Berlin Food Digest #1

the manifest

Oct 20th, 2015

Dear BFS reader,

Welcome to the new version of Berlin Food Stories and the very first Berlin Food Digest! Signup here to receive the Berlin Food Digest in your inbox every month, stuffed full of the hottest food news, events, gossip, jobs and new openings.

I’ve been working on this relaunch for several months now and pretty f-n stoked to finally be able to present the brand new Berlin Food Stories website. The Berlin Food Digest is a blog post format I’ll be using frequently in the future, it’s an editorial and a chance for you to get a peak behind the scenes of Berlin Food Stories and my eternal search for the best restaurants in Berlin. It’s also going to be the place where I talk about what’s going on in the Berlin food scene, what places are opening and closing, what food related events are worth attending and why I haven’t been writing reviews about some places.

To answer the eternal question that hunts us all “Where the hell should I eat today?”

This very first digest is also something of a manifest, because the launch of the new Berlin Food Stories site marks the beginning of a very serious commitment to the cause of good food discovery. The new version was designed to combine the functionalities of a portal with the benefits of an independent, personal blog, a tool to make all of our lives a lot easier and answer the eternal question that hunts us all: “Where the HELL should we eat today??”.

We live in a time where the Berlin food scene is blossoming, 25 years of peace and economic growth has finally allowed gastronomic culture to prosper and the city’s food scene is like a big jumbo jet accelerating on the runway, getting ready for take off. There is a staggering amount of restaurants opening every week and the public interest on the topic of food and dining is unprecedented. In the course of just a few years, food has become pop culture. When I started blogging about restaurants in February 2012, nobody really gave a rat’s ass. Nowadays media coverage has exploded right alongside the thriving food scene, every fashion and lifestyle publication is now also reviewing restaurants and there is an abundance of hype surrounding the topic. That’s totally ok though, because our path to a world class gastronomic destination will undoubtedly be lined with the skeletons of low quality burger joints, terribly health food eateries and bubble tea shops and as long as we keep the final objective in our sight, I’m convinced we’re going to be ok.

The city’s food scene is like a big jumbo jet accelerating on the runway, getting ready for take off.

A lot has happened since that first summer I spent in Berlin back in 2006, in those days The Bird was the only non-fast food burger, Pan Asia the coolest restaurant in Berlin, the Markthalle Neun desolated and street food something you ate during your vacation in New York, London or Asia. We’ve come a long way since then and since most of the development really only happened in the last three years, I’m very excited about what the next years will bring.

During the last 25 years people have been flocking to Berlin for all sorts of reasons and most of them involved something with partying, fashion, art, freedom or any combination of those factors. Nobody comes to Berlin for the food, but I’m convinced that we can change that. We are in the unique position to turn Berlin into a culinary destination. I once wrote in FOOL Magazine how the next decade finally might pose an opportunity for Berlin to become the creative culinary hub I always hoped it would become. The consumer interest is certainly there and I’m very much counting on the new generation of Berlin chefs to step it up and for a couple of them to build culinary empires that echo way beyond the borders of the republic.

Because both the chefs and restaurant guests of Berlin are also entitled to quality and transparency from the city’s food critics

Here is my promise to all chefs: If you cook amazing food, help develop the quality of regional food production and dare to step out existing gastronomic comfort zones, then I will be there to support you all the way. Fail to do so, and I might call you out on your shit. Just like you can call me out on mine. Because both the chefs and restaurant guests of Berlin are also entitled to quality and transparency from the city’s food critics, to reviewers that care about ethics and play a fair game. I will continue to work by the quality philosophy and ethics I’ve been pursuing all along, always paying for my meals and always visiting restaurants multiple times anonymously before writing about them. Because who am I to demand excellence from a chef if I don’t adhere to the same codex?

I would like to thank the people who were the driving forces behind the relaunch: My marvellous wife E, my right hand and fellow eater Sonni, the fantastic designer Oriol and the guys from Digitale Heimat. It’s been a wicked ride and this is merely the beginning.

Let’s get started with the eating.

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