Maybe it’s the San Francisco entrepreneurial spirit in me, but I love discovering innovative projects, no matter the industry. My Berlin host suggested we cook dinner one night, and told me about a place called the Koch Haus, where people can come in, choose a menu they would like to prepare, and buy exactly what they need for those dishes for exactly the number of people they need (well, they can choose between 2, 4, or 6 people). It’s like curated grocery shopping—semi-DIY, half-homemade, if you will. I can see how this concept could appeal to single folks who don’t want leftovers and people who don’t have the time or energy to plan meals on their own, but who still want to take ownership of the kitchen and cook some special meals for themselves. I think it’s this emotional satisfaction and feeling of ownership that drives Koch Haus’s success. Apparently, it’s doing quite well in Berlin and other German cities.
You can also stock up on spices, salts, and kitchen supplies while you’re at it. Nifty nifty! We stepped inside and took a brief tour to examine our options. Appetizers that day included fennel salad with dates, grapefruit, and halloumi cheese; a gratin with honey and goat cheese rhubarb confit; and cream of asparagus soup with baby chard and roasted asparagus in pancetta. Main meals included choices such as: ginger duck with rice noodles and peanut-apricot chutney; sage and rosemary-crusted pork with strawberry salsa and rocket salad; and roasted salmon filet on kohlrabi with cherry tomatoes and chive beurre blanc. There were also quite a few dessert options. We settled on savory galettes with walnut, cheese, and mushroom stuffing on a bed of spinach. The recipe card prescribed 15 button mushrooms, two shallots, 50g of taleggio (which we later supplemented with my Gruyère stash), etc. . . . just enough for two servings.
We grabbed the recommended bottle of wine, some ice cream, and voilà. Shopping complete, it was time to hit the kitchen. The recipe card was easy enough to follow, although I don’t think it was an easy recipe—if we had never made a roux before, or French galettes, we might have had a hard time. Luckily, it worked out! And I would even say the meal was a success. After an hour in the kitchen, my friend and I were treated to a delicious dinner, complete with great wine and good company.
Will we see something like this pop up in San Francisco or other American cities? Has it already happened?