Attention, foodies! Miss Violet's Supperclub has arrived with a bang. After greatly successful editions in Munich and Hamburg, the writer and cook Violet Kiani launched her concept in Berlin. Every last Thursday of the month, Violet will throw a dinner party at the event room of Katz Orange, with the first three scheduled as Persian-themed. The menu, which is currently in preparation for the second event in the row, features traditional specialties from Persia cooked according to her family's recipes.
While waiting impatiently for Thursday to discover the real flavors of Persian cuisine, we met up with the lovely chef to find out more about this delicious novelty in the Berlin food scene.
Who is Miss Violet?
Miss Violet is Violet Kiani. It is my aler ago for everything that has to do with cooking. I have worked for many years as a writer. I wanted to create a new brand, a new world, with this new name. That is how I came up with Miss Violet.
What comes first – writing or cooking?
At the moment writing still comes first. Cooking becomes more and more important. I could not do one without the other; one supports the other. I love them equally. Sometimes I cook and I can write about it. But they are totally different. Writing is loneliness, brainwork, abstract. Cooking is social, it is hard work, physical work, and once you are done – you are done. They balance each other out very well.
How was your Supperclub born? What is it all about?
The Supperclub was born when I wrote the cookbooks in 2014. I created it as an event to promote my book. For the first two events I cooked by the recipes out of the books, rather than reading out of them. The events were sold out, and I had fun, so I repeated it. I moved from one city to another, and it became an actual event.
Now it is a mix of a restaurant and a private members club. It s a restaurant but much more intimate. Anything can happen. I had Supperclubs where people danced at the end of the night. You can meet new people. You can come solo and you will not feel lonely or excluded, because everyone sits together. The food comes on plates family-style. It is not a plain three-course menu; I always try to do many different things, meza style. A lot of food comes on the table and you can just try what you think is nice.
Was there a Supperclub event that was particularly dear to you?
Each one is different and differently crazy. I loved them all. Sometimes I do not know any of the guests, but usually it is a mix of strangers and the people I know, and it is always a fun night. People leave the restaurant laughing, which is really nice.
You decided to do Persian food because...?
The Supperclub always has different culinary topics. London, Istanbul, I did one Mexican, and I also did Persian. Persian ones were most well-received because you do not get good home-made Persian food in Germany. In restaurants it is always bad quality and it does not represent the rich culinary cosmos of the Persian cuisine. It is always the same, always kebab or skewers with rice, and there is so much more. That is why I think that the Persian cuisine and my Persian Supperclub are so successful right now – because it is new, and it can also teach people about the food of my home country.
What is actually typical Persian food?
It is always slow-cooked, a lot of stews, different rices, with berries, or lots of herbs. Every occasion in Iran has a certain etiquette of what to serve. You have special dishes for different occasions. You need a lot of time to make a Persian dish, because you need to do a lot of chopping, roasting, simmering,... It is a lot of work, and a lot of love that goes into it. And it is very hearty, very comfort-food.
What else are you involved in as a cook besides the Supperclub?
Recently I cooked at a festival in Munich. It was a charity concert for all the people who came to help the refugees, and for the refugees. A lot of good bands played that Sunday. For this event I made chili con carne and vegan chili, which was amazing, but also unbelieveably exhausting. I do more of these big events now; I will do Christmas market for the whole December in Munich, and I also have catering now. My first catering jobs are for people who want Persian food for their events. Now I am also looking for a chef to work with me, because I cannot do it all by myself anymore.
Where do you find inspiration for your recipes and ideas?
Travels, cookbooks... I have a lot of amazing cookbooks, not just for cooking, but also for food styling. Sometimes restaurants in big cities. London used to be a big inspiration.
Are you a trained cook or self-taught?
No, not a trained cook. Everyone can cook. I think my mother is the best cook in the world and she uses the same techniques that the professionals chefs use. She taught herself, and so can everyone. You just need interest and talent for time-management.
Your favorite food spots in Berlin?
I love those new spaces on Weinbergsweg. There is one Mexican, and an Asian place next to it. I love all of the Asian places and the burger places in Berlin, they are great. If I want to go out really nice, I like to go to Grill Royal, or to Katz Orange.
Food-wise, how is Berlin doing? Is there enough diversity?
In Germany it is difficult, there is not enough diversity, but Berlin is better than the rest because there is more happening here. You have a lot of different nations and cultures coming in. For people who want to open a new place, they have it easier in Berlin, whereas in Munich it is very hard to break the crust, you need to deal with a lot of bureaucracy.
Which is your favorite cuisine?
Italian probably. They just do everything right.
Favorite superstar chef?
Jamie Oliver is my favorite, because he cooks stuff that I like to cook. And he is fun.
Best kebab in town?
No good kebab in town!
Give us your best cooking tip!
Do not rush. If the recipe says it needs 20 minutes, it will need 20 minutes. You cannot rush it, you need time. Everything needs time in cooking, and that is probably the most common mistake people make. Just stick to the temperature and the time, and everything will be fine.
29/10 and 26/11 from 19:30h on @ Katz Orange
Bergstraße 22, 10115 Berlin, U8 Rosenthaler Platz