Brünch Heroine Indulges The Brunch Aficionados Everywhere
Brünch- Noemi Dulischewski
The brunch aficionados are all among us. You never know where they may be. They can be your sisters, your brothers, your friends, your mother in laws, even your cousins. And you all know damn well what they do on Sundays. They brunch. They brunch for hours and hours on end! And goddamnit if Mr. Eatler isn’t a fan! Lets face it, we all love those long nostalgic carefree brunch marathons, sociopaths aside. And the props need to go out to a very special person, the host. One of these hosts is Noemi Dulischewski, one of the brightest stars of the brunching firmament who produces one of the fastest rising brunch pop ups in town, aptly named: Brünch.
For the last few years Brünch pop up had been serving the Berlin style brunches to London based Berlin expats. Noemi, who was living in London at the time had long been missing that particular style of Berlin brunching, and she decided to do something about it. She set up the Brünch Pop Up in London to great acclaim, and over the last few months has decided to bring it back to Berlin. Like every brunch, Mr. Eatler just had to dig in for some more. And so Noemi was gracious enough to answer some of Mr. Eatler’s annoying inquiries into the Brünching life. Here :
Can you tell us a bit about your journey through Brünch?
I’d love to, thank you. So I started brünch about four years ago when I was still living in London. I had just parted ways with my partner of six years and saw this as the perfect time to also quit my five year corporate career in the City of London. I needed a break from everything and re-assess. Re-assess my priorities, what is important to me, what is it actually that I want etc. I had all these ideas and did not want to wake up one day not having tried. I had saved up a good amount of cash over the years and finally launched brünch in February 2015. I was super excited but it was incredibly daunting at the same time. I had nothing to lose though. A new chapter, a new adventure was ahead!
Wow, leaving the corporate life, scary! Any regrets?
I never looked back since. The past four years have been an incredible journey – I learned so much, mainly what it means to be out of my comfort zone. A sense of excitement to explore the unknown day in day out mixed with a feeling of ‘What the hell am I doing?!’ There are definitely days where I question all of it and want to throw in the towel. But luckily these days are outweighed massively by milestones I am really proud of.
What was doing Brünch like in London? And what brought you back to Berlin?
I hosted about 30 popups all across London, built a festival stall in my back garden (big massive thanks to my housemates who put up with me!) and had an amazing season of touring some of the best foodie festivals in the UK. I got back exhausted but still feeling the buzz of what was an incredible summer. Shortly after I was offered the opportunity to open my first Berlin brunch cafe in London Fields in 2017. That was a different ball game and too good to turn down. So I said yes! I raised the needed cash through a successful kickstarter campaign, turned around the existing operation that was there and opened London’s first Berlin brünch cafe. I would lie if I said it was a smooth ride. It was a lot of hard work and I had no life during that time. I am grateful for all the support I got from customers, friends and family and my team but after 14 years away from home, nine years in London, three years of brünch, seven months of brünch as a cafe in London Fields it was time to see how green the grass is on the other side – Berlin was calling. A new chapter, a new adventure was ahead!
Where do you see the current Berlin food scene in the global context?
Oha – Global! Well, whilst the Berlin food scene is growing and becoming increasingly vibrant, it is still very much at its infancy. It is a playground for new ideas, concepts and enthusiasm to try things out, an exciting testbed for talented chefs and aspiring restauranteurs from all over the world to make their mark. In my opinion Berlin stands out due to its diversity and individuality but still lacks the attention to detail, quality and commitment as a whole to make a real long-term impact and stand out in the global context. But this means there is still so much potential still and I am super excited about what’s ahead!
What food trend has to change in Berlin right now?
Trends – ‘good’ or ‘bad’ mean there is movement and interest in exploring the new. So I don’t think any trends have to change right now but it is obvious that prices are increasing left right and centre while quality remains more often than less the same. But there are always going to be black sheep in the crowd that take advantage of trends without making real effort. From experience, those won’t last long though unless there is nothing better out there which luckily is not the case in Berlin. Today’s foodie is becoming more and more conscious and savvy about what they eat, where they eat, where the food comes from and how they are being made to feel (ie service). Todays customer who is willing to spend the extra money is looking for more than just a full belly. They are looking for an experience and even a personal connection with those behind the brand and business. If they don’t see value matching the price, they will stay away very quickly.
If you could have any restaurants in the world appear in Berlin right now what would they be?
They’d be a PopUp. I would love to see some of my favourite restaurants or restaurateurs that I met and discovered over my years abroad to come over, run a residency or popup and spark inspiration within local and aspiring restauranteurs in Berlin. Sometimes we get so consumed by working in our businesses that we totally forget to work on our business. We are too busy to step away and get inspired again. Sometimes we need people from ‘the outside’ to bring that spark back and fall in love again with what we set out to do in the first place. I had the chance to meet Matt Orlando not too long ago here in Berlin and I heard him talk about his restaurant Amass in Copenhagen and all his plans and ideas and projects. Why and what he is working towards, his motivation and milestones. I could see everyone in the room (including myself!) absorbing every word he said – people like him inspire us to make a real impact in the communities we live and work in. So let’s get them over and share their stories with us! 🙂
What’s the nastiest food you love to eat that no one understands?
Well I grew up with Hackepeter on half of a Schrippe which is essentially minced raw pork seasoned with salt, pepper and topped with raw onions on a bun. That definitely causes many flustered faces again and again outside of Germany 😉
Why do you think so many foreign restaurateurs coming to Berlin?
Rents and cost of living are still relatively low compared to other European/International capital cities, which provides opportunity to explore and experiment with new ideas and concepts. Foreign restauranteurs see this potential and opportunity whilst many locals (unless they spent considerable time abroad to experience it themselves) don’t anymore. The amount of Berliners running innovative restaurants and food concepts in the city are far in between. Hospitality in Berlin, and the whole of Germany is not a thing. Finding committed and skilled German hospitality staff appears tough. It is not considered a ‘real’ career, it is not paid very well and it can be very hierarchal. 14 years ago I left Berlin to study hotel/hospitality management in The Hague. Berlin was not the place that inspired me gastronomically. I needed to leave in order to learn how it can be done, how it is done in other cities around the world. Those coming from the UK, the US, Australia and New Zealand for example know that it is not only the food people come for. They understand the importance of good service, attention to detail and creating an experience that people are coming back for. I’d say many passionate restaurateurs/chefs are coming from abroad for the lifestyle and potential Berlin offers them to make their mark. They are here because they want to, not because they feel they have to. Makes a difference 🙂
Can we expect a Brünch restaurant anytime soon?
Hehe never say never but I am really happy where I am right now and it never gets boring. I challenge myself and learn new things daily. I am working on a new F&B concept as we speak which would definitely find itself in permanent locations. But with brünch I really want to keep it as my passion project, explore new locations off the beaten track, work with different Berlin brands and collaborate, create experiences and take my guests on a little journey. PopUps are perfect for that.
Anything else you want to share?
Thank you for your warm welcome – you know who you are! This is only the beginning 🙂 xx
Thanks for indulging Mr. Eatler! Over the last few months Brünch has had a few successful showings and is now prepping their newest sold out event coming up this weekend in Friedrichshain with Michelberger Booze providing the adult libations. On the docket is a Selection of locally sourced cold meats and cheeses, Smoked Mackerel Pâté, Topless Eggs with Remoulade, Homemade Jams, Nut Butters & Nutella and very importantly, Noemi’s signature Brünch Buckwheat Waffles with Rote Grütze.