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Published on Apr 21, 2008
Vincents restaurant in the historic centre of Riga has long been an institution. The rich and famous meet here, Latvia's glam crowd and celebrities from all over the world. Stars like Elton John, José Carreras or Joe Cocker have all been here before and the man who's been cooking for them since 1994 is Latvia's top TV chef Martins Ritin, who grew up in England. He uses only fresh organic ingredients and gets his produce almost exclusively from Latvian farmers. Martins Ritins is president of the Latvian slow food movement. Originally, Martins wanted to be a journalist or a pop star but it was his brother who gave him the idea to try his hand at cooking. He spent time learning the trade in Canada, Jamaica and the United Arab Emirates before opening his own restaurant in Riga. The recipes he picked up on his travels are what he bases his dishes on. Martins is a big fan of Baiba Skride, who helps him cook Latvian eel.