In a la Munde, Pasta Cooking School, Kreuzberg

Here’s how I thought In a la Munde worked, you get a pasta making demonstration, have a go at getting flour under your nails yourself, before sitting down for dinner that someone has cooked for you.

Here’s how it actually works: 3 groups are made, one each for the appetizer, main course and dessert, all of them with pasta.  Each group is then given a clipboard with a recipe, is introduced to their workbench, ingredients and get cooking. Uli (pronounced Ooolleeee) trundles about in her red wooden clogs and generously doles out encouraging words and noises.

Initially I succumbed to a bout of awkwardness, as I stood shoulder to shoulder with my pasta partner, Yasmine, going over the recipe.  It felt a bit like when my yoga teacher unexpectedly announces it’s time to practice hand stands with a buddy and you dart furtive glances to the people on your right and the left, trying to ‘blink‘ the right decision.  

Lucky for me, Yasmine turned out to be entirely normal.  Even better she gives Persian cooking classes at Goldhahn & Sampson.  And she will cook a Persian dinner for you at her home, for 2-8 people, €49 a head (let me tell you, I can not wait to organize an evening for my girlfriends there!).  Any shyness I might have felt quickly dissipated when it dawned on me around 9pm that if we didn’t get the food made, we weren’t going to eat!

The prospect of going hungry, bonded us somewhat and catapulted us into familiarity.  We worked well together but faced with recipes we had seen for the first time, an unfamiliar kitchen and of course the challenge of making pasta (which actually, turned out not to be that challenging after all) it took until 10:30 to sit down to our first course of ravioli with brown butter and sage.  We inhaled the dish and showered the two girls who had made them with compliments.  I think that even if I had not been ravenous, I would have found that ravioli delicious.

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Marheineke, Market Hall, Kreuzberg

I walked down Mittenwalder Str, wondering if this street really led to the market hall?  It all seemed too residential; a fat cat in a window here an old woman smoking a cigarette there…and then I walked into the bright square, glaring sunshine bouncing up off the cobblestones, a cacophony of  squealing
children, water falling from a great height and general buzz of people soaking up the early summer.

How come no one ever talks about this place?  It’s cute as a button! All urban planned with trees offering shade, fountains and a playground for the children.

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