KochPottGuerilla // Mülheim an der Ruhr
What drives two guys working in a restaurant to spend a good part of their leisure time on running a supper club? Best go and find out yourself, I would say. The two guys in question are René van der Knokke and Clemens Chamai, and their supper club is the KochPottGuerilla (CookingPotGuerilla for the English speakers, with ‘pot” in spoken language having a double meaning that also stands for the Ruhr Valley, aka ‘The Pot”). Once a month, KochPottGuerilla takes over Clemens’ private kitchen and living room and transforms the place into a temporary restaurant for up to 10 guests. Some helping hands are always involved, namely Clemens’ girlfriend Neciha for the service, Deborah for the photos and Benjamin, the specialist for the occasional vegan adventures.
KPG 18 has just passed, allowing a review on one and a half exciting years of supper clubbing in Mülheim since September 2012. If there is one thing all KochPottGuerilla events had in common it’s this: It’s always different, always creative, always experimental: A winter barbecue in February with Mediterranean Burgers, a vegan night, sous-vide cooking, oriental inspirations, vegetarian with an Indian touch, or a menu with a little Japanese twist. The two guerrilleros like to start from classic recipes and turn them into something completely new. One recent example from the April menu: The variations of asparagus, also starring “drunken” asparagus marinated in whiskey.
Freestyle is may be a good way to put it, or cross over cuisine as they try themselves to describe their style. What looks like asparagus on stripes of carrot cream with a half red radish is in fact the dessert: Tonka bean parfait on caramel decorated with a fruit shot and a sugar spiral. When it comes to the shopping list, Clemens and René focus strictly on organic products, with a seasonal and whenever possible regional reference. They are also constantly in search of new, high quality suppliers, and will for example try to locate that one fantastic trout farmer they’ve heard of, one who lives somewhere inside the forests next to his ponds. Big efforts for providing the KochPottGuerilla guests with a unique culinary experience that is – in Mastercard campaign words: Priceless! There is a purchase price however, and that is all that René and Clemens pass on to their guests, usually a rather modest amount between €20 and €30, for 5 courses including water. Alcoholic drinks will be charged separately.
The original idea behind KochPottGuerilla can be summarized as ‘cooking, contact, communication’, or in other words: Cooking was initially just a hobby for the two, and running a supper club seemed a great way to broaden their personal culinary horizon and collecting sincere feedback from strangers. Always once the final course has left the kitchen, the contact and communication part starts also for them: They join their guests at the table, ask for opinions and answer questions. Over the last 18 months, they have acquired a pretty solid fan base that starts to grow into Dusseldorf, with occasionally even guests from far away Berlin or Hesse. A successful warm-up for their future plan to open a restaurant together. But that’s for a little later. First, they will both finish their studies whilst earning their living and gaining further experience by working in Clemens’ father’s restaurant, the Chamai in Oberhausen. They are also working on some special KochPottGuerilla projects. One for example to be organized with their preferred cocktail bar, another one with an organic food store.
For adding KochPottGuerilla to your watch list, join them on Facebook where you will also find the menu published in advance, in case “freestyle” is not necessarily compatible with your nutrition preferences or dietary restrictions. You can also follow KochPottGuerrilla on Twitter. The next date announced is Tuesday 20th May, reservations only by email to firstname.lastname@example.org and only for a maximum of 2-3 people per reservation to allow a good mix.