Wanderlust Kitchen: A Culinary Dialogue and German Cultural Immersion

December 02, 2018 0 Comments A+ a-


Nothing connects people of different backgrounds as much as an enjoyable meal together. With that in mind, the Goethe-Instituts, a German cultural association with institutes across the world, decided to bring nations together through an inaugral culinary project "Wanderlust Kitchen: A Culinary Dialogue".

Background


This project brings together a chef from Germany and the respective partner country to create a German-based fusion menu for local guests in that partner country.

This November 2018 saw the Goethe-Instituts from Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Manila, Sydney, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Singapore and Wellington join forces together, and we were humbled to be invited to the Singapore leg of this culinary tour with Chefs Helge Hagemann of the "die WerteK√∂che Hamburg" restaurant in Germany and Max Strauch of  "The Lokal" restaurant in Singapore - and German Ambassador Dr Ulrich A. Sante.

 

Singapore Leg of the Culinary Project

Conducted at the Bosch Experience Centre, the hands-on cooking class saw the charismatic Chef Helge taking centrestage in sharing the secrets of German ingredients and cuisine. 

Over a high-energy 3-hour session, Chefs Helge and Max guided us through a 3-course cooking class - along with some German wine and beer. One of the notable ingredients we learnt about was the Jerulsam artichoke, an ingredient seldom found in this part of the world, and how this tuber could be used to create German dishes. Importantly, Chef Helge also took us on a cultural immersion about his home and traditions in Hamburg.

Dishes Created

Three dishes were created during the session, and below were some shots from the evening.

1) Appetiser: Jerulsalem Artichoke with Peas



2) Main course: Ocean Trout Confit with Potatoes




3) Dessert: German Honey Bread (Cookie) with Vanilla Parfait

 

Conclusion

Indeed, food brings different cultures together. As much as Chef Helge wished he could see more of Singapore (than what he could in the 5 days in this city), the session opened my worldview of Germany and what German cuisine is - way more than my myopic impression of mere pork knuckles, sausages and beer.

Our previous visit of just 3 days near the Rhine Valley (as part of a multi-city Europe tour package) was just way too short. With our newfound interest in the country, we certainly hope to visit this beautiful place again soon!

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