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Chefx5: Billy Wagner and Micha Schäfer; Nobelhart & Schmutzig

Nobelhart & SchmutziglPhoto Credit: Marko Seifert, www.markoseifert.com

Micha and Billy run Nobelhart & Schmutzig, an upscale restaurant housed behind an unassuming glass door in Berlin’s hip area of Kreuzberg. Their philosophy is pretty simple: local. Each night the team serve a set menu with the aim of sourcing ingredients from within a 200 mile radius of the restaurant. Inside guests sit on high chairs around a large open kitchen. By using tricks of light, dark materials, furry rugs and candles the restaurant is quite an intimate and cosy space. A space around which Billy is always at the ready with wine suggestions from old world French classics to the latest in biodynamic trends from around the world. The restaurant has proven hugely popular and picked up a Michelin star in their first year of operating. Here the team answer our Chefx5 questions.

1. What are your favourite ingredients to cook with and why?

I´m very fond of herbs of all kinds. They are able to elevate a good dish to an extraordinary dish. We are working with several gardeners who grow herbs of a distinguished quality.

2. What do you cook at home?

Most importantly, I buy the same produce for at home. I then cook very similar, simple dishes. Hardly ever meat or fish. Mostly just one vegetable made in a nice way with a sauce or something. I do use a lot of lemon and soy sauce at home though.

3. What’s your favourite dish on the current menu?

I would say I love to serve our trout dish at the moment. Just raw and warm trout with some bitter salad and wheatgrass oil. I enjoy serving dishes with ingredients of extraordinary quality. It’s a good feeling. I´m currently working on a dish where I could serve the fish as a whole, that’s even more fun.

4. What do you want customers leaving your restaurant to think?

Nothing. When you leave our restaurant, I want you to think nothing. We did enough thinking for you. You are supposed to lay back and enjoy yourself. At the end of the night you´re hopefully either happy or drunk or you´re going home with someone sexy. Either way, you won´t be able to use any kind of rational thought.

You may have noticed that's only four questions, Micha and Billy don't really play by the rules. They're doing they're own thing and have created a restaurant that's unique, brave and a must-visit for anyone wanting to experience the best of modern German dining.

Nobelhart & Schmutzigl

Nobelhart & Schmutzigl

Nobelhart & Schmutzigl

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