July 02, 2021

From MMA to Crème Brûlée


From MMA to Crème Brûlée
Cheesecake is becoming an increasingly popular dessert in Russia.  Photo by Chinh Le Duc via Unsplash

In 2020, MMA fighter and ex-police officer Azamat Kabaloev was training full time with ambitions to rise to the top of his sport, then a knee ligament injury put this dream on pause and forced him to find an alternate occupation while he focused on healing. In an interview with the website, "This is the Caucasus," Kabaloev recounts how his journey from the MMA octagon to the kitchen counter.

Kabaloev has always enjoyed cooking, especially as a professional athlete, and he took a particular interest in the foods he prepared and ate, to make sure that he was giving his body the proper nutrition it needed to perform. When he was unable to train, he needed something to do and decided to take up baking as a form of entertainment and as a mental challenge.

He fell into cheesecakes as his craft of choice, both because they are a relatively healthy dessert and can also be complicated to create. He looked up recipes on YouTube and began to experiment. When friends and family encouraged him to sell his incredible homemade cheesecakes, he approached a local coffee shop and created a partnership.

He calls his confectionary business "New York Cheesecake," but insists that the focus is not on making a profit, but on sharing healthy, high-quality, and low-cost food with others. In the future, his goals include developing a unique cheesecake recipe, opening a cheesecake coffee shop, and, of course, getting back into MMA fighting when he is fully healed.

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