The company “Holycrab” brings invasive delicacies to the menu
Berlin is a city of culinary adventures, inspired from all over the world. The culinary focus is shifting more and more to regional products and other aspects of sustainability, especially in upscale and fine dining gastronomy.
More and more chef de cuisines are thinking about how they can avoid waste and improve their ecological balance – modern cooking techniques such as sous vide cooking with an avalanche of plastic bags are in need of explanation, ingredients from other far away continents are generally considered to be questionable, even if they are not always have to be a bad solution. Many, especially young chefs, see their work as part of an overall ethical concept that leads them to vegetarian and vegan dishes, and which also focuses on the employment of refugees.
The result of such considerations is not always convincing everyone, because especially in winter the Berlin-Brandenburg region is known to give little for spoiled eater. The price award for culinary innovation endowed with 5000 euros, which Gasag has donated for the first time this year, moves in this area of tension: innovations should be state of the art, borne by the current environmental and climate debate, but also offer flavor qualities that are not without lets say deprivation.
Admittedly the selection from which the jury had to choose their winner was large, especially since it was by no means only about chefs and restaurants, but rather about the entire spectrum of projects and ideas around this food theme.
A big topic is the cultivation of herbs and vegetables that are not native to the region and therefore grow in eco-optimized greenhouses, which is now possible in principle in every restaurant or supermarket – recently also with more space according to the aquaponics concept with fish farming in a circulatory system.
“Zero waste” is the key word for complete waste prevention, including modern composting equipment, which is also hotly debated in Berlin.
In the end, the jury found the idea to systematically put rather annoying residents of the city on the menu as a particularly exemplary example: “Holycrab” processes the mass of crustaceans that have appeared in large quantities into tasty dishes that are marketed primarily by food trucks.
More is conceivable: are the nutrias from Brandenburg waters accepted by hungry guests?
What do the Egyptian Geese taste like, which are a nuisance in Frankfurt. And which imported plants have culinary potential?
Finally the jury supports this really sustainable idea with its prize for “Holycrab”.
The article was contributed by Bernd Matthies & Jens Hoffmann
Photo: Culinary Newcomer Holycrab! – Rainer Knauber (Gasag), Lukas Bosch, Andreas Michelus (Holycrab), Bernhard Moser (eat!berlin)