Sunday, January 27, 2013

Living Kitchen 2013 - Cologne Trade Fair (Part I)

Last week I went to a Trade Fair called Living Kitchen 2013 in Cologne (Köln), Germany. Always love to find a reason to go and pay a visit to my hometown...It was the second time this Trade Fair took place and my second time there so I knew that I had to take a few pictures while visiting. 

This is Alfons Schuhbeck, the most famous of all German cooks. He not only makes regular appearances on television, has published about twenty stunning cookbooks (I own a few of them) such as "My Bavarian Cookbook" (translated into English in 2007) but he also owns restaurants, bistros, an ice cream parlor and spice store in Munich (München)....

...but is also one of the most talented cooking instructors that I have ever met.

He is a firm believer in the health benefits of using high-quality oils in cooking. As you can see he also sells his own line of oils including Greek olive oil, argan oil and oils high in omega 3-6-9 fatty acids.

He is well known for using lots of fresh herbs and spices such caraway seeds, vanilla beans, cinnamon sticks, argan nuts...

...and also cardamom, cumin, black cumin and fenugreek.

Alfons Schuhbeck has created an extensive line of herbs, spices and herb mixes. His favorite spice is vanilla and he loves using vanilla beans in conjunction with fresh ginger.

At the Trade Fair he and his sous chefs cooked up a storm. We got to taste Pasta Aglio e Olio with the addition of fresh cherry tomatoes, sliced garlic, broth, cheese, lots of fresh chopped parsley and some spices.

There was also Spicy Chicken (using one of his spice mixes), cubes of tender spicy chicken breast.

The breakfast treat was soft Quark (fresh farmers cheese) with Müsli ("muesli"), berries and a few drops of best quality linseed oil.

And there was a very colorful Fruit Salad that consisted of chunks of freshly cut seasonal fruits with cold pressed Greek olive oil and freshly ground black pepper. I had never tasted a fruit salad with pepper before - what a taste experience.

One of the see-through walls was graced with a huge picture of these determined looking young chefs.

There were a lot of  vases and pieces of art for the kitchen with a pearlescent finish...

...and huge bowls and trays in all kinds of modern shapes and sizes.

I loved this "wall" from "Schüller Küchen" ("Schüller kitchens")  which was entirely made of wooden pallets.

This nice vintage scale from a fruit monger and crates of apples caught my attention...

...and I admired these glass domes and étagères...

....and vintage-look potato sacks with the lovely imprint "Gott segne Ackerbau und Viehzucht" ("God bless farming and cattle raising").

Pretty bags of artisanal flour, this being "Weizenmehl" (wheat flour)  and tons of cake stands and cake pans (springform pans, gugelhupf pans) in different materials...

...and more artisanal flour, this being "Dunstmehl" (very fine flour).

I spent quite some time at the kitchends of "Neff", absolutely enjoyed the cooking demonstartions by well-known cooks, cookbook authors and cooking instructors Christina Richon and Frodo Schäfer...look at these "free induction" stoves they were using.

Frodo Schäfer prepared delicious bite-sized Carrot Pancakes with a topping of crème fraîche, smoked salmon and a drop of local beetroot molasses...

...and Christina Richon made Pizza Bianca with thinly sliced potatoes, rosemary, crème fraîche and a bit of a delicately herb-infused (rosemary and thyme) blueberry syrup.

We also got to taste a very tender and moist Apple Cake with almonds, cinnamon, freshly ground nutmeg and delectable whole pink peppercorns.

Since I liked the food so much, I prepared two of the recipes today and will post them tomorrow. My taste testers agreed with me that both dishes tasted absolutely wonderful. Thanks to the wonderful people at "Neff" who posted the recipes on the company´s website right after the Trade Fair!

There were pots with fresh herbs (rosemary, different types of thyme and lavender) absolutely everywhere - they really looked wonderful in these huge planters next to the "Neff" stoves.

There were big white porcelain bowls filled with lots of spices....

...used in Christina Richons recipes...

...such as these fragrant cinnamon sticks...

...and these colorful bright pink peppercorns.

There is a saying in German "Der Himmel hängt voller Geigen" meaning that "someone sees the world through rose-colored glasses" but if you translated this German saying literally, you would say "the skies are filled with violins"  so, this display could be a little play on "the skies are filled with pots and pans"...

...the so-called "long pepper" (long pepper has a similar, but hotter, taste to its close relative the black  pepper) and whole nutmeg.

Jams, jellies, salts, breads, sandwiches, coffee beans, coffees and teas and many more things from "aran" a Munich (Münich) based company.

A "volcano/gas wok burner"...

...and a "still life" with kohlrabi,a loaf of bread and a bottle of white wine vinegar.

Love those "Nolte Küchen" ("Nolte kitchens") from the City of Löhne...

...huge modern porcelain vases in black and white on display in a kitchen with the predominant colors of black, grey and white...

...and a silver work of art hanging on one of the walls in one of the many kitchens...

...and more modern porcelain vases in white...

...and black glass vases on display on a black kitchen counter and filled with long stemmed dried black plants.

A very interesting white see-through wall for the "Nolte" coffee shop (time to catch one´s breath for a little while). The coffee shop was decorated in the colors of the company, namely bright yellow and white.

There were more huge white bowls with dried white plants that looked like a piece of art...

...and huge white vases filled with dried white twigs...

What a wonderful kitchen with hanging lamps that look like they have crocheted white lamp shades...

...and another terrific design kitchen with more large white vases, serving platters and dried plants.

"Huge" seems to have been the "word of the day" for this Trade Fair, even these humongous knife, fork and spoon were on display in one of the kitchens...

...and this rather large "ball" of red wool, what a true eye-catcher.

More colorful orange-white bowls.

And well known chef, cookbook author and cooking school owner Carsten Dohrs gave a cooking demonstration and explained the different salts that he uses for his dishes. I got to taste some of his Asian stir-fry with chicken, noodles, and a red curry and coconut sauce.

Look at these wooden, hand-crafted barrels.

This was, by far, my very favorite catalogue from the Trade Fair, it is by "next 125", a German kitchen manufacturer from Franconia. I really like their vintage pictures.

Tomorrow, I will post two recipes from the dishes that I tasted at this Trade Fair in Cologne. Wonderful and really interesting flavors...


  1. Hi Andrea! This was a really fun post! I wasn't familiar with the most famous chef in Germany and it was interesting to read about him. And I love watching cooking demos too. I cook everyday but I won't be as fast and tedious as those's fun to watch. Lots of cool interiors and decorations too. Oh I love the pots and pans from the ceiling too!

    1. Nami, I so love going to these events but they do not take place all too often - th eonly reason why I got "so close" to the action this time was the horrid weather outside which obviously kept a lot of people from attending all the cooking events - usually there is no way to even get a taste of one dish, let alone more than one or to get as close "to the action" as I got to take decent pictures.

  2. Oh Andrea, This looks like so much fun…such a great day! Love the photos…it makes me feel like I’m along for the fun! My favorite is the pots and pans hanging from the light fixture…very clever!

    1. Kathy, thank you - it is always tremendous fun to attend these Trade Fairs with the added bonus of many cooking demonstrations. I really enjoyed my "day off".

  3. Oh what I would have given to be at your side. What a great opportunity to attend the trade your family in the business? Schuhbeck's restaurants and spice shops are amazing. When we were at the spice shop this past fall, it was packed with people. I have a Schmorbraten-Gewurz spice package that was a gift after we had lunch at his restaurant in Munich. Karen

    1. Karen, would have loved to have you come along with me! And no, my family is not in the business - lawyers and teachers only.

  4. Thank you for sharing your visit with us. I felt like I was there. Well, actually, I wished that I was there. Looks like a fun-filled day. I think my favorite thing was the modern vases from the Nolte Kuchens. I thought they were cardboard cut-outs, so I'm glad you said they were porcelain. Now I know they are useful, not just pretty.

    1. Betsy, that effect was totally intended - when I walked past these vases at first, I thought the same, "cardboard cut-outs" in a kitchen...but, in fact, they are made of porcelain, intriguing to say the least.