In The Kitchen With Chef Johannes Klapdohr – Schmackofatz!
“Make food the single most important thing in our lives, especially for our children. It is, after all, essential.” This is where I have to say that Jamie Oliver (and his Food Revolution) has met his match and/or his partner. As a father of two young children (one brand new baby), Johannes is passionate about raising his own children to eat healthy foods. He says that parents need to make better choices for their children and their families and prepare nutritionally sound meals.
“Families need to bring back traditions… and take time to celebrate”. He said that once a week we used to go to Grandmother’s house and have a cake and tea or coffee. We have lost the idea of having something special occasionally. Now we eat cake and drink tea and coffee (and lots of it!) every day.
Johannes would like to see nutritionists, dieticians, doctors, scientists, and the government work together to honestly educate parents and families. Most importantly, we all need to be focused on human nutrition and meeting daily nutritional requirements.
Of course, this whole philosophy goes hand in hand with sustainability. He says there is enough agricultural land on the planet to sustain twice the number of the world’s population. We just need to grow other crops, particularly in the U.S. where much of our farmland produces nothing but corn and soybeans, with a large percentage of it not even grown for our own consumption, but rather for animal fodder and ethanol.
Johannes believes that if we were to eat 70-80% less meat and get proteins directly from plants, this would totally change the sustainability issues and would guarantee an equal availability of food throughout the world. Raising a comparable level of protein from animals (cows, sheep, etc.) requires seven times as much land as it would to raise vegetables and vegetable protein. If we were to eat like a farmer 100 years ago, we would eat mostly vegetarian on weekdays, have fish on Fridays, and enjoy some meat on Saturdays and Sundays.
When asked about using fats and salt in cooking, he said that we tend to implement extremes rather than use common sense and that this is the problem. We all need some fat, especially good fats. He said that people have been using butter in a natural state for centuries in Europe and in other countries and it has not been a health concern because it was used in moderation and where it applies. He cooks vegetables in broth and then finishes them with a bit of butter that is not overheated (the term is monté) just to give it a bit of flavor at the end.
We went into the kitchen after our conversation. We prepared a beautiful salad using mostly organic local produce which included fresh micro beets (you truly never know what you can find on the internet – Chef Johannes is in a video about beets and it’s very entertaining!), radishes, microgreens, and edible flowers. Since we were quite hungry (after much chatting!), Johannes then prepared a beautiful piece of Sunburst Trout for us to go along with the salad. Sunburst Trout is another local producer from North Carolina and I must say that the trout was the best I have ever had. In fact, it was schmackofatz! Now I know you are dying to know what this means, but you had to read to this point to find out! This is a German word that was used a great deal in the 70s and it means “yummy.”