my future. After that I made a decision to hold the cooking classes in my own home in Tbilisi. Now I’m more than willing to share my personal experience with anyone who wants to visit Georgia and learn more about Georgian food through either my tours or my cooking classes. Let me help you to take a bit of Georgia home with you!
Photo by Lela Mepharishvili for Georgian Flavors
“Nature is not a place to visit. It is home.”
- Gary Snyder -
Photo by Michael Bourgault
For the Love of Cooking and Photography
“It's so beautifully arranged on the plate - you know someone's fingers have been all over it.”
― Julia Child ―
My passion for cooking Georgian food led me to a desire to show others our dishes, which have been passed down through centuries. This is how I started to take photos of food I cooked although I’m not a professional photographer. In fact, my food is much better than my photography, but they are both equally important to me. It’s all about the joy it brings to me and to others I cook for.
Photography shares something very big in common with cooking: they’re both art forms. You need the best ingredients to deliver the best meal, and in photography you need the best light, choice of subject, choice of location…
When you shoot an image, you merely perform the act of capturing a slice of life. But when you create an image, you try to present every single image at its best..
Cooking and food preparation consist of the following steps: selecting the produce carefully, researching recipes, figuring out how to blend tastes and textures, cooking, modifying and applying some finishing touches, food presentation and, finally, plating.
And in photography, the process of creating an image doesn’t end with capturing the moment that you created within a split second. You do some final touch-up to make sure that it pleases the eyes of viewers the same way as food brings pleasure to the palate of people no matter how different tastes they may have.
“Every Georgian dish is a poem.”
- Alexander Pushkin -