The prospect of an evening in Hamburg couldn’t be much better: a table for two, four courses are promised, plus reading.
Not just anything, but four selected short stories from Stevan Paul‘s just-published new book, Schlaraffenland, which also set the scene for the evening’s menu.
And so we allow ourselves to be pampered, listen, taste and feel whisked away on excursions to top gastronomy, faraway beaches and bourgeois kitchens. Each short story is followed by a dish based on the corresponding recipe:
Fried scallops, with ginger cucumber, wasabi foam
and roasted nori algae
Fillet of rockfish with calamari, chickpeas, tomatoes,
and herbs that are just there
Ox cheek braised in red wine on saffron risotto with navettes
Semolina mousse with honey plums
Essentially, we make two discoveries: It is a great pleasure to follow Stevan as he reads his stories, to feel how he breathes life into the characters and how the arc of tension between omnipresent drama, a good pinch of humor and, of course, the ever-present culinary arts is struck again and again.
In addition, the newly gained knowledge that you can dine at Oliver Trific not only excellent, but also very pretty. A wonderful, small and very tasteful restaurant with a clear focus on unpretentious local cuisine and fabulous wines (including vins naturels). So we also tasted the Cuvée from Rheinhessen, already highly praised by Mrs. Gröner.
However, there is another discovery to be made in the coming days. I am very much looking forward to reading the other stories and recipes from the
, a book about the comforting effects of warm rice pudding, the art of cooking a lentil dish, and the vagaries of love.