Green Cookery Lounge // Dusseldorf
Welcome to the Green Cookery Lounge, Dusseldorf’s first secret wishing table for vegetarians – and anyone else who would like to discover how rich and exciting vegetarian dishes can be. It’s a pretty intimate and exclusive place, a maximum of only 32 diners per year get the chance to experience this supper club: 2012 has only 4 dates scheduled, one per season for 6-8 people each, which makes a total of up to 32. So better grab your seat before others do, either here or via Facebook.
The Green Cookery Lounge is the brainchild of Carmen, a passionate amateur chef who decided to go the vegetarian way a couple of years ago. If you aren’t a vegetarian yourself, you might think that pretty much every restaurant these days offers a decent choice of dishes that contain no meat or fish. If you look closer you will see how limited the options usually are. Tired of being offered over and over again a little salad as a starter and risotto for the main course – even in top restaurants – Carmen decided to fight back by starting her own private restaurant.
Her main ambition is to show that vegetarian cooking can be a mind-blowing taste experience full of variety and surprises. Part of the concept is to make people re-discover ingredients and recipes ignored or forgotten by modern cuisine, for example quince that will play a major role in the autumn menu on 3rd November. Everything she serves is homemade, not only the bread but also spice mixes like harissa and even the ricotta cheese. Using convenience products would clearly be against Carmen’s philosophy. No less important is to her to compose her menus from seasonal products. And about 90% of the ingredients she buys are from organic and if possible also regional producers. For the remaining 10% she says one has to be pragmatic.
Guests can watch how the food is getting prepared in the open kitchen with a gas stove integrated into the dining area. Carmen’s husband helps with the service and is also the sommelier. For each dinner, there is a selection of organic wines to choose from, available at cost price. Alternatively, people can bring their own wine if they prefer. The price for a 5-course meal including aperitif, coffee, water and digestive is ranging from €45 – €55, depending on the cost of ingredients.
When asked whether her intention is to make profit from the Green Cookery Lounge, Carmen seems a little surprised: Wouldn’t that be undermining the whole idea of supper clubs? Her answer is a clear no, and she’s wondering anyway how someone could earn money from that. After all it’s quite a lot of work. But it’s one she deeply enjoys and that makes her relax. The Green Cookery Lounge is her culinary playground, a project she is doing for the fun. Turning it into a bigger or more frequent operation would just mean stress – and of that she has largely enough already in her daytime job.