Summer of Supper – Final // Cologne
Time flies quickly and expectations high: Friday was the day of the Summer of Supper’s big final with Jörg and Nata, aka Kappesklub ft. pastasciutta. Special sourdough bread support was provided by Manfred, star guest and hobby baker at professional level who joined from Thuringia: That’s dedication! With nearly 40 people, the Marien-Eck was as fully sold out as can be. Quite some challenge for the kitchen team who is rather used to serving their culinary treats by words and not simultaneously on 40 plates: All three of them are bloggers. Nata on Pastasciutta with the charming subtitle ‘I tell you my food’, Manfred under his pseudonym Schelli and Jörg on Utecht schreibt. One of his posts contains a self-ironic advance warning, describing supper clubs as get-togethers of internet eaters where amateurish interim chefs test their arts on friends and strangers, with no certainty who is culinary-wise more overstrained, cooks or guests. If that doesn’t sound promising…!
But nothing much can hold back an adventure seeking supper clubber, except for boredom and bad quality – and none of that was to be expected. Instead, we did experience fresh local Rhenish cuisine, sometimes experimental and to the largest extend made from regional produces. When we sat down, the tables were already packed with a huge variety of Schelli’s fantastic home-made bread, creamy goat cheese from Nilgen-Schmitz and platters with Matjes herring on a slice of Brioche, mildly flavoured with anise and orange, a great combination! Worth mentioning that the fish had been bought from a supermarket: Not just any supermarket but apparently Cologne’s totally different Edeka Zickuhr. It’s probably the only one to take the Edeka slogan ‘We love food!’ serious enough to have banned from the shelves any instant products from Maggi and Knorr as Fritz Zickuhr stated in an interview. May others follow this honorable example!
The starter was served together with user instructions by Jörg: Yellow turnip soup with sorrel and goat cheese crespelle, a spot of buttermilk and a wild fennel flower that we were invited to eat consciously in between to experience the extra aroma kick: Really lovely, intense but fresh and not as dominant as dried fennel seeds tend to be. ‘Beans, beans, beans’ was coming next: Mashed beans, yellow beans and sour green beans, nicely playing with the natural flavours, again accompanied by some user instructions from the kitchen: The lavender flower on the plate that isn’t there just for decoration – rub it and sprinkle a little bit over the mashed beans. Not everyone around me was convinced, but I personally loved it. Vegetables and fruit are incidentally organic and sourced from Der Lenßenhof nearby Mönchengladbach.
Soon after, our main course arrived: Pork cooked in a spicy stock, served with endive salad, pan-fried grated potatoes and Nata’s special ‘crystal ham’, made from dried ham, finely chopped, with sugar and spices added. This time, the user instructions came from my neighbours at the table: I was told this dish must be eaten by mixing everything together, the salad, the potatoes and the crystal ham, and happy as a child I joined in. And then, the Summer of Supper’s very final dish: Buttermilk ice cream in Madeleines pastry and fresh garden fruit floating in vanilla sauce: Looked like a lot of preparation work but was definitely worth it, so yummie!! Many, many thanks to Nata, Jörg and Manfred for your ‘Klüngel met Jemös’ menu! All promises kept, except for one, unless I missed something: I’m still in the dark regarding the deeper meaning of ‘Kappesklub’ that Jörg promised to reveal on the spot.
Anyway, many thanks also to Marco for organizing and hosting the Summer of Supper at Marien-Eck, to Torsten for in parallel making it a fantastic wine and beer discovery tour, and to each single one of the kitchen teams that shared their passion for food with us! Once again: After supper is always before supper, so let’s hope the Summer of Supper will be back next year!