My kind of art: the WurstGalerie from Kitchen Guerrilla
By Andrew Cottrill . February 14, 2014
Good food, theatre, and lots and lots of sausages – Kitchen Guerrilla knows how to throw a dinner party with a difference.
Following on from the article we ran earlier this year on Kitchen Guerrilla’s WurstGalerie event, I put on my best sausage eating hat and went along to the show.
Held at Tempelhof’s Malzfabrik, the old Schultheiss malt house turned creative hub with its distinct silhouette, the huge, dark, high-ceilinged room with heavy metal features retains its feeling of industry. The malt’s still there too, although on the night it was in the form of beer provided by event sponsors Pilsner Urquell who made sure no one was left thirsty.
Aside from the surrounding, industry was not what this event was about. Quite the opposite in fact, as three walls of the room were adorned with screens onto which the different stages of the lives of that night’s feast were projected. First, pink, healthy pigs rootling around their farm. Selected breeds of the highest quality. Happy as Larry. On the second screen, the art of butchery. Knives slicing through meat like butter. Whole animals being masterfully jointed and prepared for eating. Finally, we see our night’s heroes (the chefs) grinding and seasoning the meat before it’s pumped into prophylactic-eque sausage casings and twisted into the familiar shape. It wasn’t about food on an industrial scale.
Seeing these pigs on the screen and knowing you’d soon be eating them might well be enough to turn a wavering carnivore into a vegetarian. I really liked the theatricality of it all. Sometimes the truth hurts. Anyway, if that wasn’t enough to turn you into a member of PETA, just wait till you see the sausages.
The first course was of course sausage. Hanging from the ceiling at eye-level. Squint and you could be in the Laboratory at Berghain. Pull on one, it won’t bite. There was something whimsical and childlike in seeing 100-odd fully-grown adults yanking sausages off strings and giggling to each other before taking a bite. Prosts all round.
What followed was course upon course of sausage delight, from Hecht-Weisswurst sushi to various vegetarian sausages, all washed down with an unending supply of Pilner Urquell. Then, in scenes reminiscent of the Spanish Inquisition, we were directed to a literal wurst galerie of countless hanging wurst. Blutwurst, leberwurst, paprikawurst, countless salami; people fell upon them with hands, knife and teeth until nothing was left. The quality of the meat was undeniable. The pork-lust was tangible. Everyone enjoyed the thrill of the hunt.
The main course, which was actually spread over two courses, consisted of a selection of bratwursts created and prepared in front of us by Wurst Meister General Prof. Peter Inhoven of Düsseldorf’s Metzgerei Inhoven. As well as being a great and colourful chap, Peter really knows how to make a good bratwurst. He and his team excel in remaining faithful to German sausage-making traditions, whilst injecting passion and creativity to produce something new and exciting, yet reassuringly wurst-like.
All-in-all I had a great time at the WurstGalerie. We were eating from 8pm until 1am. No one left hungry or wanting more. It was the best of times, it was the wurst of times. As well as a few extra kilograms on my waistline, I’ve gained a newfound respect for the German Wurst, the chefs at Inhoven, and, of course, the humble pig.
Kitchen Guerilla’s next event is closing in fast. For anyone in Köln this weekend, be sure to check out their MEZZEHALLEN event. Working with YENI RAKI, they’re throwing a Turkish-inspired event which brings the cuisine of Istanbul to Germany. The event is being held at a secret location which will be divulged upon reservation. I’m sure it’ll be another night of good food, good company and good theatre.
Die Wurst. Berlin Loves You.
Kitchen Guerilla’s MEZZEHALLEN
02/15/2014 – 02/16/2014 8:00pm to 2:00am