Eat in My Kitchen
On Eat in My Kitchen, Meike shares her culinary journey which is inspired by her mother’s passion for cooking and food, and her connection with Malta in the Mediterranean. Her photography is amazing and transports us to her dining table in her apartment in one of Berlin’s wide boulevards.
I am so thrilled to have Meike Peters of Eat in My Kitchen on the show today.
On Her Blog:
I’ve always loved food and cooking. I’ve been cooking for almost 20 years now and we always have lots of friends over. Sometimes I cook for ten, 15, 20 people. After our dinner parties, people always ask me for recipes, they just give me a call during the week like, “Can you give me some inspiration and tell me what I can cook?” So at one point I thought I can also share all of this on a blog.
I also love photography, I love writing. The blog brings everything together. Now you can just go to the blog and see what I cook and get some inspiration from there.
Cooking is definitely easiest. I don’t even have to think much about it; it just comes naturally. Photography and writing, it depends a lot on my moods, especially with writing. Sometimes when I’m in the right mood or sometimes even when I’m lying in bed in the morning, I have a whole text in my head. But when I’m not in the right mood, it can take an hour, two hours and it just doesn’t come out.
With photography, it depends a lot on the light. So since I take all my pictures with daylight, I depend a lot on how the lights change. Sometimes the food and the light and everything works perfectly, and sometimes it doesn’t, and then it’s a bit more work.
For me it’s important that the food looks quite natural and even of late, I don’t decorate much. With my food, I’m not the kind of person who gets five plates and five fancy spoons. What you see on the photos is what I use for cooking and the plates we eat from. It’s very practical.
On Her Mother As an Inspiration:
We talk on the phone two, three times a week and very often we just talk about recipes, what we cook.
She travels a lot and sometimes she calls me from a restaurant and tells me, “I had this amazing pasta here in Sicily with truffle. You have to try that.”
We both have this huge passion for food; for cooking and good ingredients. And very often it comes very natural that we talk about it other than mother and daughter. Others may talk about clothes and shoes and handbags. We talk about cabbage, carrots, soups, and pasta.
When I visit my mama, we sit at the table and we drink wine, we eat. Sometimes we meet in the kitchen at five in the afternoon and we just cook and chat. Although my family is German, it’s quite Italian.
On Mediterranean Food and Cooking:
It doesn’t need many ingredients, but the ingredients are very good. It starts with good olive oil, good vegetables, ripe vegetables, something that’s hard to find sometimes here in the north of Europe, in Berlin.
But in the Mediterranean, they pick the vegetables and fruits from the trees and they are perfect, ripe, sweet. So whenever we go to Malta and I come back home to Berlin, I’m a bit disappointed with what I find here. The cooking is varied because they have these amazing ingredients; they don’t actually need much. You throw together what you have.
Whenever we are in Malta my cooking is very quick. The seafood is amazing; we just throw some fish on the barbecue and some great bread and olive oil. A quick salad and that’s it; doesn’t need much. But what you have is very, very good and it’s very pure.
I use a lot of fennel seeds in my cooking. That started, was it ten years ago, when I moved in with my boyfriend because they have amazing fennel seeds in Malta. So there are more fennel seeds in my cooking. And citrus fruits like lemon zest, orange zest, I use that a lot. These are ingredients that everybody really knows but once it really fits your taste buds, you might use it a bit more. So for me, it’s citrus flavors and fennel seeds.
The best thing is to travel to Italy, to Malta. Find a nice mama who opens her kitchen for you and cook with her. I think it’s like with any other style of cooking as well; that it’s always best to meet someone who is from this country and to cook with this person.
Because a cookbook, a blog, they can inspire you to try out things that you might not have tried before, but the best thing is always to cook with people who come from this country or from this area, and to learn from them. That’s what I believe.
They know more of the secrets because it’s the cooking that comes from their mother or grandmother; all these recipes that are given from one generation to the next. And I love to learn like this.
On Food Culture in Berlin, Germany:
It’s very multicultural and there are these trends like in any other big cities. At the moment, there’s big hype for Korean food, burgers as well; a big burger hype.
There are always new people coming to the city and bringing their culinary background with them. But it’s really very inspiring because it’s permanently changing and developing.
The locals here, they love a dish that is called Königsberger Klopse. It’s like a meatball and it’s cooked in a broth. The sauce is a bit thick and creamy with capers. It’s sweet as well. For some people it’s quite a challenge. If someone prepares it well, then it’s really, really good.
What is very famous here is currywurst. Everybody knows currywurst, it’s a sausage. It’s light with a curry ketchup. I’m not a big fan of that.
On Her Blog Series, “Meet in Your Kitchen”:
The idea is that I meet other people in their kitchen because on my blog people just see what happens in my kitchen.
For Meet in Your Kitchen, I meet other people in their kitchen, people who inspire me. Some have culinary backgrounds, some are artists, designers, friends. The idea is to show a process through the eyes of their kitchen.
We cook one dish together; the recipe will be, as always, on the blog and as well, they choose if they want to bake or to cook. I spend a few hours with them in their kitchen and we talk about their lives, the projects, food. Also culinary memories, how they learned about cooking and the food culture in their family.
The Pressure Cooker:
Which food shows or cooking shows do you watch?
None, I don’t watch any. I’m sorry.
What are some food blogs or websites that we have to know about?
I love Manger by Mimi Thorisson. I mean, it’s very popular. I love France. I love the food. I love the pictures. It’s a very popular blog.
I love What Should I Eat for Breakfast Today by Marta. She lives in Berlin as well. I did a feature with her and I love her photography. I love her writing, her start into the day, and I love her blog.
Who do you follow on Pinterest, Instagram or Twitter that make you happy?
Okay, I follow Marta What should I Eat for Breakfast Today, she makes me happy.
I follow Manger as well, Mimi Thorisson because she shows France.
I like to follow travel bloggers. I don’t know their names, but I love to see when they go to the Caribbean and it’s like going on holiday for a split second.
What is something all home cooks should have in their pantry?
Name one ingredient you cannot live without?
Something I cannot live without is bread. I love bread. If that’s the only thing I can eat for the rest of my life, I’m happy. I love bread.
What are a few cookbooks that make your life better?
I love the Nigel Slater cookbooks because I love his approach to cooking and his diary form of the books.
I like Ottolenghi although I don’t cook much of his recipes, but I find him inspiring.
There is a new cookbook that I got for Christmas, Persiana; this book is great too.
I like Nigella Lawson’s baking book.
What song or album just makes you want to cook?
Jazz music, in general, Wes Montgomery. Yes, jazz music, definitely.
Sometimes I need something loud and wild, sometimes classic music. It depends a lot on my mood really.