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Host: Shota

Tbilisi, Georgia

USD
$19-$72 per person

Learn to cook traditional Megrelian recipes passed down from Shota's grandmother

Host offerings
  • Apartment
  • Home cook
  • Pets
  • Vegetarian
  • Alcohol
  • Transportation
  • Cooking class
  • Market visit
  • Food tour

Meet Shota

A former alpine ski racer and national champion, Shota is also passionate about food. He learned to cook from two of the best chefs – his grandmother and mother! He lives with his family in a beautiful, bright, spacious flat overlooking Tbilisi. The famous tower atop Mtatsminda Park is visible from their front balcony. Their home is decorated with a mix of contemporary and traditional furniture, interesting artwork, and family photos and heirlooms. Being in the national ski team, Shota got to travel around the world and had the opportunity to taste food from different cultures. This made him realize that Georgian food is really unique and is something he should be proud of. He is excited to share his country’s unique culture and cuisine with people from around the world.

What to expect

Please note menu might vary. If there are particular dishes you are interested in trying, please include your request in the booking form.

In-home meal: (1-6 guests) Shota's home is in the heart of of Tbilisi's oldest neighborhoods – Mtatsminda, which overlooks all of Tbilisi. He lives there with his father, mother, sister and grandmother. Hospitality is their business — literally! The family owns and operates a restaurant in Tbilisi and a hotel in the ski resort town of Bakuriani. They are natural hosts, very welcoming and curious. Shota’s father, David has been in the restaurant business since 1996 and his mother, Sofia enjoys home decor and designing - her artistic touch is visible all around the home.

For your meal you will be served traditional Megrelian cuisine from the Samegrelo region in western Georgia. The signature dish is roast chicken in bazhe, a traditional creamy walnut-based sauce seasoned with coriander, marigold, and a unique Georgian spice blend. You will also try ghomi, another traditional Megrelian dish made from coarse cornmeal that resembles polenta, served with slices of sulguni cheese that melt into the warm ghomi. The meal also includes classic lobio, kidney beans stewed with herbs, spices, and special Racha ham, garnished with marinated peppers, beets, and jonjoli, the flavorful pickled flowers of a shrub native to western Georgia, served with Georgian bread and homemade mint lemonade.

Cooking experience: (1-6 guests) During your cooking class you will learn to cook traditional Megrelian recipes passed down from Shota's grandmother to his family. Sofia and Shota are great teachers, and in your 1 hour hands-on cooking class they will guide you through the entire cooking process, step by step. First you will start by preparing the bahze (a traditional creamy walnut-based sauce), grandma’s secret recipe! Shota and Sofia will explain every step of making bahze. Then put on gloves and help mix spices and squeeze fresh walnut oil from ground walnuts. Next learn to make ghomi, a traditional dish made from coarse cornmeal and a traditional Georgian salad of tomato, cucumber, onion, herbs, and fresh sunflower oil or lobio, a kidney bean stew.

Market visit: (1-30 guests) Visiting a local market is always interesting, fun and educative. After you meet Shota at his home he will walk you to one of the oldest, traditional markets in Tbilisi. The place is huge, colorful and has a characteristic smell of old Georgian bazaars. Here you can find any ingredient used in traditional Georgian cooking. Walk through the market with Shota and learn about fresh, seasonal, regional produce, sample a few new ingredients and buy some to take back for your cooking class (only if you have selected a market + cooking + meal experience).

Notes: Shota can also offer vegetarian and vegan meals - 3 kinds of different pkhali (a traditional Georgian dish of chopped and minced vegetables) and salads. Please let him know in advance if you'd like this option.

Languages spoken: Georgian, English, German and Russian

Sample menu

This is just a sample menu to give you an idea of the types of dishes the host cooks. Your menu will vary according to seasonal availability.
  • Ghomi and Bahze - fried chicken served in a walnut sauce with Georgian spices and side dish that is made of shovel and flour
  • Gebjalia - melted cheese with mint in sour cream
  • Pkhali - various vegetables mixed in a sauce
  • Lobio - beans cooked in a Georgian style
  • Georgian bread and homemade mint lemonade
PERSONALLY VETTED REVIEW
A Traveling Spoon ambassador visited this host. Here is their personal review.

The whole family is very welcoming and friendly. Their beautiful home in central Tbilisi sits just below Mtatsminda Park, around the corner from the funicular station. Sofia and Shota are great cooking teachers who explain every step of making traditional Megrelian cuisine — and put you to work, too! David is curious and fun to talk with and will share stories of the family hotel and restaurant business while you’re learning grandma’s secret bazhe recipe. Be sure to try the homemade mint lemonade!

Maria, Traveling Spoon Ambassador

Traveler reviews

5.0 (3)
When Shota picked us up for the market tour it felt from the very first moment as if we had known him before, it was like visiting friends. We went to a huge market where we did the shopping for our recipes and it was a great place to smell, taste and look. After the market tour we went to the family's home where we had a warm welcome and again it felt like visiting friends. They all speak very good English (Shota also speaks German) and so communication was easy and we learned a lot about the country and the capital Tbilisi. We spent a wonderful afternoon cooking an old family recipe - chicken with walnut sauce. It was fascinating to see how the walnut-mixture changed and finally we had a delicious sauce and homemade walnut oil. Later we enjoyed the delicious meal with the family and afterwards a good cup of coffee on the stylish balcony. We enjoyed this day very much and would highly recommend cooking and touring the market with Shota.
- SusanneaG July 05, 2019
Shota is an engaging young man and excellent host. We opted for the meal only option (no lesson or market tour) and it was fabulous. Shota had prepared the meal ahead of time, so we were able to sit on the balcony and enjoy a glass of wine and conversation before heading to the dining table. The recipes are his grandmother's and Shota explained the ingredients and methods to us. The food was wonderful! We had an opportunity to meet his father and sister also--more great conversation (all in excellent English). We did take extra wine to share (easily purchased in one of the many wine shops in Tbilisi) in addition to the delicious local wine Shota served. The only hitch was when the corkscrew broke, but Shota quickly called over the deck to the neighbor who promptly tossed one over. It was so enriching to experience a slice of Georgian life and hear the perspectives of a bright young twenty-something person (we are in our sixties). We stayed for several hours sharing stories, music and food. This was our first Traveling Spoon experience and we were completely delighted. I highly recommend Shota's dinner to anyone visiting Tbilisi regardless of age!
- ckoshuta June 09, 2019
Shota and his family were really fantastic hosts-- from the moment I arrived at their stunning, plant-filled Mtasminda apartment, I was greeted with lovely music and conversation and learned to make pkhali and lobio, while regaled with homemade lemonade. Had really lovely conversation, and Shota was keen to follow-up on confusing bits of recipes, and after hearing that I'd wanted to experience nightlife in Tbilisi, even invited me out to meet his friends and checked in a few times during my stay in Georgia to offer advice. Couldn't recommend more!
- sradhakr01 June 08, 2019
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Shota

$19-$72 USD

per person
100% VETTED
Learn more
  • 100% satisfaction guarantee or your money back
  • Free cancellation up to 48 hours in advance
  • Credit card is not charged until the host confirms your booking
  • Private experience
Pricing (per person)*
1 person 2-4 ppl 5+ ppl
In-Home Meal
$43 $36 $29
Cooking Experience + Meal
$58 $46 $36
Market Tour
$29 $22 $19
Market Tour + Meal
$58 $46 $36
Market Tour+ Cooking Experience + Meal
$72 $58 $46
Alcohol
$10 per person
Transportation
$22 per car
*Does not include 3% payment processing fee applied at checkout.
1 person 2-4 people 5+ people
In-Home Meal
$43 $36 $29
Cooking Experience + Meal
$58 $46 $36
Market Tour
$29 $22 $19
Market Tour + Meal
$58 $46 $36
Market Tour+ Cooking Experience + Meal
$72 $58 $46
Alcohol
$10 per person
Transportation
$22 per car
*Does not include 3% payment processing fee applied at checkout.
Experience Timings
Lunch Dinner
In-Home Meal
12:00pm-2:00pm 7:00pm-9:00pm
Cooking Experience+ Meal
11:00am-2:00pm 6:00pm-9:00pm
Market Tour
9:00am-10:00am 5:00pm-6:00pm
Market Tour+ Meal
9:00am-12:00pm 5:00pm-8:00pm
Market Tour+ Cooking Experience + Meal
9:00am-1:00pm 5:00pm-9:00pm

Meet Shota

A former alpine ski racer and national champion, Shota is also passionate about food. He learned to cook from two of the best chefs – his grandmother and mother! He lives with his family in a beautiful, bright, spacious flat overlooking Tbilisi. The famous tower atop Mtatsminda Park is visible from their front balcony. Their home is decorated with a mix of contemporary and traditional furniture, interesting artwork, and family photos and heirlooms. Being in the national ski team, Shota got to travel around the world and had the opportunity to taste food from different cultures. This made him realize that Georgian food is really unique and is something he should be proud of. He is excited to share his country’s unique culture and cuisine with people from around the world.

What to expect

Please note menu might vary. If there are particular dishes you are interested in trying, please include your request in the booking form.

In-home meal: (1-6 guests) Shota's home is in the heart of of Tbilisi's oldest neighborhoods – Mtatsminda, which overlooks all of Tbilisi. He lives there with his father, mother, sister and grandmother. Hospitality is their business — literally! The family owns and operates a restaurant in Tbilisi and a hotel in the ski resort town of Bakuriani. They are natural hosts, very welcoming and curious. Shota’s father, David has been in the restaurant business since 1996 and his mother, Sofia enjoys home decor and designing - her artistic touch is visible all around the home.

For your meal you will be served traditional Megrelian cuisine from the Samegrelo region in western Georgia. The signature dish is roast chicken in bazhe, a traditional creamy walnut-based sauce seasoned with coriander, marigold, and a unique Georgian spice blend. You will also try ghomi, another traditional Megrelian dish made from coarse cornmeal that resembles polenta, served with slices of sulguni cheese that melt into the warm ghomi. The meal also includes classic lobio, kidney beans stewed with herbs, spices, and special Racha ham, garnished with marinated peppers, beets, and jonjoli, the flavorful pickled flowers of a shrub native to western Georgia, served with Georgian bread and homemade mint lemonade.

Cooking experience: (1-6 guests) During your cooking class you will learn to cook traditional Megrelian recipes passed down from Shota's grandmother to his family. Sofia and Shota are great teachers, and in your 1 hour hands-on cooking class they will guide you through the entire cooking process, step by step. First you will start by preparing the bahze (a traditional creamy walnut-based sauce), grandma’s secret recipe! Shota and Sofia will explain every step of making bahze. Then put on gloves and help mix spices and squeeze fresh walnut oil from ground walnuts. Next learn to make ghomi, a traditional dish made from coarse cornmeal and a traditional Georgian salad of tomato, cucumber, onion, herbs, and fresh sunflower oil or lobio, a kidney bean stew.

Market visit: (1-30 guests) Visiting a local market is always interesting, fun and educative. After you meet Shota at his home he will walk you to one of the oldest, traditional markets in Tbilisi. The place is huge, colorful and has a characteristic smell of old Georgian bazaars. Here you can find any ingredient used in traditional Georgian cooking. Walk through the market with Shota and learn about fresh, seasonal, regional produce, sample a few new ingredients and buy some to take back for your cooking class (only if you have selected a market + cooking + meal experience).

Notes: Shota can also offer vegetarian and vegan meals - 3 kinds of different pkhali (a traditional Georgian dish of chopped and minced vegetables) and salads. Please let him know in advance if you'd like this option.

Languages spoken: Georgian, English, German and Russian

Sample menu

This is just a sample menu to give you an idea of the types of dishes the host cooks. Your menu will vary according to seasonal availability.
  • Ghomi and Bahze - fried chicken served in a walnut sauce with Georgian spices and side dish that is made of shovel and flour
  • Gebjalia - melted cheese with mint in sour cream
  • Pkhali - various vegetables mixed in a sauce
  • Lobio - beans cooked in a Georgian style
  • Georgian bread and homemade mint lemonade
PERSONALLY VETTED REVIEW
A Traveling Spoon ambassador visited this host. Here is their personal review.

The whole family is very welcoming and friendly. Their beautiful home in central Tbilisi sits just below Mtatsminda Park, around the corner from the funicular station. Sofia and Shota are great cooking teachers who explain every step of making traditional Megrelian cuisine — and put you to work, too! David is curious and fun to talk with and will share stories of the family hotel and restaurant business while you’re learning grandma’s secret bazhe recipe. Be sure to try the homemade mint lemonade!

Maria, Traveling Spoon Ambassador

Traveler reviews

5.0 (3)
When Shota picked us up for the market tour it felt from the very first moment as if we had known him before, it was like visiting friends. We went to a huge market where we did the shopping for our recipes and it was a great place to smell, taste and look. After the market tour we went to the family's home where we had a warm welcome and again it felt like visiting friends. They all speak very good English (Shota also speaks German) and so communication was easy and we learned a lot about the country and the capital Tbilisi. We spent a wonderful afternoon cooking an old family recipe - chicken with walnut sauce. It was fascinating to see how the walnut-mixture changed and finally we had a delicious sauce and homemade walnut oil. Later we enjoyed the delicious meal with the family and afterwards a good cup of coffee on the stylish balcony. We enjoyed this day very much and would highly recommend cooking and touring the market with Shota.
- SusanneaG July 05, 2019
Shota is an engaging young man and excellent host. We opted for the meal only option (no lesson or market tour) and it was fabulous. Shota had prepared the meal ahead of time, so we were able to sit on the balcony and enjoy a glass of wine and conversation before heading to the dining table. The recipes are his grandmother's and Shota explained the ingredients and methods to us. The food was wonderful! We had an opportunity to meet his father and sister also--more great conversation (all in excellent English). We did take extra wine to share (easily purchased in one of the many wine shops in Tbilisi) in addition to the delicious local wine Shota served. The only hitch was when the corkscrew broke, but Shota quickly called over the deck to the neighbor who promptly tossed one over. It was so enriching to experience a slice of Georgian life and hear the perspectives of a bright young twenty-something person (we are in our sixties). We stayed for several hours sharing stories, music and food. This was our first Traveling Spoon experience and we were completely delighted. I highly recommend Shota's dinner to anyone visiting Tbilisi regardless of age!
- ckoshuta June 09, 2019
Shota and his family were really fantastic hosts-- from the moment I arrived at their stunning, plant-filled Mtasminda apartment, I was greeted with lovely music and conversation and learned to make pkhali and lobio, while regaled with homemade lemonade. Had really lovely conversation, and Shota was keen to follow-up on confusing bits of recipes, and after hearing that I'd wanted to experience nightlife in Tbilisi, even invited me out to meet his friends and checked in a few times during my stay in Georgia to offer advice. Couldn't recommend more!
- sradhakr01 June 08, 2019
Pricing (per person)*
1 person 2-4 ppl 5+ ppl
In-Home Meal
$43 $36 $29
Cooking Experience + Meal
$58 $46 $36
Market Tour
$29 $22 $19
Market Tour + Meal
$58 $46 $36
Market Tour+ Cooking Experience + Meal
$72 $58 $46
Alcohol
$10 per person
Transportation
$22 per car
*Does not include 3% payment processing fee applied at checkout.
1 person 2-4 people 5+ people
In-Home Meal
$43 $36 $29
Cooking Experience + Meal
$58 $46 $36
Market Tour
$29 $22 $19
Market Tour + Meal
$58 $46 $36
Market Tour+ Cooking Experience + Meal
$72 $58 $46
Alcohol
$10 per person
Transportation
$22 per car
*Does not include 3% payment processing fee applied at checkout.
Experience Timings
Lunch Dinner
In-Home Meal
12:00pm-2:00pm 7:00pm-9:00pm
Cooking Experience+ Meal
11:00am-2:00pm 6:00pm-9:00pm
Market Tour
9:00am-10:00am 5:00pm-6:00pm
Market Tour+ Meal
9:00am-12:00pm 5:00pm-8:00pm
Market Tour+ Cooking Experience + Meal
9:00am-1:00pm 5:00pm-9:00pm
ABOUT TRAVELING SPOON

Traveling Spoon connects you with meaningful culinary experiences, from private cooking lessons to homecooked meals in people's homes. Enjoy an immersive cultural experience that gives you a glimpse into the local way of life.

FAQ

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    If you have a question for your host, you can include a note in the field "Write a note to your host" during the booking process. Once your booking is confirmed, you will be emailed your host's direct contact information and you will also be able to message the host through your profile. You can always cancel your booking and receive a full refund 48 hours or more before your experience. If you have other questions you can also email us at reservations@travelingspoon.com.

    Most of our hosts are able to accommodate dietary restrictions and allergies, including vegetarian and gluten free options. For vegetarian travelers, we have an icon on each host profile to indicate whether that host can also offer a fully vegetarian menu. There is a section in the booking form to note any allergies or dietary restrictions which will be sent directly to your host.

    Some hosts offer alcohol as an optional add-on for travelers who are of legal drinking age. Pricing for alcohol is visible on the host profile page and includes one to two glasses of wine, beer or local alcohol.

    Have a flight or other tour planned and can’t make the timing provided? If the timing listed on the host’s profile doesn’t work for you, our hosts can often accommodate timing changes. Because all of our experiences are private our hosts are happy to tailor experiences to meet your travel needs. Simply note your request in the booking process.

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    All prices are noted per person prices unless otherwise specified. Transportation is typically charged on a per car basis. Children aged 5-11 are 50% off, and infants aged 0-4 are free. Hosts set their own prices and Traveling Spoon marks up the experiences; on average hosts receive over 70% of the price paid by the traveler.

    100% of Traveling Spoon experiences are private! Just you and your host and host’s family.

    Hosts typically respond to booking inquiries within 72 hours. If for some reason you have not heard from your host or if you have any questions you can always contact us at reservations@travelingspoon.com.

    Your safety and security are our top priority. To ensure this, Traveling Spoon personally vets 100% of all hosts, including an in-person host visit, to ensure each host and experience meets our strict quality requirements.

    Some hosts offer transportation as an optional add-on for travelers. Typically this is round trip transportation with pick up and drop off at your hotel. Pricing is quoted per car. Specific instructions for transportation will be provided in your confirmation details when your booking is confirmed.

    Many of our hosts accommodate solo travelers. You can see if a host accepts solo travelers by looking at the traveler range found next to the experience descriptions on the host profile (indicated by the numbers in parentheses next to "In-home meal", "Cooking experience" and "Market visit").

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