3 minds for 1 month made the best of Nordic gastronomy in Berlin
I published this article in LOCALSPOTTER today, or read the full article below:
I, an Australian sat down and chatted with a German about Scandinavian cuisine and the newly anticipated creation from the Rollin Restaurant and Wine Vibes boys.
I interviewed Paul Fritze about Norden Berlin which was on every Friday and Saturday night during November…
What is quintessential nordic cuisine and why is it sexy?
Every kitchen is defined by its products and the way the produce is being prepared and presented. Modern Nordic Cuisine for example contains shellfish, mussels, game and also lots of berries. Also food has been made durable as growing season in the nordic countries is not as long as for example in the south of Europe. Thats why we like to smoke, pickle and salt things. The taste is very much defined by that. Every time somebody (like we do) tell you, that we are doing it “modern”, it basically means we are using modern techniques of cooking. And modern gear: For example a Paco Jet for all our ice-creams and sorbets. The results are simply better.
Why do you think there has been a resurgence in nordic cuisine over the last years?
I don’t think it has just one reason. The Noma, and with that Rene Redzepi and Claus Meyer, were certainly putting the spotlight on nordic cuisine a couple of years ago and still are, as they didn’t only find amazing chefs to work with them, but they had their story straight. Probably every chef in the world can tell you what the Noma stands for in less then 30 seconds. Another part might also be, that people have gotten curious if there is something else besides french, italian and thai-food out there. All of us, the people in the food- and restaurant business, live in a huge filter bubble and when a lot of people start eating nordic cuisine, we are already eating our way thru the Balkans, defining it as the new big thing. People forget that Nordic cuisine didn’t make it that far yet. I can’t think of a place in Berlin, except NordenBerlin in November. I am happy to get recommendations in the comments of this interview for Nordic cuisine anywhere in Germany.
For a nordic cuisine, you certainly reflect international tastes, like the dulce de leche, how do you think that is reflective of gastronomy these days?
The dulce de leche-example is great, because the name tells us, this cannot be from the nordics, right? But look at the ingredients: Milk & sugar. That is essentially it. Why should this not be something, that has been cooked in the nordics? Cooking it to make it condensed milk and making a very sweet caramel out of it gives a great little piece of flavor in a dessert… Re-name it to a fantasy-word: “yummjölk” – sound more Swedish to you?
What brought you three boys together?
Paul was a guest at the RollinRestaurant and we started talking food, life and wine. The good things. It turns out that he knows loads more about wine than we do. And he is a hell of a guy. Björn and I met years ago at Audible.de. We run the marketing-team. We teamed up for the NordenBerlin, as it feels like we are merging the right people to create a wonderful dinging experience together.
The ‘Goat cheese, rose hip puree, dried rose hip, curly endive’ looks gorgeous, where did you get the rosehip idea from?
Rosehip-gelee has been on our breakfast table for years, when I was a kid. We hated picking and cleaning them, but they have a very unique and intense aroma, that goes along excellent with goat-cheese. Curly endive will be marinated in colza oil and vinegar to add a contrary accent to the warm and smooth dish. A simple and great dish to get ready for sweet dessert.
Venison, smoked & pickled beetroot, coffee flavoured crème – venison, beetroot and coffee in one dish… it must have been a super creative evening when you created that together – tell us about the inspiration?
Venison goes along with strong flavors very well. We once added some liquorice-powder to venison and different pickled onions and shallots. So adding coffee to the creme might sound a little weird, but really is a pretty perfect match. We live in a time where beetroot became popular again, after only having it it a nasty brine out of a glass for decades. People appreciate beetroot as a salad mostly with goat cheese, some vinegar and sugarglazed walnuts. That became a classic over the past years. As we like smoking things, we tried to do it with beetroot after cooking and then made a puree, which texture enhances the smoking flavor even more. Bringing that together with a simply cooked beetroot in some caraway, that vegetable alone gives you a fantastic idea of how different one and the same produce can taste like, after treating it a little differently. And guess what: It matches to venison perfectly.
What’s the next plan after Nordenberlin?
No plans yet, but we probably will not stop being creative of how to stay part of the culinary community and cook a little more.
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