I’ve just read the entire script of Inglourious Basterds in the hope that I’d find something witty to say about Anglo-Deutsche relations. It was either that or Fawlty Towers.
There’s that scene when Fassbender gives the game away about him not being German because he holds up the wrong three fingers when ordering a round of Scotch. This results in him having a Walther pointed at his crotch and, ultimately, both his troop of British spies and the German soldiers in the same room going down in a typically Tarantino melée of bullets and stabby stuff.
For some reason, I thought there might have been something in there relevant to this last weekend, which I spent collaborating with a supper club from Berlin. But over-inflated egos, shouting, pistols, bullets and death couldn’t be further from the experience.
Instead, after just a couple of Skype calls, three or four emails, and basically no dress rehearsal, we (me and Paul, Paul and Björn of the Rollin Restaurant) served up a six course meal to about 90 people over two evenings. I think it’s fair to say we were all pretty happy with the results. We could have done without setting off the fire alarm on the Friday night (and the subsequent arrival of a fire engine) and I suppose time to actually practice the dishes together might have been useful. But we received great feedback and I know that, at the very least, I had an awesome time working with them.
It was an interesting process collaborating with a bunch of strangers. But we seemed to find agreement remarkably easily. I suppose the tomato and the pigeon courses were mostly mine, and the salmon and liquid goats cheese were theirs. But we all offered and accepted tweaks to those dishes and the pork belly and dessert were full-on team efforts. Each of the dishes were singled out by different diners as their favourite, which was particularly satisfying.
Have a look at the pictures below. You can always do things differently and improve, but, like I said, considering we’d never met and never practiced before sending out fifty covers on Friday night, the food was OK. I’m sure the events wouldn’t have been nearly so successful without the generous help of friends and family at the front-of-house. For that, danke schön.
So, basically, three enjoyable days of cooking, six courses, three new friends, ninety happy customers, a return trip to Berlin on the cards, but no real opportunity for me to pretend that I’m Michael Fassbender.
If you’re ever in Berlin it would totally be worth checking out whether Rollin Restaurant are doing anything. Visit their website to find out.
There’s another collaboration between German and English cooks this Friday and Saturday at the Supperclub Summit. Ruth from Saffron and Salt, a meat curing pro, is teaming up with three German supperclubs (who include vineyard and cookery school owners) for a frankly awesome looking menu. There are still tickets available and you should totally go. Check here for more details and to book.