The most intimate Viand ever

0/Greeting: Txogitxu (very old, fat Basque dairy cows) Shinken from Vom Einfachen Das Gute.

I was interested to try this meat after reading an article about "Basque Old Cow Steaks" in the Guardian.

1/Ceviche, Peruvian style (with boiled potatoes) made with Greenland Halibut from Der Fischladen.

California-Mexican Ceviche is always served in a martini glass, very precious. I first had Peruvian ceviche in Buenos Aires, where it's a massive plate of food, with accompaniments, the best of which in my opinion is warm boiled potatoes. I love the contrast between the plain potato and bright tangy fish.

2/Puchero, Argentine Style, Osso Buco from Fleischhandlung steamed with potato, onion, cabbage.

I learned Puchero from some Porteño friends, and this is how they made it. Recently I learned that it's made very differently all over the world. This gave me the idea for tonight's menu, to explore the Spanish disapora in the modifications of shared foods.

3/Quesadillas with corn tortillas from Chili & Paprika with either Taleggio or Cacciota from  Vom Einfachen Das Gute

Quesadillas are a California comfort-food. I decided to make them extra luxe with fancy cheese.

4/Ensalata with two kinds of cabbage, kohlrabi, pickled black radish from Aurélie's French Farm, red onion, piri-piri peppers, lemon juice and olive oil

I don't usually eat raw cabbage, and I often wonder why, as I always appreciate a small raw cabbage salad perched atop the fat and spice of Mexican dishes. Tonight I decided to give this salad it's own attention, but I made the salad itself hot to evoke its missing companions. 

5/Pastéis de Nata

I love anything with flaky pastry and anything with custard, so Pastéis de Nata are delightful to me. This was my first try to make any such thing. I used this recipe. The Portuguese version calls for cinnamon, which I don't notice in the really good ones available in Berlin at Double Eye and The Barn.

0/ Jim Lahey's no-knead bread, Butter from Gläserne Molkerai.

Duro and I made every 2-3 days for 3 years. We also treated the bread dough like croissant and layered in butter, which I've done tonight.

Recipe and our video...

1/ Schweine Schulterne from Fleischhandlung cooked for 3 hours in Apfel Saft, with caramelized pumpkin, browned butter, and toasted sage.

I wanted to serve pasta, pumpkin, brown butter, and sage but felt it would be too much carbs with the gerste, so I replaced the pasta with pork.

2/ Grete's Garden Gerste Gratin with 3 kinds of onions and two kinds of cheese (jung gouda and fresh goat)

Pumpkin and Onions are about all there is to eat in winter, so I thought of Gratin, but I didn't want to make potato gratin, so I used Gerste, a regional grain.

3/ Radiccio salat mit pine nuts, rosinen, and 26 months Appennino Parmigiano Reggiano from Von Einfachen Das Gute

I love bitter leaves, but can't easily buy dandelion in Berlin. Radiccio, more affordable in Europe than in US, has become a favorite. Some people find it too bitter, and the rosinen and pine nuts cut that. This Parmigiano is surprisingly soft and delicate.

4/ White bean and sausage warm salad with merguez from Fleischerei.

I first had this classic at Osteria Angelini in Los Angeles.

5/ Pistachio white chocolate eis.

Recipe from San Francisco's sadly defunct Gelato Classico. I ate it constantly as an anorexic teenager.

Viand 30 morphed an 8-day marathon of Anniversaries, Crew Parties, and afternoon spiked-tea parties.

10.December "13 years"

1/"The Kiss" (Miang Kham): local postlein (instead of spinach), honey, nori (instead of dry shrimp, augmented with a little maldon sea salt), lemon (with the peel), red onion, peanuts, toasted coconut.

2/"Everyday Pleasures": roasted cauliflower with pancetta from Fleischhandlung.

3/"The Mexico ... er South Africa... Period": ceviche with Greenland Halibut from the Fischladen, soaked for 12 hours in lemon jouice, salt, piri-piri chilies, red onion.

4/"The Berlin Period" (á la Ron Telesky): pizza with sweet potato puree, roasted potatoes, rosemary, sharp cheddar, and spicy maple syrup sauce.

5/"Romance" (á la Black Star): eier liqor eis cream on buckwheat pancakes with pistachio and dried rose

12.December "Classic German Christmas Dinner"

1/Apples: Chutney with shallots and apples cooked in duck fat, caramelized red onions, prunes, star anise, and clove, served with a Farmhouse Cheddar

2/Rotkohl: Omar's South Indian cabbage with cumin seeds, caramelized onions and coconut

3/Duck: 2 German ducks from Fleischhandlung, roasted and then toasted in their own fat, served with

4/Potato: Norwegian Potato Lefse

5/Nachtische: eier liqor eis with candied roses and violets from Schokoladerie Estrellas

18.December "Feuerzangen and Cookies"...


0/Tür: "Whiskey & Cigars" from Schokoladerie Estrellas

1/Steak Sandwich

Meat from Hoeve Biesland because Boris "was looking for something other than the supermarket". Caramelized last tomatoes (from a Polish farm who sells at the Nordbahnhof Ökomarkt), rosemary focaccia with Hungarian-style garlic treatment (just rub raw garlic on the crust of hot bread), arugula. I followed Judy Rodgers Zuni Café advice of salting the meat (but only about 4 hours in advance).

2/ Salad of 19 things

Between 2008 and 2010 Duro and I ate several times at a restaurant called La Vineria de Gualterio Bolivar in Buenos Aires (now closed). The chef, Alejandro Digilio, had worked at Ferran Adrià's El Bulli. Digilio had returned to Buenos Aires inspired to reinterpret Argentine ingredients and recipes in a 16 courses set menu.  This salad, called "Gargouille" is considered a "historical artistic creation" of chef Michel Bras. The presention at La Vineria de Gualterio Boliver stuck in my memory "This is the salad of 19 things. It has some roots and some shoots. Some herbs and some flowers. Some leaves and some fruits. Some are cooked. Some are raw. Some are hot, some are cold..." This is the first time I have made this salad and I didn't know what to expect, I just started collecting on Wednesday and tried to get to 19. I wanted a very soft dressing, but couldn't find champagne vinegar in Berlin, so asked my co-chef George Kostas to do something with lemon. I had forgotten the name of original chef of the salad, but I was sure the chef at my auspicious neighbor Bandol Sur Mer would know, and when I stopped in yesterday on my way home from the market, I asked and he did! Making this filled me with delight!

The ingredients are the very last of fall from our region: postlein, radiccio, toasted sage, parsley, Aurélie's carrots from her farm in France, schwarzkohl/dinosaur kale/cavolo nero, tomatillo, last cherry tomatoes of 2016, asian pear, plum, dill, delicata squash, Aurélie's black radish, tiny red radish, blue potato, jerusalem artichoke, kohlrabi, sußkartoffel, raspberry.

3/ Cheese Berlin 2016

I spent hours at Markthalle 9's annual Cheese Berlin festival last Sunday and brought the two most interesting cheeses. Young Buck is a one month old raw milk single-herd cow-milk blue cheese (still white) from Mike's Fancy Cheese in Northern Ireland. Tyri Tou Lakou, "Cheese of the Grave", is a sheep-milk cheese wrapped in grape must, mountain herbs, grape leaves, and then buried 3m deep for 3 months on the island of Serifos. One of the few remaining cheesemakers in this tradition was found by the purveyor, Kafenion who brought the cheese to Berlin.

• regional walnuss • regional Fenchel (because Zuni Café founder Judy Rodgers writes in her cookbook that it's the best accompaniment to cheese) • dried apfel and apfel wein from ApfelGalerie

4/ Handmade pasta with Dandelion

This is one of my comfort foods. I often make pasta alone, as I can make pasta for one or two people in the time it takes the water to boil. I love to eat bitter dandelion, which I pan roast just until I smell a slight sweet aroma. I just add a lot of salted butter to this.  This is a cultivated variety of dandelion, in the chicory family, from BioKräuterei Oberhavel.

5/Chocolate Pudding Cake

De-veganized recipe. with George's coffee-mascarpone sauce. Quai Sud Cocoa, from Schokoladerie Estrellas. Coffee from Röststätte.