Anastasia Burakovskikh brings her expertise in wine training to teach Wine and Food Pairing; Wine, Beverage and Mixology; Wine and Beverage Management; and Food Trends at César Ritz Colleges. She also regularly hosts masterclasses in Food and Digital Media, Wine and Digital Marketing, and Sake Tasting.
Anastasia's career has taken her literally around the world. Born in Russia, she studied in France before working in major tourism and dining destinations in the Maldives, Singapore, and Hong Kong, and eventually arrived in Switzerland where she now lectures at César Ritz Colleges’ Bouveret campus.
While working with customers like One & Only Hotels, Conrad Hotels, Four Seasons, Shinji by Kanesaka Singapore (*Michelin), and Odette Singapore (***Michelin), Anastasia saw every opportunity as one from which she could learn something and develop herself further. It was while facilitating wine trainings for the hotel and restaurant teams with which she worked, that she discovered her natural gift for hospitality education.
Anastasia went on to obtain an additional degree in teaching through the University of Derby, focusing her research on how Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality technology can enhance the teaching of wines and beverages. She also holds a Master of Science in Wine Business and double degrees in marketing & commerce.
What do you love so much about wine?
I have always been drawn to vineyards and fascinated by the way wine can transport you to another place and speak to its origins, climate, and even the unique food culture of its region!
During the COVID-19 pandemic, you’ve had to transition to online learning. What does teaching wine look like online?
It’s a lot of fun, challenging at times, but overall a great opportunity to experiment with new ways of learning within the courses. For example, for tasting sets, we’ve launched virtual wine tastings this academic term using Virtual Reality technology.
From a pedagogical perspective, I’ve found some activities have worked even better online than in a traditional classroom setting. An online environment allows students to complete their work at their own pace.
Additionally, I’ve noticed the collaborative mind mapping tools have encouraged every student to express their opinion about the case or activity at hand, and not just those who feel comfortable speaking in front of their peers.
If you had one piece of advice to give your students, what would it be?
Researchers have proven that contemplation—or daydreaming—are powerful forms of learning. So I would encourage students to not be afraid of dreaming and doing something unconventional—whether it’s the way you approach a school project or the way you pursue your professional development. Always keep dreaming and slowly make decisions that inch you closer towards your dreams and goals.
What’s one thing about you that your students don’t know?
I see coding as one of the crucial skills needed for the future of gastronomy, wine, and travel. That’s why in my free time I’m taking coding courses to help me master the application of Augmented Reality in my industry.
One of my dreams is to create IGTV wine courses on a variety of subjects and support them with Augmented Reality Instagram filters, which can offer students an interactive experience of a real-world environment, but in an enhanced way.
For example, imagine you can experience winemaking step-by-step through observing a “working” winery right in the middle of your living room. Many car companies are already using Augmented Reality to allow customers to view and interact with new car models. Why not do the same thing with wine?