Mother’s Mother // Berlin
Forget about all the latest culinary hypes and trends that are constantly trying to re-invent the art of cooking and our understanding of what is good taste. Mother’s Mother is a supper club that takes you back to the roots: To family mothers from across the World. To mothers not only putting all their cooking skills into a dish, but also an overdose of love for their families. I am sure we all have such memories of home, of mouth-watering smells in the air and an incomparable taste that nobody will ever get right – except our Mom or Grandma.
Each dinner event at Mother’s Mother is in the hands of a different chef and dedicated to his or her grandmother, her recipes and country of origin. An eye-catching photo of the respective old lady is always decorating the walls, like the one you see here that shows . 13 dinners have taken place since the very first one in March this year, one or two per month, featuring Peru, China, India, Turkey, Japan, Jordan, Korea, Italy, Mexico, Iran, Israel, Germany and recently Thailand. Some of the recipes used are well-kept family secrets that got never written down but passed from one generation to the next. Others will be modern interpretations of traditional family style cooking, or dishes that are in a broader sense inspired by memories of the family’s life and culture. Whatever the individual chef’s approach might be, there is always a story behind: Sometimes funny, sometimes informative, and sometimes heart-warming and touching, but always personal. Sharing those stories with the guests and giving some insight into the different cultures is what makes Mother’s Mother truly unique. Let alone that even finding a good restaurant that offers authentic dishes might be hard if not impossible for some of these countries. If you compare eating out with listening to music, then Mother’s Mother is the live concert in a small, intimate club I would say.
The organizer behind this special culinary world tour is Kavita Meelu. Born to an Indian family in the UK, Birmingham, she lived in London for a couple of years. Whilst working for an advertising agency she was dreaming about a job related to food. Being part of a very international group of friends, the recurring topic of conversations was the restaurant they would open together one day, celebrating their various countries’ cultures. But the high cost of living in the UK capital made any such sidestep a risk too big to take. In London, Kavita had been to some supper clubs and loved the idea. And finally, at some point after relocating to Berlin, the time was right for launching her own operation, Mother’s Mother.
She closely works hand in hand with the chefs she invites, from the grocery shopping to actually preparing and cooking the dinner. For her, this is a great way for further developing her culinary skills and getting new inspirations, and also finding the best suppliers for specific ingredients. But equally she enjoys connecting with a different culture through her conversations with the chefs. The original plan was for a limited series of Mother’s Mother events over a period of 6 months, but due to the incredible success she decided to continue and has just moved to a new location. The Mother’s Mother supper club is now able to host up to 30 people, but still can’t keep up with the demand. For each event there is a raffle amongst all those who have requested a place.
And although this might sound almost like a full time job in terms of the organizational requirements, Mother’s Mother is not Kavita’s only activity in the culinary area. Her real life job is at Kitchensurfing, a Berlin based start-up company that helps you find private chefs for dinner parties at your private home. Kavita works there as a talent scout, or in other words: Her role is to find people with high level cooking skills, but not necessarily decorated with diplomas from culinary arts schools, who would like to join the Kitchensurfing network to offer their services.
However stressful it can be sometimes for her to combine these 2 roles – I have myself experienced that it’s hardly possible to get in touch with Kavita these days – she is extremely passionate about Mother’s Mother and will go on taking reservation requests via Facebook. As said, you will need a bit of luck to get a place, so fingers crossed!