Tag Archives: breakfast

brünch – 2015 in review

Wow! Time flies when you’re having fun.

2015 was a fantastic and certainly eventful year for me. I am so very grateful for all the experiences I have made and people I have crossed paths with.

As you know, in October 2014 I left my corporate city job to launch brünch – London’s first and only Berlin pop up, bringing people together in London’s quirkiest venues to enjoy some proper Berlin vibes.

I quit my job because I did not want to wake up one day and regret not having tried. I wanted to follow my passion and live my ideas and dreams. But I also left my corporate job to change my lifestyle, find more balance and appreciate the small things in life that we often take for granted.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has supported me along the way, who has come to my events and who has chosen to become and stay part of my journey. You know who you are and you are amazing – thank you.

Since I launched brünch in February 2015, my pop ups have grown from ‘bread brunch booze’ Berlin style to a platform for collaboration, up-and-coming DJs showcasing their talent, meeting new people, discovering London’s hidden and unusual spaces and bringing new small-batch German drink brands to London. You might have seen it already – I also launched BrotZeit in 2015 – my new mobile Berlin breakfast bar concept ideal for markets, corporate events, festivals and small cafes.

Our Berlin brünch community is growing and we (yes, the royal ‘we’ for now) have lots of exciting plans for the New Year – come along and join us! 🙂

brünch – 2015 in review

In 2015 I hosted ten Berlin pop ups and two BrotZeit events where I welcomed over 600 guests in 11 different venues. brünch was named ‘one of London’s most active pop ups in 2015‘ by London Pop Ups , ‘one of the capital’s most exciting pop ups this summer’ by STYLISTand ‘one of London’s prettiest breakfasts’ by About Time Magazine. brünch was also featured in Time Out London, the Evening Standard and my face even made it into Germany’s top newspapers such as Der Tagespiegel with an article on ‘Berlin, London und das ‘brünch’ – Wie sich das Frühstück ändert.‘ I still can’t quite believe it all and my heart still jumps with joy :)))

Last year, I took my pop ups to converted warehouses, rooftops, antique salvage shops, railway arches and craft beer breweries all across the city. In memory of a great year, here a little snapshot of my events in chronological order:

My very first pop up took place at Salon, Brixton in February 2015. Tickets were sold out almost a week before the event with around 40 people attending. Salon is such a beautiful venue owned and run by Nick Balfe, former head chef of Jackson Boxer’s Brunswick House and Frank’s Campari Bar. I can only recommend visiting his restaurant in Brixton Market Row for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

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My second pop up took place at The Doodle Bar in Battersea in March. With 50 people attending, it was another sell out event. The vibe was fantastic and I met lots of lovely people and like-minded foodies including Spooncereals, the GrubClub, The Brick BoxSnactThe Social PantryCulinary Canvas and many more. DJ Dirk from Germany put on some hot electro sounds to get into Berlin mood.

In April, I hosted a Berlin Easter brünch at Brixton East 1871 – a converted 19th-century furniture warehouse just off Coldharbour Lane. The venue is stunning and has retained much of its original character and charm. It was a lovely event where about 40 guests attended with their families, friends, dates and partners.

A week later, we went the extra mile and took brünch to East London for the first time. Stage 3 in Hackney Central is part of the Hackney Empire building and with the help of DJ Dirk on the decks, we converted the venue into a little bit of Berlin that day.

In June I was asked to participate in the Streatham Food Festival with my pop up. I felt very honoured and excited to host a German-inspired Summer Dinner at Boyce da Roca, a small neighbourhood cafe in the heart of Streatham. I cooked for four days straight and even my mum arrived from Berlin to help me. It was beautiful ❤ I worked with Axiom brands and mixologist Fliss together to design some amazing cocktails to pair each dish on my menu.

Then it was time for a little Summer break. I went travelling in France for two weeks after reminding myself that leaving my office job also meant more time for myself, work-life balance and adventure. I went into the mountains in Provence and it was beautiful – a peaceful village tucked away from city life – so much beauty and time to let go and appreciate.

When I returned from holidays, I started spending more and more time up east. I explored Hackney Wick, London Fields and Clapton on my bike. Hackney reminds me a lot of Berlin – the vibe, the sense of space, the people…On one of my exploration tours, I came across the CRATE Brewery and in June I hosted my Berlin brunch pop up in their ‘Brew Shed’ – such a special setting. DJ Mo with his own label Homage Records on the decks – amazing vibes, amazing people.

Having been a few times to Maltby Street Market for food, drink and shopping, I inevitably fell in love with the most amazing antique salvage shop in London – Lassco Ropewalk. And so it happened that I managed to convince the owners to bring a little bit of Berlin to their shop in July. On a rainy Sunday morning my team and I converted this beautiful space into a buzzing Berlin den with fresh waffle and Nutella smells running through the shop and gorgeous bread from St John Bakery on offer. I love this venue.

I had been invited to the launch party of The NINES in Peckham in February which was run by two girls who were friend of someone I had met through another friend (this is basically how I find my venues ;)) The NINES is a converted garage bar hidden behind the Bussey Building and exactly what I was after for brünch. It took six months until we finally met up to discuss hosting an event together. In August, 40 people came to enjoy a long lazy Sunday brünch with proper Berlin electro tunes from Moody Pat, a young cutting-edge DJ from the French Caribbean who is definitely one to watch.

To take advantage of the warm summer months, my next event brought me back East to London Fields where I stumbled upon a new quirky venue with probably the best views overlooking London Fields (apart from Netil House perhaps). Playground & Proof had only just opened and it was a pleasure to be the first pop up to host an event up on their roof terrace – a hidden gem you should definitely go and check out if you are in the area.

In the whole month of October I then worked with Streetfeast on the opening of their new Hawker House in Canada Water – a 2,500 people venue with 14 street food vendors and nine bars – and project manage Oktoberfest, which welcomed approximately 5,500 people over two days. We ate, we drank, we danced – such an amazing experience and project to work on 🙂

November was another eventful month for me. I left Brixton after six years and moved to East London – it felt like the end of an era… I also celebrated my 30th birthday in November in Berlin and I launched BrotZeit at the Morning Glorville afterparty! In the meantime I was hatching plans and getting everything ready for my Berlin Winter brünch the following month.

I had visited Palm 2 in Clapton, a lovely venue tucked away above a cute local gourmet deli shop, back in the summer. I fell in love with the venue straight away and having moved close by now, my heart was set on hosting my last event of 2015 here. I welcomed about 40 people for a cosy Berlin Winter brünch in December with lots of German spiced Glühwein, fresh cinnamon waffles and delicious Berlin cocktails.

What a year!

I am seriously excited about 2016 and no doubt Berlin is here to stay 🙂

I am also incredibly proud to have worked with some of these amazing suppliers in 2015:

Berlin/German Drink Brands (among others)

Local Food Suppliers

Coffee Suppliers

Special thanks go to my fantastic friends and family for all your support and help – Sarah, Jamie, Pete, Esther, Roman, Lucy, Kaia, Rocio, Bill, Vicky, Sophie and Christie.

See you in 2016!

Lots of brünch love,

Noemi xx

Yelp Blog School & SETsession – When London’s top food bloggers get together to share tips and tricks

I recently received an email from Angelica Malin, Editor-in-Chief at About Time Magazine, inviting me to join  #YelpBlogSchool on Saturday 7th of March. The invite read : ‘we’re organising a brunch event with Yelp on the 7th March for some of our favourite bloggers in London. The morning will feature talks from 5 of London’s most successful entrepreneurs in the blogging and digital world, Q & A before speed networking with the experts, and then we’re all going to have brunch!’

I had been to one of Angelica’s #SETsessions on how to become a great writer/journalist/blogger before, where I had the pleasure to meet the lovely team behind About Time Mag and many other ambitious and young talented writers and bloggers. It was fantastic. I learnt a lot and it was great to connect with like-minded people, share experiences and support each other.

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My start into the day was gorgeous. It was sunny and I could really feel spring had arrived. I got onto my bike and started by journey from Brixton to the Newman Street Tavern close to Goodge Street, where the event took place.

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I was really excited about a full morning of networking, lovely food and helpful insights into the world of blogging and social media. Upon arrival we were served delicious freshly- pressed juices and coffees and I mingled with familiar faces. After a short introduction, we were then split into smaller groups to meet five of London’s most successful entrepreneurs in the blogging and digital world – @eatlikeagirl (top food and travel blogger),  @symmetrybreakfast (Instagram sensation), @aftrebecca (Daily Telegraph contributor & Editor-in-Chief of About FCKING Time magazine), @angelicamalin (Editor-in-Chief @AboutTimeMag + Editor-at-Large @AFT_mag) and Alex from @yelplondon, which sponsored this event. Our speed networking and Q&A sessions were followed by some lovely breaky and more mingling.

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What I liked most at the event was the passion and energy created in the room. We all had different professional and cultural backgrounds and we came from different parts of the World but we all had one thing in common – we love food and we like to share our passion with others.

If you are an aspiring writer/journalist/blogger and you want to meet like-minded people and learn from other people’s experiences, I really encourage you to attend any of the About Time Mag events.

 

 

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Symmetry Breakfast

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aspiring bloggers/writers/journalists

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Thanks to Yelp and About Time for hosting and inviting me along.

Perhaps I see you at the next event 🙂

x

 

 

 

London’s first Berlin brunch pop up – brünch is launched!

It was only a week to go until my very first Berlin brunch pop up at Salon in the heart of Brixton. I got more nervous but also more excited by the day. Ticket sales via the GrubClub went through the roof and my event was sold out a few days before it was all about to happen. I was running through my excel spread sheets about a hundred times, I read my menus over and over again and I became a frequent visitor at Salon drinking all their coffee from Volcano Coffee Works to calm my nerves. I prepared the seating plans and organised all the decoration. I chose which cheeses to offer from their Deli counter downstairs and we put together a fantastic drinks menu including a power smoothie, Aperol Spritz, Bloody Mary, wines and Prosecco, Berlin White beer and and and

I really enjoyed every second that went into preparing my first brünch event. Finding and choosing my suppliers was probably the best part. I visited a number of local butchers,  farmers markets, fish mongers etc and tasted all their lovely produce!

M.Moen & Sons at Clapham Common is my preferred meat supplier while I get my fish from Moxon’s Fresh Fish in Clapham South. My eggs are Burford Brown Eggs, which in my opinion are the best currently available. The yolk is so rich and the colour so yellow – nothing else compares. My German bread comes fresh from Kamps – a German bread bakery, which only recently opened in London.

Burford Brown Eggs Moxon's Fresh Fish moens sons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The day before my event, I prepared my home-made Amaranth Granola and my German Marble Cake!

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I printed all my menus at the Impact Hub Brixton, where I often work together with many other interesting entrepreneurs. My menu also includes my food and booze stories – where do my ingredients come from, who are my suppliers, what is fritz cola and club mate made of?

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At this point all my Berlin drinks had finally arrived from the German capital and were ready to go …

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… The next morning, Sunday 22nd of March at 8am, my housemate Nele, after only a few hours of sleep, helped me to bring everything to Salon. What a trooper! 😀 And here I was,  super excited with a big smile on my face.

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My friends arrived two hours later to help me set up the venue. We transformed the venue into an exclusive Berlin brunch experience to remember. I could not have wished for a better team. Thank you Jamie, Pete, Ester, Esther and Christie for all your help and support.

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Here are a few more pics from my event and reviews from my guests! If you would like to join my next event, check dates and availability here

‘This was such a lovely brunch! And a nice Berlin surprise in a cute hidden room above a boutique cheese and wine shop! Great atmosphere, great food – and amazing smoothies!’

‘The food was great and served with a smile and the atmosphere helped make new friends of the other people seated with us, which is something rare in London.’

‘Loved it! Top quality ingredients, beautiful presentation, great venue, nice vibe. Will be recommending future events.’

See what ‘Best of Brunch’ via ‘About Time Magazine’ has to say.

 

Coconut Quinoa Porridge with Caramelised Pineapple

Yay!! Spring has arrived!!! 😀

It is yet again a beautiful morning! I love the change of the season – days are becoming longer, birds are waking me up in the morning, the sun makes me livelier and I see a lot more smiles around me. Letting this Winter Blues go now!

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This morning I woke up with a craving for something sweet. Something comforting but healthy to start this gorgeous day! Quinoa has become one of my favourite staples in the house and I am often experimenting what I can do with this amazing Supergrain. It is a ‘pseudocereal’ and a great source for protein.

Picture from http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-cook-quinoa-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-63344

Picture from http://www.thekitchn.com on how to cook Quinoa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As my tummy struggles with too much milk and especially warm milk, I started using coconut milk a lot more. I was never a big fan of coconuts when I was younger but over the past two years, I re-discovered its taste and texture and now I cook with it almost every day (ie coconut extra virgin oil, coconut water, coconut milk, flakes, …).

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So this morning, I am making my signature Coconut Quinoa Porridge with Caramelised Pineapple in a Weck Jar It is very easy and takes about 20-25 minutes.

Coconut Quinoa Porridge

Coconut Quinoa Porridge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Porridge

1/2 cup of Quinoa
2/3 cup of Coconut Milk out of a can (the higher the coconut extract content in %, the creamier it gets)
1 cup of Coconut Water
1/2 cup of water
2 Cloves and/or pinch of cinnamon
1 TS of Algarve Honey (as sweet as you like it but bear in mind the coconut has got some natural sweetness to it)

Note: This is a diary free recipe. If you refer the porridge to become a bit richer in texture and taste, you can replace the coconut water with milk.

Topping

Here you can really go wild but below some ideas:

2 slices of pineapple
Brown sugar to coat pineapple
Extra: Toasted seeds, mixed nuts, dried fruits, coulis, berries…

Also delicious with: dried coconut flakes, blueberries, pomegranate, poached peaches – you name it.

Preparation:

  • Preheat Grill at 220 Degrees Celsius
  • Cut the slices of peeled pineapple into five pieces each and generously coat with brown sugar
  • Place coated pineapple on aluminium foil and grill in the oven until golden brown, then leave to cool
  • Rinse the Quinoa with water and mix the water, coconut water, spices and the honey with the Quinoa in a pot and bring to simmer
  • Turn down to medium heat and allow to cook gently for a few minutes until the grain starts to soften and open up (be careful not to overcook the Quinoa at this stage to retain its nutty texture and flavour)
  • Then add the coconut milk. Continue to simmer until the Quinoa has absorbed all of the liquid and has that nice porridge-like texture
  • Add more coconut milk/coconut milk according to your liking (some like it more liquid than others)
  • Allow Quinoa to rest for few minutes
  • Assemble the dish
  • Serve hot or cold

Here is the difference between Quinoa Porridge made with Milk (left) and the dairy free version with Coconut Water (right)

20141006_185639[1]

 

 

 

 

 

 

ENJOY! 🙂

About Coconut Milk (via BBC Good Food)

Coconuts are highly nutritious and rich in fibre, vitamins C, E, B1, B3, B5 and B6 and minerals including iron, selenium, sodium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorous. Unlike cow’s milk, coconut milk is lactose free so can be used as a milk substitute by those with lactose intolerance. It is a popular choice with vegans and makes a great base for smoothies, milkshakes or as a dairy alternative in baking.

Coconuts contain significant amounts of fat, but unlike other nuts, they provide fat that is mostly in the form of medium chain saturated fatty acids (MCFAs). MCFAs are rapidly metabolised into energy in the liver. It is thought that unlike other saturated fats, MCFAs are used up more quickly by the body and are less likely to be stored as fat.

Coconut Milk is made from a brew of coconut meat and water. But don’t confuse it with lower- calorie coconut water. Rich and thick and more like cream than milk. (via EatingWell)

Unlike wheat or rice, Quinoa is a complete protein – containing all eight of the essential amino acids. The UN named 2013 ‘International Quinoa Year’ in recognition of the crop’s high nutrient content. With twice the protein content of rice or barley, Quinoa is also a very good source of calcium, magnesium and manganese. It also possesses good levels of several B vitamins, vitamin E and dietary fibre. It is also gluten-free and easy to digest. The facts suggest it is close to a perfect ingredient as you can get.

Product Testing – Coconut Quinoa Porridge with Caramelised Pineapple

As part of the CREATE programme, I will get the opportunity to test my food and introduce my business concept in front of a panel of experts.  

I just got the brief and it says… ‘At the ‘Tasting & Testing’ session, you’ll have the opportunity to present your business (elevator pitch) along with samples of your food and any branding / packaging / marketing you’ve developed to a panel of experienced food entrepreneurs and industry experts for their feedback and advice’

I thought I write a post about this as it is the first time I am actually testing my own ideas with people who I do not know and who are experts in the field! And testing your product is probably THE most important thing before starting your own business.

I am very excited but also slightly nervous. I decided I will present three dishes to the panel, including my own creation – Coconut Quinoa Porridge with Caramelised Pineapple (recipe below). I will have to prepare parts at home and parts on site. I hope I have thought about everything:

1) Create my recipes – I tested my recipe again and again and my housemates have had quinoa porridge for the last three days! It is delicious, lactose free and MUCH healthier than your traditional oat porridge. Give it a go!

2) Timetable of when to prepare what – Generally YES, but I might have to improvise a bit as we will be in a group of people, I am not sure how much preparation time I actually have and I will be working with commercial kitchen equipment, which tends to be slightly more powerful than what I have at home.

4) Food Presentation/Packaging – CHECK! I have a plan! 🙂

5) Elevator Pitch – Still practising but I am getting there…

6) Ideas of Branding and Design – CHECK!  

Coconut Quinoa Porridge with Grilled and Caramelised Pineapple served in a WECK Jar

IMG_20141003_125927  My Housemate is loving it  WECK Glasses imported in Germany

Porridge

1/2 cup of Quinoa
2/3 cup of Coconut Milk out of a can (the higher the coconut extract content in %, the creamier it gets)
1 cup of Coconut Water
1/2 cup of water
2 Cloves and/or pinch of cinnamon
1 TS of Algarve Honey (as sweet as you like it but bear in mind the coconut has got some natural sweetness to it)

Note: This is a diary free recipe. If you refer the porridge to become a bit richer in texture and taste, you can replace the coconut water with milk.

Topping

Here you can really go wild but below some ideas:

2 slices of pineapple
Brown sugar to coat pineapple
Extra: Seed Mix, Nuts, Dried Fruits

Also delicious with: dried coconut flakes, blueberries, pomegranate, poached peaches

Preparation:

  • Preheat Grill at 220 Degrees Celsius
  • Cut the slices of peeled pineapple into five pieces each and generously coat with brown sugar
  • Place coated pineapple on aluminium foil and grill until golden brown, then leave to cool
  • Rinse the Quinoa with water
  • Mix all liquids, spices and the honey with the Quinoa in a pot and bring to boil. Turn down to medium heat and allow to cook until the Quinoa has absorbed most of the liquid
  • Add more coconut milk/water/milk according to your liking (some like it more liquid than others)
  • Allow Quinoa to rest for few minutes
  • Assemble the dish
  • Serve hot or cold

Here is the difference between Quinoa Porridge made with Milk (left) and with Coconut Water (right)

20141006_185639[1]

ENJOY! 🙂

About Coconut Milk (via BBC Good Food)

Coconuts are highly nutritious and rich in fibre, vitamins C, E, B1, B3, B5 and B6 and minerals including iron, selenium, sodium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorous. Unlike cow’s milk, coconut milk is lactose free so can be used as a milk substitute by those with lactose intolerance. It is a popular choice with vegans and makes a great base for smoothies, milkshakes or as a dairy alternative in baking.

Coconuts contain significant amounts of fat, but unlike other nuts, they provide fat that is mostly in the form of medium chain saturated fatty acids (MCFAs). MCFAs are rapidly metabolised into energy in the liver. It is thought that unlike other saturated fats, MCFAs are used up more quickly by the body and are less likely to be stored as fat.

Coconut Milk is made from a brew of coconut meat and water. But don’t confuse it with lower- calorie coconut water. Rich and thick and more like cream than milk. (via EatingWell)

Unlike wheat or rice, Quinoa is a complete protein – containing all eight of the essential amino acids. The UN named 2013 ‘International Quinoa Year’ in recognition of the crop’s high nutrient content. With twice the protein content of rice or barley, quinoa is also a very good source of calcium, magnesium and manganese. It also possesses good levels of several B vitamins, vitamin E and dietary fibre. It is also gluten-free and easy to digest. The facts suggest it is close to a perfect ingredient as you can get.

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