Maria Afonina is a graduate of the Faculty of International Relations and Political Science at the Moscow State Linguistic University. She also has a Masters degree in Sociology from the French University College of the Moscow State University. For several years, she worked in international PR at Russia's leading news agency RIA Novosti. Since 2009, she has been working for Russia Beyond as the chief editor for print supplements in French for the Le Figaro (France) and Le Soir (Belgium) newspapers. Currently, Maria focuses on writing about Russian food history while working as a food editor for The Russian Kitchen project.