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brünch goes Berlin!

It is official! brünch will be leaving The Taproom this summer, setting out on new exciting adventures across the Pond.

After 15 years away from home, seven years in London, two years of brünch and seven months at The Taproom, Berlin is calling!

In November last year I got the amazing opportunity to set up my very own cafe at The Taproom, London Fields in collaboration with London Fields Brewery. After two years of running many sold-out popups and events around London, taking brünch to festivals around the UK and working with some truly amazing brands, I launched a Kickstarter campaign and went all out to try my hands at a permanent brünch home.

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Within 20 days, 62 backers supporting my vision and plans I was able to raise £10,169. (Thank you mum for topping up so I would not lose what has already been raised … <3)

In just seven weeks we then redesigned The Taproom and opened our doors on 17 November 2016. We put our heart and soul into it and created a menu of our favourite brünch dishes as well as Berlin drinks and brünch cocktails to match. We sourced the best Berlin coffee and worked with local artists and suppliers to make our home cosy and welcoming.

Being at The Taproom has been a great experience and learning curve for us. We made lots of new friends and met some beautiful people. It was our first time opening our own cafe and brünch has become a destination in its own right with people travelling from across town to visit us. We are overwhelmed by the positive feedback we have been receiving and leave with lots of warm feelings.

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Farewell London Fields, hallo Berlin!

It has not been an easy decision and we are sad to say goodbye to all our friends and customers who come every day, but we are excited about what’s ahead. We will be taking a little break to work on our next brünch projects and our next exciting adventure in Berlin. And who knows where it will take us next 🙂 Brünch is a free spirit at heart and we will continue to spread the brünchlove for sure.

Of course we won’t go without a proper Berlin leaving brünch!

Sunday, 04 June 2017 | 12pm until 4pm | Tickets here

I hope to see many of you there or at the cafe in the meantime! Our last day at The Taproom is 04 June 2017.

Lots of BrünchLove

Noemi x

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Getting ready for my first ever festival season

Five months of hard work, anticipation and sleepless nights

After five months of hard work, anticipation and sleepless nights I was finally ready to hit the UK festival scene with my brand new Berlin brünch Bar.

My mission was to change the way we eat breakfast at festivals and spread the Berlin brünch love across the country.

Reading about Wilderness made me want to go – ‘Meet the world’: a world of creativity and culture, of festival and flora, of ideas and identity. Wilderness aims to slip off your shoes, settle you down and then showcase the best of who we are, where we belong and what we create’. I could see my inner self jumping up and down in joy when reading those lines and I made it my mission to make 2016 my festival year!

I designed a brünch brochure outlining briefly my concept and philosophy, menu, look and feel of the stall and my vision.  I sent it off to some of the best foodie festivals in the UK including Wilderness, Jamie Oliver Big Feastival, Womad, Foodies Festival, etc

I sent my applications in January and the responses I received were incredible. I was offered pitches at almost every festival I applied for. I could not believe it!

For the first time I got a glimpse of how much it would cost to trade at festivals and how much work it actually takes to get involved. Each offer included ‘pitch fees’ and an extensive list of required documentation ranging from health & food safety to building guidelines, insurance, risk assessment, food hygiene ratings, certifications and so forth. It was a lot and quite overwhelming.

Pitch fees vary from festival to festival and depend on what you sell, how large your stall is and where you will be located. Some festivals last for three days some for four, so that will matter when assessing pitch fees.

My menu is mainly cold and includes lots of beautiful vegan and vegetarian options. My stall measured about 3m x 3m and my pitch fees ranged from £1,000 – £1,800 inc VAT per festival. On top of that comes electricity (another couple of hundreds), staff costs, food costs, van hire and fridge trailer hire.  Some even charge you for staff camping. Usually you sleep behind your stall though in a tent, which is quite fun.

I plugged in a few numbers into my spread sheets based on..well..I had no clue what I was doing to be honest. Estimating how much food you will sell is like guessing if it is going to rain in a month. Festivals are quite volatile. It depends on so many variables including weather, size of festival and if the festival sells out or not, number of traders, number of traders who offer similar food as you, demographics of visitors and so forth.

So relatively blindly I accapted three offers – Wilderness (obviously!) Jamie Oliver’s Big Feastival and a number of the Foodie Festivals. My calendar looked pretty packed all of the sudden and I started to freak out. I had it in my head that 2016 was going to be my festival year and I knew it will be a lot of fun but I realised I took on more than I could chew at that point.

I had to make a decision. So I called up the Foodies Festival and pulled out last minute purely because they already started in May and I was not ready at all. I also had to decline  No. 6 Festival because it was simply too expensive and so far away.

So I went ahead with Wilderness and The Big Feastival and I was excited!

Below a few things that were on my to do list:

  • Stall Designs – How will my stall look like?
  • Stall Build – and how will I built it??
  • Logistics & Transport – How do I get all my stuff to and from the festivals?
  • Storage – Where would I leave all my festival stuff afterwards and in between?
  • Food Preparation – Where would I cook all of my food beforehand?
  • Perishables – How was I going to keep my food cold on site for so long?
  • Power & Water – How would I supply my stall with electricity and water?
  • Budget – How much money will this all cost me?
  • Menu – What’s my menu going to look like?
  • Staffing – Who is going to come with me?
  • Documents – Risk Assessments, hygiene ratings, method statements ?!?!

I panicked..again! But there was no way back now. Deposits were paid!

I am incredibly grateful for all the amazing support I have received from my friends who sat down with me to go through it all and who believed in me and my ideas.

At this stage I want to say a big thank you to my awesome girls Sarah, Esther, Dani, Sophie G, Lucy, Vicky, Emma and Lucy, then David and Alfie at Smokestak, Terry and Ash at Streetfeast, my mum and my housemates who let me take over the garden. Without you all I would have thrown in the towel before the fun had even started! ❤

After my panic attack, it was time to get to work! I started to get all the required documentation together which took me a solid month at least! I had to get my hygiene rating from the council (5 out of 5 woop woop!!! ;p ) and actually properly organise myself.

I helped Smokestak at a few festivals around the country to gain first-hand experience and it was amazing. Lost Village and Secret Garden Party. Work hard play hard. I was officially becoming a festival lover.

One of the exciting parts was designing my menu. I launched BrotZeit in November 2015, a combination of ‘Brot’ meaning bread and ‘Zeit’ meaning time. BrotZeit is based on the Berliner ‘Stulle’ concept, which is Berlin slang for an open sandwich and an extremely popular breakfast, lunch and dinner snack. Later I re-branded BrotZeit to ‘brünch – the Berlin Breakfast Bar’.

The menu would dictate my operational flow, equipment requirements and stall design so I spent a lot of time perfecting it.

I sketched up my stall ideas and designed it roughly on paper and the extremely talented Adam Knight, who I have been working with from day one, made my ideas come to life.

I researched companies that could tailor build the structure of my stall. I obtained a few quotes and chose Trader Supplies, whose customer support was amazing. They used my sketches to come up with this.

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A few weeks later I received my tailor-made stall structure in various bits and pieces. It was worse than ikea!

In the meantime I had all my documentation together and deliveries for me were piling up high in my room. Fire extinguishers, a big safe, tarpaulins, rubber floor matts, hot water urns, a baine marie, gastronomes, chopping boards, steel mesh, the list is endless.

All my biodigradable paper plates I sourced from Biopac, who are really good and offer great value for money in my opinion.

I had to buy a garden shed to store all of my purchases. Thank you so so much to my housemate Toby for building it together for me one morning.

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HOLIDAYS!

Then it was June and I was off for three weeks travelling in Canada! Not quite the best timing I must admit and I almost cancelled because there was so much going on, but my girls made sure I went. I am so glad I did go! It was beyond beautiful and I really needed it.

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It is so important to step back sometimes, breath and create head space. Work hard but allow yourself time to recover and to enjoy life in all its beauty. What is it all worth for otherwise?  It sounds easier said than done but it is important to remember from time to time.

COUNTDOWN

So when I got back from Canada, it was time to push full steam ahead and build my Berlin brünch Bar. I had one month to go before my first festival!

I started with building the structure of the stall in my garden. Epic! I took over my whole garden!

I then collected a bunch of free wood from Hackney Wick that I had found on freecycle. The guy had just closed down his artist studio and wanted to get rid of everything he had. I wasn’t quite sure yet what I would need, but I just took it all, including all his floor boards!

I watched a few DIY youtube clips and sanded down all my newly acquired wood.

Step by step. ‘Create something out of little’.

My mate Terry helped me cut the wood for me and Ash took me through an Electrics crash course and helped me build my power infrastructure.

We finished everything in time for Wilderness! 😀

Next on the list was booking a fridge trailer and getting my supplies sorted. Over the past few months I had been meeting with various suppliers across London and Oxfordshire.

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FINAL WORDS..

Although It was hard work and I reached my limits at times, it was such an incredible and unforgettable time. I met lots of beautiful people and I would not want to miss any of it.

 

Whatever you do, give it your all and embrace whatever happens, even if it is not according to plan! You never know where it may lead you 🙂

I have so much more to say but I will keep it for some future blog posts.

If you are thinking about trading at festivals and you have any questions at all about festivals and trading at festivals, don’t be shy and drop me a message. I would love to see others flourish and realise their dreams although it might seem impossible at first.

Don’t give up!

 

 

 

brünch Festival Season 2016

A whole summer of fun ahead with our mobile Berlin Brünch Bar!

I am super excited to announce that brünch will be at three of the best UK festivals this summer bringing you some healthy Berlin brünch treats to kick start your day.

You’ll be able to find us at Wilderness Festival (4-7 August), The Big Feastival (26-28 August) and together with Jägermeister we will be serving up a proper Berlin brünch in the Jägerhouse at Bestival (8-11 September).

We want to make a change in the Festival breakfast scene this year. 

Breakfast seems to be an afterthought at many festivals but we believe it’s time for change. We often find ourselves wandering around in the morning looking for something nutritious and healthy after a long night of dancing and probably a few too many drinks. I am usually starving in the mornings and a croissant or a pulled pork burger is just not going to cut it for me.

That is why I brought to life my mobile Berlin Brünch Bar. Together with my amazing brünch team, we will be touring some of the best festivals in the UK for the very first time this year. And who knows, if you like what we do perhaps we can come back next year 🙂

Our menu will be filled with wholesome, healthy breakie and brunch options that will make sure you start the day the best way possible. Most of the menu is vegetarian and vegan friendly though there will also be some typical Berlin sausages for those of you who like it a bit more meaty. We will confirm our final menu closer to the date but here a little sneak preview 😉

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The design of my Berlin Brünch Bar is in keeping with the look and feel of my brünch popups. It has taken me a few good months to design my stall and think it all through thoroughly. I hope you will like it. It will be rustic in design with lots of wood and greenery. The food will be vibrant and colourful and we are hoping to have a little picnic corner attached too for you to hang out with us.

Make sure to look out for us when you are there 🙂

Here is where you will find us

WILDERNESS

Exact location to be confirmed

Kicking off in August we’ll be leaving the bustle of London for Wilderness. The festival is located in the rolling Oxfordshire countryside on a stunning private estate.

‘Busyness is everywhere, in your morning, at your desk, in your home and even in your thoughts. We’re always doing and always planning: ‘more forwards’ as the saying goes. Come summer time, we feel a little time in the wilderness helps correct the balance of the busyness. Four days in a nature reserve to meet new people, new ideas and new experiences. If Wilderness had a saying, it would probably be ‘meet the world’: a world of creativity and culture, of festival and flora, of ideas and identity. Wilderness aims to slip off your shoes, settle you down and then showcase the best of who we are, where we belong and what we create. As our unofficial saying goes, come to the wilderness to meet the world.’

– Source – www.wildernessfestival.com

We love their ethos and the way they bring people together to celebrate nature, creativity, music, arts, food and life! Wilderness is really known for its quality food offering. Their feasts are amazing and include some of the biggest names in the UK – Hix, Raymond Blanc, Robin Gill, Virgilio Martinez and many more.

It is a massive honour for us to be part of Wilderness for the very first time this year and we are very excited to see you there

Jamie Oliver’s The Big Feastival

Location – Stall CS05, Gate 25

Over the August Bank Holiday weekend we will be trading at Jamie Oliver’s The Big Feastival at Alex James’ farm in Chipping Norton in the idyllic Cotswolds countryside. It is a unique weekend celebration of music, food and fun for the whole family. The programme will be packed with cookery classes and demonstrations by top chefs, a fantastic line up, lots of local producer stands, arts & crafts workshop, vintage funfair, food feasts, a Wellness Kitchen and brünch! 🙂

Based on a farm, it’s the perfect festival for laid back fun with friends and family. We love the mix of music, good food and activities for everyone to enjoy. There is a real community feel to this festival which is why we’re excited to be part of it in 2016.

Bestival at the Isle of Wright

The Jägerhaus

We’re going to be ending the UK summer festival season on a high!

We’ll be joining our friends at Jägermeister in their infamous re-vamped Jägerhaus to bring some proper Berlin vibes to Bestival. We will be serving up the best of Berlin brünch in The Loft alongside some hot DJ lineup and lots of amazing Jäger cocktails. We are seriously excited about this one and hope to see many of you there.

Bestival is a four-day boutique music festival which takes place at Robin Hill Country Park, on the Isle Of Wight. From the massive music stages to the Ambient Forest to the fancy dress en-masse, the unique world of Bestival is meant to ‘inspire peace, love and dancing’.

We definitely like the sound of that! There is even a festival within the festival – Slow Motion. It is a tranquil place set at the top of the hill and a realm of calm with views across the whole festival. We know it’s going to be an wicked 4 days!

We can’t wait to begin our summer adventure. We want to bring you healthy, hearty and nutritious breakfasts to power you through glorious festival days.

I hope to see you all over the course of the summer!

Noemi x

brünch – testbed for new Berlin brands & passionate people like us

brünch is not only about our amazing Berlin brunch spread. It is also a testbed for new brands and like-minded passionate people that want to trial their ideas and products, gain exposure and get feedback – from you.

This can be anything and anyone ranging from new Berlin (or German) drink brands to independent cool coffee suppliers, up-and-coming DJs, small artisan bread bakeries, local suppliers and independent venues. I want to give you all the chance to try something new and enjoy some proper Berlin vibes at my events. Therefore, whenever you come to my pop ups, please be open minded, try whatever is on the menu, ask us questions and let us know what you think.

In the past we have been working closely with hard-to-come-by German drink brands and small-batch speciality coffee roasters based in London. Some of our partners include(d) Club Mate, fritz-kola, Belsazar Vermouth, Volcano Coffee Works, Assembly Coffee and lots of other lovely independent producers and suppliers.

So for our next event in February, I will be working with Bauhaus Coffee.

Bauhaus Coffee is super new in London’s coffee scene (website coming soon). It was launched by Max and his uni mate Ted. I met Max for the first time when I was just about to leave my corporate job. He and his two uni mates Gabe and Eirik had just launched Blacksheep Coffee and I was able to help them out a bit and learn about coffee and the art of roasting and brewing.

Over time, Max started to challenge the speciality coffee scene’s over-complication and pretension though. He and Ted got together to develop a  ‘no nonsense coffee’ as they say … bold words but we like that!

Bauhaus Coffee was born.

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It is inspired by the principles of Bauhaus production – roasted combining the love of the craftsman with the consistency of modern techniques. All their coffee is ethically sourced from single farms, estates and cooperatives as it says in their sales brochure.

We are curious and will give them a try on 28 February at the Brewer’s Bar in Dalston. Tickets out now via www.bruench.com

Future collaborations are in the planning and whilst I cannot say too much yet, I can guarantee you don’t want to miss this. So keep your ears and eyes peeled for my next events including Berlin supper clubs and Berlin film nights with some of the best Berlin cocktails you’ll ever have in London.

I am excited to see you soon.

x

 

Heard of ‘BrotZeit’ yet? Brünch has got a little sister :)

Have I introduced you to BrotZeit yet?

After a year of successful brünch events held all across London, I have recently launched a new mobile Berlin breakfast bar called ‘BrotZeit‘ – brünch’s little sister 🙂 The German phrase is a combination of ‘Brot’ meaning bread and ‘Zeit’ meaning time.

BrotZeit is based on the Berliner ‘Stulle’, which is Berlin slang for an open sandwich and an extremely popular breakfast, lunch and dinner snack. So popular there is even a Stulle or ‘Butterbrot’ (another word for it..) day in September every year! Berliners love their bread and their Stulle!

But what is it exactly!?

BrotZeit serves this moreish Berlin Kult snack but with a twist – healthy & wholesome toppings on thick slices of rustic sourdough bread from small local artisan bread bakeries of the likes of E5 Bakehouse, The Dusty Knuckle Bakery, Brickhouse Bread and Elephant Bakehouse.

Sometimes pictures say more than words…

I change my menu whenever I have a new idea. I try to source locally where possible so my menu is very seasonal.

In the past, my menu looked something like this

Thick Slices of Rustic Sourdough with

 Goats Cheese, Fresh Strawberries/Fresh Figs, Basli & Honey

Beetroot, Avocado, toasted Sesame & wild Thyme (vegan)

Butternut Squash, Feta Cheese, Pomegranate & Rosemary

 Home-made Almond Butter, Banana, Yoghurt & home-made Granola (vegan)

Home-made Hummus, sun-dried tomatoes, toasted seeds & Thyme (vegan)

For those with a sweet tooth, I also alternate between my brünch signature amaranth & chia granola with german quark, homemade banana bread with warm Nutella and toasted coconut, fresh Buckwheat waffles and Rote Grütze, a typical German dessert.

With BrotZeit I am bringing the mobile breakfast to life – colourful and vibrant, it is definitely an eye catcher wherever it goes.

Where can you find us? 

I am working with Morning Gloryville East London at their East London after parties at Number 90 in Hackney Wick from 11am until about 3pm whenever I can. For future dates, check out my Facebook page @bruench or Twitter @bruench_popup next dates on their website.

Exciting plans ahead! I am applying to trade at festivals this summer in the UK. There is definitely a lack of healthy food options, not to mention breakfast options at festivals, and I want to change that. It’s quite a lot of paper work but I am working through them as we speak. Fingers crossed. And perhaps will see each other for a dance or two and breakfast after soon 🙂 I will keep you posted.

If you have an event and would like to get BrotZeit involved, please don’t hesitate to drop me a line at bruench@gmail.com. Would love to hear from you.

Lots of brünchlove.

Noemi x

Christmas marzipan recipe

 

I love Christmas!

Well, I guess I like the romantic notion of Christmas – cold winter days, candlelit dinners, lovely food, roaring fires, spending time with family & friends  – but ever so often reality looks slightly different. With Christmas around the corner, stress levels build up to make it all so perfect. We run around town to find the perfect gift, we spend a whole lot of money that we don’t have and by the end of it we are so exhausted that if something doesn’t go according to plan we snap at each other and eventually melt into tears.

Last year, I made a conscious effort to relax a bit more and not try to tick every single Christmas box there is. And the same I intend to do this year.

Instead of expensive presents, I get creative and make things – photos collages and calendars are always beautiful presents and they are made to last. I invite friends for dinner and spend quality time with them. Last year I had eight friends over and I made home-made chicken liver pate on toasted brioche which went down a treat with a few glasses of bubbles at the beginning of the meal!

This year, I am doing more baking & cooking to surprise my loved ones. Food brings people together and can say more than thousand words.

I want to share one of my recipes with you which takes less than 30 mins to make and looks great under the Christmas tree.

German Marzipan Recipe

I made my own marzipan for the first time at one of my pop ups in 2015 and ever since I get asked for my recipe. Well, here it is 🙂

Marzipan is very popular in Germany all year round. During the Christmas time, it is common to give marzipan in the shape of a bread, which is called ‘Marzipanbrot’ or small potatoes ‘Marzipankartoffeln’. Another tradition is a Glücksschwein (‘lucky pig’) on New Years Eve.

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Historically, Marzipan is a specialty of the Hanseatic League port towns. In particular the city of Lübeck in the north of Germany, has a proud and long-standing tradition of marzipan manufacture and you will find the German Niederegger Marzipan in most shops these days.

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Marzipan is so delicious and quick to make at home. You can add it to cakes and cookies, make decoration for cakes or simply enjoy it on its own.  I love recipes that allow for modifications. You can add anything to the mix – nuts, chocolate, spices, colourings, you name it.

I made some Marzipankartoffel the other day with dark chocolate coating and inside it had a roasted almond. I wrapped them up nicely and gave them as a present. It was a winner

Here is how it goes 

Makes ten to 15 little marzipan balls

Ingredients

1 cup of ground almonds
1 cup of icing sugar
1 egg white
2 table spoons of pure almond extract
1 table spoon of rose water 

For the filling & coating

100gr of dark chocolate (80%)
Whole almonds

3 table spoons of icing sugar
1/2 table spoons of cinnamon

Preparation

  • Add the ground almonds, almond extract, rose water, icing sugar and egg white together in a bowl. Use your clean hands to kneed the dough until all the ingredients are well mixed together. No need to get the whisker out.

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  • Refrigerate the dough for 15 mins.
  • After 15 mins remove the marzipan from the fridge and form little balls or squares with your hands (any shape goes really). Place one whole almond in the middle when shaping the dough (optional)

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  • Prepare the chocolate. Break the dark chocolate into small pieces and place into a heatproof bowl.
  • Sit over a pan of barely simmering water (a bain marie) and allow the chocolate to melt, stirring occasionally. Ensure no hot water gets into the chocolate.
  • Cover the marzipan shapes with chocolate and allow to cool on a flat surface. You can also use cocoa powder for coating, which is less messy and equally delicious.
  • Mix the icing sugar an cinnamon and sieve over the cooled chocolate marzipans.

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Done! 

Eat straight away, wrap up nicely as a present or serve at the end of your meal with coffee & teas.

Enjoy your Christmas and don’t forget..

Christmas is not be about the size of the turkey, the quality of champagne or the amount of presents under the Christmas tree. It is the time to be with family and friends, cherish the moments we have together and appreciate the simple things in life that we often take for granted.

x

 

Die kulinarischen Trends für 2015 – die ultimative Tidbits-Prognose!

Very excited about how the Berlin foodie scene is changing – great place to be. Thank you Cathrin for sharing Berlin’s food trends with us

Berlin Tidbits

Einmal im Jahr schreibe ich für Euch auf, was in der kulinarischen Luft liegt. Meine ultimative Trend-Prognose ist zumeist am eigenen Gaumen, auf Reisen, auf Festivals und Messen selbst erlebt, in Gesprächen mit Köchen, Produzenten, Kulinarikern und Geniessern gesammelt oder in Magazinen und auf Blogs gelesen und bewertet. Es geht um das, was sich international tut und um das, was hierzulande ankommt oder ankommen wird.

Manches ist in 2015 ziemlich neu, das Meiste bahnte sich schon 2014 an. Davon hat sich erfreulicherweise auch schon einiges wieder erledigt. Hier findet ihr die Prognose aus 2014 zum Auffrischen und Nachlesen: https://berlintidbits.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/die-kulinarischen-trends-fur-2014-die-ultimative-prognose/

Ein bisschen Wunschdenken ist jedes Jahr dabei. Über manches freut man sich, über anderes ist man entsetzt. Mittlerweile nehme ich ja auch einiges selbst in die Hand. Der Trend zur Fermentation kommt in Deutschland nicht soo richtig an? Pfff…macht nix, die KrautBraut wird schon dafür sorgen…

Länderküchen:

Bleibt:
Die eigene Küche…

View original post 1,245 more words

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