THIS IS THE FUTURE. THIS IS NEU.
A dinner series conceived to challenge the existing. A meal destined to build bridges between cultures. An experience designed to widen horizons of the consumer. On Februar 27th, 2018, a group of diners became witnesses to the inaugural edition of NEU dinners, the new project by the group behind the Chef’s Symposium Terroir Berlin, where some of our time’s most esteemed chefs joined forces for a night of extraordinarily creative cooking.
This setting that guests welcomed the NEU guests on the night of February 27th was everything but an every-day sight: A graffitied wall crowned by a barbed wired fence in a remote, industrial area of Northern Berlin. A brisk walk through -18 degrees celsius towards an old car shop turned techno art club. And then, lastly, in the corner of the club: a restaurant.
“…where some of our time’s most esteemed chefs joined forces for a night of extraordinarily creative cooking.”
Tickets for the first edition of NEU sold out a month before the event, which was staged at the Anomalie Art Club, a venue fit for this cutting edge dining project in more than one way. On the one hand the rough, industrial charm of the classic Berlin club venue, with it’s hidden rooms and quirky buildings. On the other hand, the secret dining room LaMifa in the back of the club, a stunningly elegant restaurant venue with high ceilings, beautiful art work and a live plant wall. Anomalie represents the new face of Berlin, where restaurant and food culture is valued equal (or even greater) than techno and art culture.
“..a stunningly elegant restaurant venue with high ceilings, beautiful art work and a live plant wall”
For the first edition of NEU Dinners “The World’s Best Female Chef 2017”, Ana Roš (Slovenia), and Roman star-chef, Cristina Bowerman (Italy), came to the German capital to cook a unique and collaborative multi-course menu alongside Berliner Meisterkoch 2017 and Best European Chef of the Year 2018, Sebastian Frank (Austria), and young chef-prodigy Lukas Mraz (Austria), who just returned from cooking at the world’s most acclaimed cooking event GELINAZ!.
The theme for the first NEU dinner was “The Amber Road”, an interpretation of a historical trade route that originated at the Baltic Sea and ran through Western Europe all the way down to Italy, tying all the home countries of the participating chefs together and providing the narrative for this collaboration. Watching these creative masterminds work together, however, quickly showed that a creativeness can’t be restrained by frameworks.
The chefs cooked in pairs, with every dish one chef taking the lead and inspiration from the other. The result were remarkable plates of food, not to be found on any restaurant menus, and where the last details were worked out within the last minutes before serving. Noteworthy examples included the “Austrian Suppenfleisch with an oyster and Brussels sprouts salad by Sebastian Frank and Ana Roš, or the sensational and thought-provoking (ever eaten a grilled char head?) “Char Nose-To-Tail” by Lukas Mraz and Cristina Bowerman. Ana Roš added Sebastian Frank’s signature poppy seeds to her plum-miso glazed black cod and Lukas Mraz inspired Cristina Bowerman to tempura fry an oyster and incorporate umeboshi vincotto with her pork jowl dish.
“Watching these creative masterminds work together, however, quickly showed that such raw creativeness can’t be restrained by frameworks.”
At the end of the night, when guests and chefs made their way home in one of the coldest nights of the year, it became clear that the mission was accomplished. Every spectator to the show walked out of the NEU experience a bit smarter and a lot more inspired.
The experimental dinner series NEU is spearheading the modern Berlin food movement in a time where the creative spirit of one of the most liberal and urban focal points in Europe is reflecting strongly on its exploding food scene. The reoccurring dinner series will pair international renowned guest chefs with Berlin chefs for unrivalled evenings of culinary storytelling and creativity.
NEU was created because we believe creativity and collaboration are closely intertwined and because chefs need to be pulled out of their comfort zone once in a while. Every NEU dinner will be a synergy of different cooking styles and influences. Chefs can cook pretty much whatever they want, but dishes have to be conceived in collaboration and they are forbidden to recreate dishes from their ordinary restaurant menus. The chefs of NEU will immerse themselves in their collaboration and the result will be a meal that pushes the envelope for everybody involved. It will be experimental. It will be wild. It will be highly entertaining. And it will be a glimpse into the future of Berlin dining.
The first NEU Dinner was hosted at the legendary Anomalie Art Club in Northern Prenzlauer Berg on February 27th, 2018, where 65 guests were the exclusive witnesses of this unique, culinary collaboration. The aperitif of the evening was provided by Mr. Susan and the wines for the evening were provided by Viniculture. Wine service was overseen by Emily Harman from Vina Lupa.
PARTICIPATING CHEFS NEU #1
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