Five minutes with… Tatiana Fokina

The CEO of Hedonism drinks and co-founder of Hide on delegating, her love of vegetables and eating dinner with Oscar Wilde

Food and Drink 18 Nov 2019

Tatiana Fokina

What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given in your career and why?

Delegate. I found it extremely hard not to micro manage and control every process in the business at first and delegating is a skill that I took quite some time to develop. I think it is crucial that you trust the people you employ to do their jobs and try to avoid interfering unless absolutely necessary.

Who is your role model and how have they influenced you in your work?

In terms of work ethic it would be my mum, as growing up I always saw her working very hard, being incredibly conscientious about her job and not shying away from challenges

What ingredient can you not live without and why?

I definitely cannot live without vegetables – if I had to pick one, I would say tomatoes. There is just nothing better than the smell of a ripe heritage tomato. For me it is the taste of summer: gazpacho, smoked tomato salad, tomatoes on toast, going to the market in France and choosing between all the various shapes and colours.

What item, apart from your passport, can you not travel without?

A book. I am really struggling to find time to read when I am in London, so I always try to make up for it when I go away. I love paper books, their weight in my bag and all the tactile feelings when you are turning pages over. I have a huge library at home and am slightly running out of wall space to put bookshelves.

Where is your favourite place to eat in London?

Apart from Hide, where I genuinely love eating as there is always something new on the menu and Ollie’s lightness of touch is something I fell in love with years ago at Dabbous, I would have to say one of the best meals I had was in Endo at Rotunda. I’m very pleased they got a Michelin star earlier this month. I also really enjoy Kiln and XU in Soho for a casual dinner with friends and Duke of York Square food market on Saturdays for a family brunch.

What do you like the most about your favourite London restaurant?

My favourite restaurant genuinely is Hide and I really like the fact that depending on the time of the day or the part of the restaurant you choose, you get a different experience.

You can come for a breakfast business meeting, Sunday brunch with your toddler, a drink in the bar with a friend, a quick set lunch at Above or celebratory dinner in one of the private dining rooms and it would feel like you are in a different restaurant every time. What stays the same is delicious food, amazing drinks and top service.

What do you like to do on a day off?

I always try to catch up on London’s cultural life and visit several exhibitions with my daughter, she is almost 4 now and loves going to museums and discussing art with me. Antony Gormley at Royal Academy was definitely a recent highlight for both of us. I enjoy going to the cinema on my own, which feels like a luxury these days. We often host dinner parties, catching up with friends over some food and wine.

Apart from food, what are your biggest passions?

 Travelling is definitely something I cannot imagine my life without, I always try to see as much as I can in a short space of time, so all my trips are quite intense. I find the best ideas and inspiration come to me when I visit places I have never been to before. Change of scenery is a great reset button too. 

If you could choose anyone from today or history, who would be your ideal dinner party guest and why?

Definitely Oscar Wilde, one of the wittiest, most eloquent, flamboyant, well educated people of his time, with impeccable taste and a way with words like no other. A true hedonist and one of my favourite authors.;