The Berlin Scene

Some stats, shows and hot spots around town.

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WWD Berlin Preview issue 01/08/2014

Some stats, shows and hot spots around town.

: Boomtown Berlin is experiencing a gastronomical upsurge, evidenced not only by a constant flurry of restaurant openings and a growing number of Michelin stars in the capital city, but also an increased interest in the food itself, whether prepared in a restaurant or a home kitchen. Taking things one step further, however, is the Contemporary Food Lab. This new multi- and interdisciplinary forum involves a think tank network of artists, architects, agricultural scientists, biochemists, neuroscientists, nutritional consultants, people from the culinary scene, publishers, writers, collectors, management consultants, engineers, interior designers — all interested in the relationship between nature and culture, and the role food plays in this context.

Initiated last fall by Ludwig Cramer-Klett, the economics, psychology and finance-educated owner of Berlin restaurant Katz Orange, the Contemporary Food Lab is developing a program of exhibits, workshops, performances, readings, screenings and an online journal, as well as a printed quarterly catering to both specialists and the public. The lab currently has an event and workshop space in the former Josti Brewery where Katz Orange is also located, and Cramer-Klett said a second space is in the works for a “big living room/kitchen/event room” setup.

Contemporary Food Lab’s debut exhibit was artist Thomas Rentmeister’s latest food-oriented installation, a wall constructed of packages of Germany’s favorite Prinzenrolle cookies. The wall, in true Berlin fashion, then came down, its sandwich cookie contents fashioned into igloos using melted chocolate as mortar. These were then broken into pieces for the attending children and adults to take away and eat.

Regardless of whether the focus of CFL’s workshops, events and brainstorming sessions is scientific, agricultural, political, social, culinary or industrial in nature, “food is the method, more than the content, of the Food Lab,” Cramer-Klett commented. “Everything we do integrates cooking. For I believe, at the end of the day, the only way to come to terms is to integrate the heart and body with intellectual aspects. And that means putting food in the center of our name and project. The term “symposium,” he pointed out, “means eating and drinking together. The philosophizing was a side effect.”


Contemporary Food Lab
22 Bergstrasse 10115 Mitte
Tel.:. +49-309-8320-8432

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