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Creating and connecting through culinary space

Playful's Emma Maar strolled around Neukölln enjoying a späti beer with Chef Roo of the restaurant Hinterland.

By: Emma Maar

Chef Ruhi Parmar Amin (Roo). Photo: Private

In the midst of Berlin’s “Teil Lockdown”, I met with Chef Ruhi Parmar Amin (Roo). We strolled around Neukölln, enjoyed a späti beer and spoke about food, art, her part in the restaurant, Hinterland, and more. Roo has sculpted a culinary world in which one cannot help but desire to taste.

Roo’s vibe is instantly felt, her essence is charismatic, fiery, and creative. She comes from an art background, yet food and cooking have always been powerfully present. Roo’s culinary journey began in London, and has since traveled to Berlin. You will now find her in the kitchen of Hinterland, the subtle, radiating green rose of Bergmannkiez or within the intimate realms of the culinary collective Lucky You.

When we spoke of the lockdown, Roo expressed the immense love and support Hinterland has been shown. This is true for many restaurants, cafes, and bars in Berlin. We, as guests are deeply connected to the kitchens and environments, which spark inspiration, lust and delight within us.

Through reinventing themselves and their reality, we are shown that the Berlin community is brave, and eager to withstand the crashing waves of Covid-19. Hinterland is currently closed, using this time for further research and development. But make sure to bite down on the deliciousness they have to offer, once open again in the new year.

Chef Roo continued to feed me her thoughts and stories. My appetite increasing as she began to describe the food collective, Lucky You, which she has with her two friends, Chris and Evan. Lucky You hosts creative and flavorful meals, curating a space in which art, food and social connection intertwine and ferment. Roo explains,

“Lucky You is all about us sharing our love of food and connection with our guests. What started as a supper club has now shaped into a multi-faceted creative collective. We print zines and talk to our guests before each course to explain why we’re all gathered around this table and what has inspired us to make this meal for them.”

Lucky You feels like a crispy, saucy, symbiotic dish, the kind I feel Roo burns for. Unfortunately, through the lockdown, Lucky You has had to take a break from their pop up meals. Stay tuned for future cooking.

When I asked Roo where she finds inspiration, her friends and her family remain the strongest, specifically her head chef at Hinterland, Stefanie La, whose nurturing relationship with Roo has ignited culinary and creative growth.

Roo is fueled by the diversity within those she surrounds herself with, coming together to create through cooking, connecting and eating.

While speaking with Roo, I was reminded how important it is to create and connect within our own culinary atmospheres. To learn from Roo, Lucky You and others, what it means to be playful and funky within the kitchen.

Berlin is here to taste.

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