There are these kinds of traditions you become fond of and which you remember with a joyful sigh. It’s just like this with our event we organize with Manufactum* and which took place for the third time this year. For this occasion, we invited our guests on this foggy, crispy Saturday into an especially beautiful factory floor in Berlin-Kreuzberg, the Friends Space, to herald the time before Christmas with a festive lunch.

As a greeting, we reached a golden almond milk with turmeric and ginger, cinnamon and a organic Chai Massala Syrup to our guests, which all came directly out of the cold. Considering the temperatures outside, this was just the thing to boost your immune system!

In contrast to the events the last two years when we cooked the whole menu with our guests, the preparing of the food was completely on us. Keeping the upcoming advent in mind, we wanted to create two lasting, culinary delicacies with our guests: apple chutney and a wonderful dukkah blend as presents. Both of the creations were later also used for the menu

We filled the apple chutney made of apples, onions, white wine, cider vinegar and raw cane sugar into sterilised canning jars. Thus, the apple chutney is good for a few months and may bring joy beneath the Christmas tree. Also the dukkah blend is suitable as a present. Here, the careful roasting of all ingredients is the crucial part, which spreads a superb scent in the kitchen.

There is one thing we especially enjoy on those days: to observe which guest takes which part while cooking and how different the methods are. That is truly exciting! There are those who unceremoniously take command and keep an eye on the recipes and everything will be ready in the given time frame. Then there are those who change the single tasks into little challenges: who chops the nuts faster? Who peels the longest apple skin from the apple? Others are so deeply caught in conversation, that a pot boils over or the pan starts smoking… Everyone brings his own quirks – but still, or maybe even because of that an inspiring group dynamic evolves which leads to great results.

Beside the joy of cooking, our guests are united in their sense for aesthetics. They zestfully appreciated not only the gorgeous ingredients supplied by Manufactum (like the delicious Piemont Hazelnuts and the great olive oil from Tuscany), but also the cooking utensils. Those were functional, and nice to look at, too. Manufactum had even more for us, so we really had our fling while decorating: with a selection of linen cloths and napkins, fine porcelain, matt cutlery, countless tea candles, and charming apothecary bottles, we could transform the simple wooden tables into a long, festive table.

After preparing, or better: cooking the culinary presents, we had to take care of their appearance, since “Give&Enjoy” was the event’s motto. Even if we are not too crazy about Christmas, we love to surprise friends and family. If this surprise is also beautiful to look at, you double the joy. Along these lines our guests could give their creativity full scope with different papers, ribbons and yarns, dried flowers, stamps, and lovingly wrap their presents.

Meanwhile, a bubbling and sizzling started in the background, so we could end the afternoon with a mutual, delicious meal.

We asked Benjamin Donath for support with the menu. We started with roasted sourdough bread from the brot&butter bakery, which we topped with baked pumpkin, apple chutney, smoky cashew cream and fried sage. As main course, we had hummus with cauliflower, crispy chickpeas, dukkah and parsley oil. We reached an autumn salad of roasted fennel, apple slices and radicchio along with it. The menu was rounded off with a dessert, which contributed its own part to the topic of tradition: at all our Manufactum events, we used the great professional ice cream maker. With said wonder of a machine, we created delicious ice cream in no time: a creamy chocolate sorbet, conjured of the aromatic Bonnat couverture chocolate, accompanied by a wonderful ensemble of elderberry-pear and speculoos.

Apropos wonderful ensemble: it is wonderful to be able to set up such events! We gather so many interesting and warm people who realise our recipes with lots of love and care. A big thanks to you, you valued guests from far and wide, and of course to Manufactum for their trust to realise this event with us. On that note: to the traditions, the good ones!

A few weeks ago we had one of these moments that simply feels like a dream. Unreal, crazy, incredible. 

We had a mail from Adobe in our inbox. Nothing unusual so far, we’ve been working with Lightroom and Photoshop for years now, and we receive the newsletter regularly. This time, it was more than that. We already knew their new format „Your shot. Your story.“ by Adobe. Photographers from all over the world, specialized in different fields of photography, and their work are presented. For food photography, Adobe came across us. Even if the first mail from California was exciting enough, we thought they asked hundreds of photographers more. After a video call it became clear that they did not, and that they wanted specifically us for this format. The question “why” wandered in our heads. Why us? Why not one of the other great food photographers? Is a production team seriously coming from the US for us? It’s just us…

All of this gave us sleepless nights. But not too many, because it went on incredibly fast. Soon after, six strangers were standing in our apartment in Berlin.

From this moment on, we had the feeling time flies. Kristi, Kendall, Paul, Bianca, Dave and Matthew dispelled our doubts rather fast with their congenial attitude and gave us four exciting, unforgettable shooting days. You can see the final results here*! In addition to a video about us and our food photography, there are seven helpful tutorials with our editing tips for Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop. We are super excited and looking forward to your feedback.

And since we did not only were in front of the camera during these four days, but also behind, we want to show you the photo story of a beautiful evening with our friend Grit, Rica, and Christian, who came to visit us for the shoot.

The pumpkin harvest was pending, so we thought, why not prepare a delicious dinner with? We cooked the pumpkin as a whole in the fire. In addition, we had self baked sourdough bread with chanterelles, apple chutney, deep fried sage and a smokey crème fraîche. What else can you wish for?

We are into photography, because words are often hard. Impalpable thoughts, impossible to put into letters, is not quite our strength. To describe, what we experienced the last months is almost incredible, but still worth a try. 

Many of you follow our huge project, the Settler House, from the beginning. Your positive feedback motivated us and always gave us the feeling to do just the right thing. Even if we had to push boundaries several times. We faced challenges again and again. We had to learn technical skills and how to preserve old structures and how to highlight.

Every brush stroke was well thought about to not destroy what could not be retrieved. But all of this is only the foundation, the canvas.

With the many details we wanted to find, it was not always easy to realize our plans. The biggest challenge was to bring the house to live with special living objects. We love the expression object, because every piece of furniture tells its own story and has a special meaning to us.

We are absolute sticklers for details, and we often have clear ideas where the journey should lead us. It took us a lot of research to find the right things for our house. We dove into the internet for days to find for example the right light switches, bells, screws, hand formed tiles for our bathroom, or the brass plate for our toilet. But in the end, everything fit perfectly.

Julia and Vincent from J&V Finest Vintage Furniture* helped us during the search for exclusive furniture. From them we got the huge table, an old working table with a centuries old wooden beam as a top. Also, we got the chairs and stools, the  Midgard anglepoises in the kitchen, and a drawer cabinet. The beautiful Danish Morsø ovens and LBL workshop lamps we got from Christina and Knut*, the former owners of our house. The steel door handles, Knut conjured up for us from his stock of curiosities and antiquities. 

The big part of our furniture, however, was manufactured especially for us, like our whole kitchen. We wanted individual pieces of furniture, which have something lively, which have soul due to the selection of materials, the design, the placement in our house, the effect of light and shadow. Our friend Jörg Schlinke helped us with the realisation not only energetically, but also with great visions. As an artist and artisanal skilled, and especially as someone who understands very well what we wish for and what fits our house, he was the right person for our project. Like us, he loves material with traces of usage, on which time left its marks. Wood, withers by wind and sun, steel with painted like patterns. From these materials, furniture should be crafted, and we are incredible grateful that Jörg gave up some of his treasures or found others for us. Be it centuries old floorboads or oak beams and steel profiles, which he stored outside for some years.

Couch, bench, cupboard, bed. Such mundane terms do not grasp what these objects mean to us. When the lights casts upon them, the shadows grow longer, they are pieces of art for us. We designed the living rooms minimalistic and clean on purpose. This way, the furniture are showed off best. With soft, natural colours, linen and especially empty spaces. Everything in our house is about textures, surfaces and structures. The lime paints by Bauwerk Colour* are the ideal foundation to bring walls to life by not covering evenly, but keep existing structures. The linen by KnockKnockLinen* fit in perfectly with the beautiful colours and details of the interior, as curtains, as bedclothes, as napkin.

Apart from changeable things, the things which have always been there have the greatest impact on the house. The Light. Every room changes its mood and atmosphere multiple times during the day. When the first sun beams fall into the room in the morning and the branches cause beautiful moving pictures, when the warm sun light moves over the walls in the evening. With the change of seasons the light, the sun, changes too, thus also changing the moving pictures and presenting the rooms always in a new way. It is wonderful to experience this every day. It is a house which inspires us permanently. Which is a cosy place to live and also serves us as some sort of living studio.

We showed you a detailed insight into our kitchen in another article. Who missed it can read the blog post about our kitchen here.

Looking at these photos makes us so happy because we recognise ourselves in every detail. We are pretty proud what we made out of our house, our garden and the greenhouse. But no time for rest. We already have plans how to proceed the next years with our house and garden.

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