Photo by Maria Runarsdottir
Dennis Dührkoop cooks vegan/vegetarian/ayurvedic "soul food" for lunch at Schöneberg deli Dabbawalla. Originally from Heidelberg, he was inspired by his grandmother and the Indian ayurveda principle to create dishes like his coconut-vegetable bowl, leek cream soup, vegan pesto, chutneys and more, sans milk and with a focus on balance and bodily well-being.
The food trend you hate the most?
I find almost all food trends interesting; they come and go but leave different perspectives which can sometimes inspire. My vegan dessert "Chia Dream" was created like that – and people love it.
The best-selling item at your restaurant?
Our main dish, the 'Thali' with its freshly made daily changing ingredients, is the best-selling item. It's a plate with rice, dhal, vegetables, chutneys, yoghurt, salad and bread. And sweets like the ayurvedic carrot cake and the "Chia Dream" are very popular.
A cooking tip...
If you put your herbs in fat when you start cooking just for a short time, the herbs' taste unfolds and their impact on the whole dish is improved. In ayurveda you use ghee, but the vegan way is usually coconut oil.
A dining tip (other than your own restaurant)...
I like New Deli Yoga in Kreuzberg; you can taste the creativity in their freshly made dishes and the atmosphere is good, too. Good cooking is about using fresh, seasonal ingredients and a lot of herbs – “clean eating” so to speak.
The best thing about having a restaurant in Berlin?
Being your own boss, of course, and the fact that you never know what the next day brings. Owning my own place means that I don't have to make compromises. Earlier when I was working in PR and marketing, I didn't have that feeling. Now, no matter what decision I make, I know it's my responsibility – and I like that!
Lack of time for other things – but then, having the freedom of being your own boss balances everything out.
Dabbawalla, Hohenstaufenstr. 64, Schöneberg, U-Bhf Viktoria-Luise-Platz, Mon-Sat 11-18:00