Für das koreanische Boouk Magazine habe ich einen Text über meine Küche verfasst. Wer kein Koreanisch kann, findet hier die englische Version.
Welcome to my kitchen – where magic happens. At least sometimes. Well, let’s say from time to time. As a food and wine journalist I also love to cook (which is not as obvious as it might seem), and even more to bake. I especially enjoy preparing cheesecakes, the Austrian specialty Linzer Torte, and everything with poppy seeds in it. Admittedly, my cooking and baking style is quite random. On one hand, I’m super organized, that’s why my kitchen is always clean as shit. On the other hand, I’m too impatient to prepare everything beforestarting (mise en placeit’s called) plus I tend not to read recipes fully before I begin, which often leads to some kind of disaster. Luckily, I’m able to laugh at myself most of the time. When I cook I like listening to music, especially house and Austrian cloud rap. What do I cook the most? I make all kinds of Italian dishes, from caponatato veggie-lasagnato risotto. I’m a big fan of my gas oven, although things tend to burn too quickly, which is bad for someone like me who always gets distracted while cooking (that’s why I got rid of my smoke detector).
For me, my kitchen has a perfect shape. No strange corners for garlic skins to disappear and enough space to host at least four guests. Apart from that, it’s bright and has a very nice view: straight into the kitchen of Rutz, a great wine bar and fine dining place across the street.
As frequent traveler, my kitchen is packed with lots of stuff from abroad. Fish sauce from Bangkok, coffee from Vietnam, olive oil from Crete, saké from Tokyo, vermouth from Mallorca, vinegar from Vienna (where I lived for two years) and wine from all over the world. Right now, I’m totally entranced by natural winemakers from Burgenland, an eastern part of Austria. Judith Beck, Claus Preisinger, Renner Sistas, Gut Oggau, and Alexander Koppitsch, just to name a few, and by winemakers from the Loire, like Laurent Saillard, for whom I helped harvest this past summer. That’s why my wine shelf is quite well equipped. Right now, half of my “wine cellar” is located on that shelf, the other half in the corner next to the fridge. No photos, sorry. As a grown-up lady, I will someday buy a serious wine fridge, but for now, my decanter is enough adulthood. I also like cocktails, which explains my equally well-equipped bar corner. Of course, I can offer my guests a proper Negroni at any time. Well, maybe without fresh orange zest, but with fancy ice cubes. In my fridge you always find fresh milk and cheese (preferablyburrata), eggs, butter (one of my favorite comfort foods with fresh bread and sea salt), fresh lemons (first action in the morning: having a glass of hot lemon juice…they call it detoxing) and the basic stuff like curry paste, soy sauce and maple syrup. Unfortunately, my freezer is tiny, which prevents me from preserving a lot of food. Recently, I tried to ferment some vegetables, which turned out to be trickier than I thought it would be. So, I have no jars (in Germany we call them Einweckgläser) with delicious homemade stuff at the moment. My cupboard is full of sweets like chocolate (I highly recommend the Austrian label Zotter), coffee beans (sometimes from great Berlin rosters like Five Elephantand Bonanza), pasta (a favorite comfort food as well) and loads of different varieties of nuts.
I love fresh flowers, especially in the kitchen. Unfortunately, I don’t have a green thumb. My basil never survives longer than a few days. The fish prints hanging on the wall belong to a friend of mine who moved to Tokyo. My plan is to complement them with photographs of the mountains from my close friend Martin. Although I’ve been living in Berlin for almost eight years, I’m craving nature lately. Looking at mountains is my tranquilizer, even if it’s just a photo. The oven mitts are a present from my friend Anna. She stitched the word Füchsinon them, which is the German translation for a lady fox (I love foxes). The chef’s apron is a present from two Slovenian bloggers I recently interviewed. Naturally, I am the proud owner of a huge collection of cookbooks. So huge in fact, that the shelf on which they once stood plunged from the wall. That’s why I keep them in my bedroom now. Some of my all-time favorite writers and books: Nigel Slater, Hemsley and Hemsley, Anna Jones, Guerilla Bakery and the German food bloggers Krautkopf.
These days I don’t cook that often, considering I have dinner out several times per week (my top recommendations for Berlin are Nobelhart & Schmutzig, Wagner Cocktail Bistroand Standard Pizza). However, I love hosting friends, cooking several courses for them plus serving wines pairings. It’s also the perfect occasion to use my ice cream machine. To be honest, I’ve got quite a lot of silly kitchen gadgets. A sous-vide something, which I never use, as well as a steamer. A kitchen thermometer, a waffle iron, a soda machine, thousands of wine glasses that don’t match. Did I already mention that I love wine? I would love to buy some Zaltoglasses (for me, they are the most elegant). However, there fucking expensive, more than 55 US Dollars per piece. Not a good idea if you are too goofy to clean them properly. Some people despise microwaves, but I don’t. When I cook, there are always some leftovers. Why not heating them up quickly? Another kitchen machine that is definitely worth its price is the dishwasher. I only bought it a few months ago – surprisingly, as I hate cleaning the dishes by hand. And, of course, my coffee grinder and my BialettiMoka pot. Sure, it would be nice to have a super fancy high-end barista thing, but at the end of the day I spend all my money on other stuff, above all for excellent ingredients, organic whenever possible. In my opinion, everyday cooking is not a big deal if you have good ingredients and if you either follow the instructions of a good recipe properly orif you are a natural talent in improvisation orif you have read Samin Nosrat’s fantastic book Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat. If not, do it the Eva way: cook, fail, eat, repeat. And laugh.