Update While Culinary Misfits are continuing their battle against food waste, they had to stop operating this café.
Did you know, that a third of each harvest is rejected because the crop doesn’t match produce-beauty-standards!? Double-legged carrots, giant zucchinis or bulbous potatoes never reach the supermarkets just because of their looks. The Berlin initiative Culinary Misfits works against produce-lookism, by providing a usage for those veggie-freaks. While they mostly worked in catering and events since their founding in 2012, this July finally marked the start of their own café: Culinary Misfits in Kreuzberg is now open!
And what a beautiful space they created – founders Tanja Krakowski and Lea Brumsack never stopped at the produce they used, but wanted their whole concept to be sustainable and their new café reflects that urge. The very rural yet cosy interior decorated with misfits and flowers has been assembled on flea markets, and while this ill-fitting ragtag-style is getting on my nerves when done in another Neukölln coffee and quiche place, at Culinary Misfits it just makes so much sense (and is done with a lot more sense for aesthetics, well, both founders have been designers in their pre-culinary lifes).
We sat down at a table by the window, only to stand up again and snap important instagrams and order at the bar. We went for a combo of everything (their menu is still rather small), a lunch plate with carrot hummus, pickled vegetables, Sironi bread and a couscous broccoli salad with tahini dressing. The broccoli already ran to seed, which means it would be considered inedible by many vendors and thus thrown into the trash. But it’s actually perfectly fine and a shame to let it go to waste. It’s not only personal resentments that lead us to reject larger than usual broccoli or flowering chives, there are a plethora of Handelsklassenverordnungen, regulations, that, erm, regulate how a carrot has to look so it can be sold.
How weird, we thought while washing down our Brotzeit with a SpeiseGut juice and watching people pass by on the street outside. Culinary Misfit works with local farmers, Brodowin, Apfelschätze and many other sustainable initiatives, creating a network of interesting and courageous food projects.
Sadly, it was too hot to try one of their many sweet treats like cheese or carrot cake. In case you make it there, let us know how you liked it!