The idea of entering into some kind of cooperation with fellow chefs for our recipe of the week has been in my head for a while. After all, we know so many great cooks and cooking together is always more fun than alone.
The fact that you can learn a few tricks from the pros "en passant" is just one of many nice side effects. The curious sniffing of other people's pots, the experience of being able to lend a hand in the restaurant kitchen, the luxury of being served a recipe specially prepared for me ... so many sensory impressions that you won't soon forget!
For this first time, I had the pleasure of being the guest of Anabela Campos-Neves, owner and namesake of the "anabelas Kitchen" restaurant on Pestalozzistraße in Charlottenburg.
The small restaurant with the green walls and the many picture frames has existed for 5 years. About 25 people fit in and the team consists of only three people: Nico, who works as a cook in the approximately twelve square meter kitchen, Anabela and her partner Marion at the front in the service.
We meet for a preliminary talk on a Monday, the day off. Anabela serves ice-cold apple and parsnip juice and since the door is open due to the hot weather, we are occasionally "disturbed" by neighbors who give Anabela a warm welcome. It quickly becomes clear that I am dealing with a neighborhood institution.
When I put my notebook with the colorful cans of sardines on the counter, Anabela's eyes lit up. It's as if a door opens to her memory and she immediately begins to talk: about back then, about picnics on the beach with the family, about the sardines and, above all, the canned tuna, about grandmother... It's already broken the ice. If ever there was ice to be broken...
"For me, vacation means "back to the roots", which means: my family has to cook for me. Then I remember how it tasted when grandma was cooking. Grandma didn't know any cream, she never used it. She only cooked what she got at the market that day. Simple. But always fresh.”
Anabela comes from Moita near Lisbon, but came to Berlin as a young woman in the 80s ("Oh mother, I'll stay maybe a week..."). Because of love, but also because the Portugal of that time was simply too narrow for her. Accordingly, her restaurant does not meet any expectations of folklore and resolutely resists being pigeonholed as “typically Portuguese”. Because drawers, it quickly becomes clear, she can't stand them. Instead, she cultivates a culinary freestyle that she describes as "integration cuisine". The loveliest ingredients from Berlin's weekly market meet a small detail that she recently picked up at this Korean restaurant, a new discovery made by her French friend around the corner, and memories of her grandmother's simple but always fresh cuisine. The result is not a translation of traditional recipes, but a free reinterpretation. That's the freedom Anabela takes and that's what I was curious about.
"I don't write anything down, every dish is different for me every time. I couldn't cook for anyone else from a plan. That's why I don't bake either..."
Incidentally, Anabela came to cook by chance. She did her apprenticeship in the well-known Berlin restaurant "Sylter Hof". So there was no plan, but as soon as she started, she felt her roots speak up:
"For my two grandmothers, everything always revolved around food, about two meals a day. Both grandmothers enjoyed cooking and they passed that on to me. For me, cooking is an emotional matter, it comes from the heart."
Depending on what Anabela can find, the menu features boudin noir, Portuguese fish soup, black sesame, fregola sarda (Sardinian pasta) and of course coriander! There is also a nice selection of German and Portuguese wines – with the majority being Portuguese. Recently she served "Sardinhas à la Fried Hering": sardines with vinegar and onions. People loved it.
For today's cooperation, Anabela took a look around our store. She took away the mackerel in pure olive oil from Tricana (Conserveira de Lisboa), tuna fillets in molho cru (a slightly spicy marinade with raw spring vegetables), the olive oil and the tapenade from the Tapada da Tojeira. There will also be two different fresh summer salads and of course our new wine from the Douro Valley in Portugal: the Conceito branco by Rita Marquez Ferreira. She belongs to the new generation of winemakers in Portugal who are passionate about disrupting the market and producing excellent new wines. (You can find more information about the fantastic Conceito wines on our blog )
These wines - as well as the many colorful canned fish and other traditional products that are being resurrected in new packaging - also make Anabela, as a Portuguese exile with a Berlin snout, happy about her roots again.
“Now the open Portugal is finally here – you feel like trying everything. The wines, the people... Now it's like a voyage of discovery for me when I go to Portugal."
I quickly put the wine cold and then it's finally off to the heart of the restaurant: the kitchen. Here Anabela cooked alone for a long time, the last 3 years together with Nico, whom she hired as backup. Two months ago she finally changed her territory and is now serving the guests with Marion.
Anabela also does the shopping herself. Daily and by bike. She prepares and plans the menu together with Nico, but the boss still has the last word. Nico is from Freiburg and of course brings completely different culinary influences. "You can't force him to cook Portuguese. For him this is "rock 'n' roll" and the two of us together make a wonderful fusion..."
By the way, I can only agree - a wonderful fusion is created here on this day too: the mackerel is served with a wonderfully refreshing and beautifully spicy tomato and fennel salad, the coriander (of course - typical Portugal!) and the lemon zest give an exciting Asian touch miss. The slightly spicy tuna is accompanied by a summery, light purple potato salad and black olive tapenade.
Like Anabela, I put each dish in my mouth all at once, chew, and then sip the conceito. This way we can taste whether the wine goes well with the food. And how it fits! Its pronounced delicacy and slightly salty minerality, its natural acidity make it the ideal accompaniment for fish. It costs a bit, but we didn't spend much on the food. And honestly, it's definitely worth it! Those who prefer something a little cheaper will do well with the Contraste from the same winemaker.
Ingredients for Tuna with Purple Potato Salad:
- 1.5 kilos of purple potatoes
- 100 ml chicken stock
- 5 tablespoons white vinegar, eg white Pineau de Charentes vinegar
- 2 tablespoons mustard, eg mustard with white wine from Leblanc
- 2 shallots
- 1 small bunch of parsley
- 1 small bunch of chives
- salt , pepper, sugar
- lemon zest and lemon juice
- olive oil
- 1 - 2 cans of Santa Catarina tuna with molho cru (spicy spring vegetable marinade)
- Black olive paste
Boil the potatoes with their skins on, then peel and cut them into slices while they are still warm. Stir together a warm marinade from chicken stock, vinegar, mustard, salt, pepper, sugar and the diced shallots and pour over the potato slices.
Leave for a quarter of an hour and then taste.
Mix in the parsley, chives, lemon juice and lemon zest just before serving. Serve and finish with a drizzle of good olive oil and don't forget the tapenade! It gives the recipe a great, slightly tart flavor that rounds it off nicely.
Thinly slice the fennel with the mandolin. Alternatively, you can also use a kitchen grater, an asparagus peeler or a sharp knife. The main thing is that the stripes are nice and fine.
Blanch the tomatoes, peel, cut into quarters and deseed. Cut the onion into thin rings.
Mix together a marinade of vinegar, oil, sugar, salt and lemon juice, pour over the fennel and onion and let both sit for half an hour.
Now add the tomato quarters. Roughly chop the basil and coriander, add and sprinkle over the zest of the lemon and finally the chopped parsley. Serve and decorate with romaine lettuce hearts. Then pour a drizzle of good olive oil over the plate.
Our wine recommendation: The Conceito branco 2013, an extremely fine and mineral wine reminiscent of great Chablis Grand Crus. This wine is the ideal accompaniment for fish and crustaceans due to its wonderful meltiness, its slightly salty side and its natural acidity. But it also goes well with risotto and white meat.
Bon appétit, or bom proveito!
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If you prefer to watch instead of reading, you can watch a short video from the kitchen here: