Tanja by Night

Her column from the late hours

What does the top chef think about when she returns to her private kitchen late at night?

“I am in a very privileged situation: my restaurant is on the ground floor and my apartment is two floors above it. And I am one of those chefs who also cook at home – first and foremost for my daughter, Emma, but also for myself. While my work in the restaurant follows a strict pattern, at home I can give free rein to my imagination. Sometimes, as I climb the stairs, I am suddenly struck by an idea that I simply have to try out immediately. Often, I bake breads that are completely different from those I make in the “Stucki”: for example I might use carrots, pumpkin or marinated seeds. And in fact, it’s really only a question of making sure that Emma has something freshly baked for breakfast the next day. For me, however, it is also a kind of meditation with different smells. For the carrot bread (recipe at, for example, I use cardamom, ginger, walnuts, honey and poppy seeds – mixed together they produce a delicious smell that is still with me as I go to sleep and even when I wake up the next morning.

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