I love taking cooking classes while traveling. This way you can get to know the country and its people better and you take a piece of the culture home with you. But exciting cooking courses also take place in Berlin, such as the Zero Waste cooking class by Thore Hildebrandt.
Sustainability is on everyone’s lips today and we keep hearing that an extremely large amount of food is thrown away. Thore’s cooking course starts right here and gives the participants a better understanding of how food can be saved and optimally used.
Where did the Zero Waste Cooking Class take place?
A few words in advance about the location, because I wrote about it in the last blog article. Guessed right. The zero waste cooking course took place at TRIVITYS on Florastraße in Berlin-Pankow. As I reported in the previous blog article, Thore and Tsvetana came into contact through a corona initiative. A close partnership has developed from this.
For me, the two form a gastronomic dream team because they complement each other so well. With TRIVITYS, Tsvetana provides a wonderful location where she offers healthy, vegan, gluten-free dishes. Thore has contributed a few dishes to TRIVITYS’ menu and always organizes interesting events there in the evenings. You can find more about this on his homepage.
Zero Waste Cooking Class
Here we go. A nice, motivated group had come together that evening at TRIVITYS. Before we started cooking, we gathered at the large table in the café and were allowed to have an appetizer. Thore’s experience has shown that you shouldn’t start the course on an empty stomach. So we had the opportunity to really arrive and get to know each other.
We were served Thore’s homemade crackers, chutney, fermented radishes, cream cheese, and a few other small goodies. There were also various drinks to choose from. I had the Kombucha with Prosecco. Thore took the opportunity to welcome us, introduce us to zero waste cooking and explain the course of the evening.
As the name of the course suggests, almost all of the ingredients have been used. If something wasn’t used straight away, it was put in a container to later make a vegetable stock. What is still important, and what Thore Hildebrandt is known for in Berlin, is saved food. A large part of the ingredients came from Sir Plus, an organization that currently sells rescued foods in 6 shops in Berlin and online throughout Germany.
As you can see in the picture, the starter was not only delicious and healthy but also a real feast for the eyes.
We made a beetroot tartare with colored cucumber and bell pepper cubes and bread crumble.
The beetroot was cut into very small cubes – unpeeled, by the way – and then briefly fried in olive oil. We added red onions, capers, white wine, soy sauce, orange zest and grated pears. The cucumber and pepper cubes stayed raw and only got a few spices.
We made the bread crumble from old bread. After all, the point of zero waste cooking is to use all food and not throw anything away. The crumble gave the starter crunch.
The trick to shaping the tartare so nicely is a so-called serving ring. First we layered the beetroot tartare and then the cucumber and pepper cubes. At the end the crumble was sprinkled over it and garnished with sprouts.
I can tell you that the starter wasn’t just visually a poem.
The main dish
After we ate the starter, we went on with the biggest task of the evening.
As you could see in the picture at the very beginning, the main course was quite elaborate. Fortunately we were a good team and so things went quickly. One or two people have always dedicated themselves to one component.
Raw marinated fennel salad on lamb’s lettuce
For this, the fennel was finely sliced and marinated together with shallots. The lamb’s lettuce was added just before serving.
Baked Hokkaido pumpkin
I took over this component. Cutting the pumpkin is not that easy. The rest, however was. I then rolled the halved pumpkin slices in a well-seasoned polenta tapestry. Afterwards they were cooked in the oven.
That was one of the highlights in my opinion and not just because I took care of it. 🙂
Fried Brussels sprouts
Many don’t like it, but Brussels sprouts, with their bitter substances, are very healthy vegetables. Basically, all types of cabbage are, so treat yourself to a helping of them more often. The Brussels sprouts were only halved and fried in a pan, deglazed with wine and orange juice and then cooked to completion.
Now you might be thinking, what’s special about it. There are two details that made this puree exceptional.
First, we processed the potato peel into another component of our main course. For this, the potatoes were peeled generously so that enough potato meat remained on the skin (for the taste). These were then processed into chips on a tray in the oven.
Second, we incorporated the green of radishes into the puree. Which gave the puree a fresh note and also looked good. The radish greens always ended up in the trash with me. I don’t know how it is with you?
Crispy oyster mushrooms
This is probably a favorite Thore ingredient, or at least his favorite mushroom. Due to its firmness, the oyster mushroom has a good bite and is reminiscent of the consistency of chicken meat. It can also be processed very easily and flavored very nicely with spices.
We also prepared the oyster mushrooms in the oven, simply with a little oil.
So that the less seasoned components in particular get a good taste, we made a nice sauce. I can reveal three ingredients: soy sauce, maple syrup and smoked paprika powder. Mega yummy.
Serving the main course
You can let your creativity run free when arranging the individual components on the plate. Thore guided us, of course, but ultimately everyone found their own way. In the short video you can see the progress and in the next picture the final result.
First we put a dollop of puree on the plate. The crispy oyster mushrooms were placed on top. Around it came three pieces of the breaded pumpkin, a few pieces of the fried Brussels sprouts and two or three wedges of grilled avocado. The fennel lamb’s lettuce salad found its place on the opposite side and the potato peel chips filled the remaining area. The whole thing was neatly decorated with sauce and then we were allowed to take this delicious course to the table.
Due to Tsvetana’s preference for sweet treats, she has taken over the coordination of the dessert. It was a fermented Snickers cake which consists of lots of delicious ingredients. The base is made from peanuts, cocoa and agave syrup. Then came a caramel sauce and a fermented cashew cream. At the end there was again caramel sauce and chocolate sauce on top.
As you can see, the dessert was very rich, but unfortunately also incredibly tasty. Anyway, I’ve finished my glass. 😉
Thore Hildebrandt made the cooking class a great pleasure thanks to his relaxed manner. Even things that you have never done before can easily be coped with thanks to the help of his instructions.
He conveys a lot of useful knowledge in his cooking classes and brings his point of view across in a very pleasant way. I can recommend Thore’s events very much. Who wouldn’t want to contribute to a better world with lots of fun and delicious food?
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