My Berlin

Where Berlin - - ESSENTIALS -

Be­fore open­ing your restau­rant, you were orig­i­nally an artist. How did the tran­si­tion from art to gas­tron­omy come about?

I had de­vel­oped an in­ter­est in cook­ing over many years. I was sim­ply fas­ci­nated by good food and the process of how it is made, and I taught my­self var­i­ous culi­nary skills along the way. Be­cause I come from a fam­ily of hote­liers, mak­ing the tran­si­tion into gas­tron­omy was not a far-fetched step.

One of the most strik­ing char­ac­ter­is­tics of your restau­rant is the his­tor­i­cal space and its many fine fea­tures. How did you find the space, and did its fea­tures in­flu­ence your restau­rant con­cept?

I knew the restau­rants that had been at this lo­ca­tion be­fore and heard that the space would be be­com­ing free. The prag­matic de­ci­sion to move into this lo­ca­tion had a strong in­flu­ence on my de­sign choices for the restau­rant, though not on the culi­nary con­cept it­self.

An­other dis­tinc­tive fea­ture at Richard is the mod­ern art that dec­o­rates the space. Did you choose these pieces with a par­tic­u­lar style or feel in mind?

I did source some of the pieces my­self, while oth­ers are loans, in which case there was less flex­i­bil­ity to choose. My aim was not to con­vey one par­tic­u­lar style con­cept, but rather to cre­ate a beau­ti­ful am­biance us­ing pic­tures that I per­son­ally like.

Given the im­por­tance of art in your life, what are your fa­vorite places in Berlin for art?

My per­sonal fa­vorite is the room of Cas­par David Friedrich paint­ings on the top level of the Alte Na­tion­al­ga­lerie (Bode­str. 1, www.smb. mu­seum).

Which neigh­bor­hood do you live in, and what makes you feel at home there?

I live on the Kreuzberg side of Friedrich­straße. I like the anonymity of the area, and how it feels like it is not quite a neigh­bor­hood at all.

Richard is also lo­cated in Kreuzberg, a neigh­bor­hood that has not tra­di­tion­ally been known as a gourmet des­ti­na­tion, though this has changed quite a bit in re­cent years. Are there any restau­rants in the neigh­bor­hood that you par­tic­u­larly like?

My fa­vorite place to go eat is Lode & Stijn (Lausitzer Str. 25, www.lode-stijn. de). This place gets my whole­hearted rec­om­men­da­tion.

Imag­ine it’s a beau­ti­ful day and you’re free to spend it how­ever you choose. What would your per­fect Berlin day look like?

I would spend a won­der­ful day at Gleis­dreieck Park with my young daugh­ter. We’d pack up our things, get an ice cream along the way, and spend the whole day play­ing and re­lax­ing in the park. My phone would stay at home, of course.

Clock­wise from top left: The Cas­par David Friedrich room at the Alte Na­tion­al­ga­lerie; pretty ta­ble set­ting at Richard; the in­te­rior of Richard; In­set: an oc­to­pus dish at Richard; Gleis­dreieck Park.

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