Our Story

A guide to our guides

A small team of local Berliners who share a passion for food & our city

Dov

Mr Fork and Walk

Tell us about your background?

I was born and raised in the beautiful city of Melbourne, Australia with family ties to Poland, Ukraine and the UK. My days as a youngster were in tied to the Melbourne Jewish community and many festive family gatherings, which i where i started to develop my love of food, watching both my grandmothers weave their cookery magic in the kitchen. Especially those weekly Friday night gathering with wafting smells of fresh challah, chicken noodle soup and Babka.
After achieving a Bachelor in Business Management and Tourism, i started my first career as a Business Travel Consultant in-which i spent my next 13 years between Melbourne, London and Berlin. But the ever-growing dream of starting a new age food tour company in Berlin eventually found its way out. Now all those years of cooking, travelling, eating and watching endless amounts of cooking shows since they began in the 2000s are being hurtled into the Fork & Walk culture. 

Now it has been 14 years in this colourful city, with two beautiful kids, the love of my life and many great friends and experiences. 

How did you spawn a love for food?

Definitely my Bubba’s and Nanna’s cooking, namely the much debated and loved chicken soup. One Grandma from Poland, the other from the UK and both with different styles and tastes of what we call ”Jewish Penicillin”. I was also the youngest in a family of 3 and a very slow eater, so finding a way to enjoy my food and not lose out was always at the front of my mind.
However i think the big turning point was the cooking show revolution of the early 2000s. I just could not stop watching. And from there my cooking skills improved ten fold.

After travelling the world for a second time, i landed in Berlin and never left. The city is electric and the food scene was on the verge of a boom. I saw so much potential and growth in the following years and with no food tour company in Berlin really representing the past, present and future of Berlin food, this was my calling.

Why Berlin and How long have you been here and which Kiez do you live in (talk about your journey here) ?

Berlin. Good question. Well, i just landed here, with no intention of staying. Without any intention of even travelling to Germany. But here i am and i couldn’t have made a better decision. The experiences are endless and ever-growing. I live currently in Weißensee, translated as White Lake. It is close to central areas of Berlin but still suburban, with of course a nice little lake. But i lived nearly everywhere in this city. And as each neighbourhood is unique to itself, Berlin is such a wonderful city to explore.

What made you fall in love with Berlin?

The freedom, the creativity, the openness of the people, the culture, the trust the government puts in the people (mostly), the non-money-centric way of living, the great food, peoples environmental goals and organic options. It is a forward thinking city that is still so young in its development due to its war set-backs.

How do you feel Berlin has developed since?

Since i moved in 2006 it has definitely progressed. Areas which were rundown have turned into multi-cultural neighbourhoods with speak-easy’s, laid back coffee bars and fantastic locally run restaurants. While the food-scene has enjoyed its biggest rise to European fame, with a number of Michelin-starred restaurants, revamped fusion German cuisine, an ever-growing barista-scene, along with star-studded line of local breweries, independant ice-cream shops and the revival of Berlin bread culture. But this is only one-side of the revamped Berlin.

Your favourite German word?

One of the funniest words i have come across stems from my Australian background mixed with having kids in Germany. The word ‘Bagger’ which refers to a front loader. In Australia we would use the term ‘Bugga’ to voice our disappointment, but in a funny way. The German and English pronunciation are exactly the same. So now imagine a 3-yr old kid standing at the curb-side at 8am on the way to kindergarten screaming ‘Bugga Daddy, Bugga’ over and over. Still makes me laugh!

Berlin being the hub of club-culture, what is your most memorable night experience here?

It involved 3 days, no sleep and a number of dance floors. Just one of those experiences you can only have in Berlin. And one i can say i would never to be able to repeat, simply due to my age and hangover factor. But i am glad i did it then.

Weirdest FKK experience ? (Frei-Körper-Kultur translated as the Free-Mind-Culture refers to swimming totally naked, which Germans and especially East Germans are very well known for at any public swimming spot or sauna)

Ostsee (German East Sea) 2011, we were on a camping holiday and a got chatting with a nice old man camping near-by us. Later on that day we were at the beach (naked of course) and i see him laying near us (I was still getting used to the whole naked thing). He approached me and i had to somehow hold a full political conversation with him and just tried to not remind myself that i was naked. Really interesting experience!

Your current favourite eatery in Berlin?

Alt-Wien (Old Austria). The wiener Schnitzel there is just phenomenal. Even better than those i had in Austria. But this is an old favourite. So right now i will go with Layla Israeli Restaurant. The perfect all-round experience of amazing atmosphere, open kitchen, great design, fantastic dishes, tasty drinks and great service. But we must also give it up for our own very local ‘Pasta Laden’. Homemade Sicilian pasta, handled with love.

You choose the last question. 

Which places I want to visit food-wise?

Korea, Japan, Mexico, Lebanon (although this is impossible), Israel.

Violeta

Culinary Historian

Tell us about your background?

I was born in Bulgaria, raised in Egypt and educated in Switzerland. Berlin is my 12 th city but I hope it is the end of the road for me, as I truly love this quirky city.

How did you spawn a love for food?

I was a Flight attendant for Emirates airline in my “roaring 20’s” and contrary to popular believes, flight attendants pay more attention to foreign food than foreign booze!! I got to try some truly authentic food, purchased some fancy cookbooks and a few utensils and got busy cooking!!

Why Berlin and How long have you been here and which Kiez do you live in?

We were living in Cairo, Egypt and while life there was pretty awesome for us (husband and me) we wanted more for our daughter. I had recently visited Berlin for a short girls weekend and found the city incredible. It did not take long to convince my equally adventurous husband to leave the sands of Cairo behind, and try life in Berlin. We have been in Berlin now five years and we live out in the Wild Wild green West of Berlin. We are surrounded by water and forest, we breathe clean air and watch our cats get fatter and furrier!

What made you fall in love with Berlin?

Great and cheap food, ginger beer, dance parties for all ages, wide biking lanes and green, green pastures to roam freely!!!

How do you feel Berlin has developed since?

I am fortunate that I don’t live in the heavily gentrified areas of Berlin, as the squirrels and wild pigs in my neighborhood have pretty much remained unchanged! As for the hipster part of Berlin, it had seen some awesome new restaurants pushing adventurous culinary ideas, but it has also, unfortunately, witnessed the death of some much loved dance clubs.

Your favourite German word?

I got three: doch, gemutlich and geniessen!

Berlin being the hub of club-culture, what is your most memorable night?

Night? It was in fact a day party by a lake. It was during my first visit back in August 2013 and it was a party by Watergate, a well known club here. It was a gorgeous day, and most people including me were covered in golden glitter! Music was great, people were happy and everything was shining!!! I lost my heart right there and then!! It was the triggering point for my moving to Berlin!

Weirdest FKK experience ? 

Oh boy!!! That is a sour spot for me!! I splurge on a membership at a very fancy gym, which is great …except when I go to the Spa area!! It is always full of naked men who loooove to parade around their jewels in display!!!And did I mention that they are mostly in their 70’s and 80’s??? So yeah…You get the picture!! I get a daily doze of exhibitionist behavior!!

Your current favourite eatery in Berlin? 

I am a bit of a hypocrite I suppose…I go from wanting to be a health conscious Berlinesque vegetarian, to my Balkan roots of eating an insane amount of meat!! When I am on my healthy side, I frequent Koshary Lux and Kanaan for some much loved Mediterranean flare, and when I give up the fight, and join my carnivorous family members, we go to Turkish Doyum or Lebanese “Sim sim”.

If you could eat at one restaurant, no matter where in this world, which one would it be?

La Pentola Hermanus in Pretoria, where Chef Shane Sauvage stretches the boundaries of what we can mix in one plate! Grilled Salmon with Strawberries and Feta cheese anyone??? Or maybe cherry Calamari? YES PLEASE!!

Holger

The Original Berliner

Tell us about your background?

I was born in West Berlin in 1969, in the far south west of the City in Zehlendorf, not far from the Wall. I did my Master’s at Freie Universität in Communication Sciences, always working in bars, clubs & restaurants in my student days. Then I started in the crazy world of advertising and stayed there for about 25 years. I had my own agency for 5 years. In 1997 I had to leave Berlin and moved to Cologne. These were the times when Berlin was poor, not sexy at all, but a huge construction site without end. I stayed in Cologne for almost 20 years. Love the city!! But one day I had to move back to Berlin and my family. So I’m back to my hometown now for 4 years. 

How did you spawn a love for food?

I started to cook together with my mom when I was a kid. We were 3 boys so there was always a lot to do. When I was 18, I did my first Interrail trip to Spain with just a tent for 4 weeks. That’s when I really started to love the Mediterranean cuisine. Today I’m married to an Israeli – and Israeli food is one of the best worldwide. They invented the concept of fusion food, putting everything together from the Middle East and the Mediterranean. Guess what we do almost every day…. 

Why Berlin and How long have you been here and which Kiez do you live in (talk about your journey here) ?

Being a boy from the West, I always said: „When I grow up, I’m going to live at Victoria Luise Platz in Schöneberg.“ So that’s exactly the place where I live now since I moved back from Cologne 4 years ago. I was soooo lucky to get a lovely apartment just one block away from the most beautiful square in Berlin. Schöneberg is my Kiez. It’s the perfect combination of central location and beautiful, quiet neighbourhood. Most people who move to Berlin today only consider the East, so Schöneberg is still a sleeping beauty. 

What made you fall in love with Berlin?

West Berlin in the 80ies and early 90ies was an unique, magic place. Kreuzberg was the end of the world, the perfect space for every free spirit. Nobody cared about us, so it was absolute freedom.

How do you feel Berlin has developed since?

The old Berlin from the Cold War – East and West – doesn’t exist anymore. And that’s a good thing. I loved it – but it was too special to last. Berlin today is the only capital in the world that is still constantly changing. Berlin is not finished and will never be. It is the biggest small city. 

Your favourite German word?

Being native German this is not my question. 🙂 But there are indeed great German words, like Eierlegende Wollmilchsau (egg-laying milk wool pig, the perfect animal that can give you everything, but in German more used in a negative sense as „You can’t have everything, you know”), Fernweh (opposite of homesickness), Ohrwurm (ear worm, a – sometimes annoying – song you cannot forget and got stuck in your ears forever) or Jein (combination of yes + no). 

Berlin being the hub of club-culture, what is your most memorable night experience here?

I’m not telling… 😉

Weirdest FKK experience ? (Frei-Körper-Kultur translated as the Free-Mind-Culture refers to swimming totally naked, which Germans and especially East Germans are very well known for at any public swimming spot or sauna)

Being naked in Berlin is not weird! 

Your current favourite eatery in Berlin?

There are so many: Yafo, Brasserie Lamazère, Zsa Zsa Burger, Saigon and more, Häppies, Haveli,…

You choose the last question. 

Which places I want to visit food-wise?

Vietnam, Peru, Thailand (still haven’t been there), India.

Alessandra

Coffee Connoisseur

Tell us about your background

I come from Italy, from Rome, and I landed in Berlin four years ago. I was a history and food tour guide in Rome and a cooking class host, spending my days with people from all over the World talking about the ancient World and famous culinary traditions.  When I arrived in the incredible city of Berlin, well, I jumped about 2000 years of history reading, learning and talking about whole new interesting topics and, foodwise, opening to a huge World, as Berlin is the city that hosts culinary delicacies and histories from the whole Planet!

How did you spawn a love for food?

I have always loved to cook and to look for the best ingredients.  Since I was a child, I looked at my dad in the kitchen trying to steal his secrets…why my pasta amatriciana wasn’t as good as his??! Then many years later, over dinner with some friends, we decided to take a Course on Natural Wine.  Well, that decision changed even more my life and view on food! I took the course, and then I started visiting wine and oil producers, as well as going to food fairs to talk to rice, tomatoes, cheese, vineyards etc producers as talking to them and visiting their farms is enriching and fascinating! 

Why Berlin, Kiez?

Berlin came by chance. I had never envisaged to live in Berlin; as a South European, I had thought maybe one day France or Spain or Portugal (not for anything, but, God, my language proficiency would have been much greater!!!  Although after 4 years, I am finally getting out of “Survival German”!).  So the reason why I have arrived in Berlin is the most classic one: to follow my husband who had received an offer to live here.  I didn’t want to stay long, my idea was to just live and International experience and then go back, but we fell in love with this incredible city where everything is possible, and so we decided to stay! I live in Kreuzberg, a cool neighborhood full of history and where the food scene is great!  I love coffee, and in the morning I need to think a while to choose among my favorite coffee places of the day as there are plenty around my house!  I have also lived in Friedrichshain and Neukoelln.  Berliners tend to stick to their Kiez, but maybe it is time for me to venture a bit more West as well!

How do you feel Berlin has developed since?

More and more places are opening in Berlin, nice looking and with so many young people running them that you feel their vibrant energy to do something small, as in the spirit of the City, but great at the same time. Furthermore, I feel that the research for quality is increasing so much, and that more and more specialty and high quality places are opening, however, still maintaining traditions dear to Berliners such as the  Spaties!

Your favorite German word?

Doch, for sure! It’s a sort of an assertive word that, however, contradicts what the other person has just said.  It’s difficult to explain in words what it means; but, hey, it has taken me four years to learn how to use it!!

Most memorable club culture evening?

Well, my jazz nights! I love jazz, and I come from a city where I only had one place to go so, although pretty good, I could only stick to what was offered there.  Berlin is my Heaven of Jazz!  So many places and so many artists play jazz here, that I could go to a different concert every night!  It has been for me as if you would give to a child the keys to a house made of chocolate!!

FKK

Uhmm, this has been an interesting one for me to adopt to! Completely naked to a sauna??  What if you meet your friends? Maybe their last idea of you was with a nice dress, the work of a hairdresser and 10 cm shoes at your feet!  And what about your husband’s colleagues?
As apparently everyone here is so relaxed about being naked at lakes and saunas, I bet you to keep an interesting conversation with someone while your mind is busy at keeping eye contact!! 
I know there is a place in Berlin where you participate at the party leaving all your clothes at the entrance and dance naked all night to feel the freedom of your body while dancing. 
Definitely a part of the German culture to try out on your trip!

Favorite eatery

 With a look at my heritage, I would say La Pecora Nera in Neukoelln where they cook extremely good North East Italian cuisine.  And with a look at the incredible International scene in Berlin, I go East as I love Asian food and I go for Long March Canteen, Chinese to another level!

Why do you love coffee in Berlin?

Because coffee in Berlin is an experience.  There is not One Way of making coffee in Berlin.  Every specialty store in the city, and numbers are growing, has different kind of coffee, roasted at different temperatures, served with different methods, creating a different ambiance, giving you all the time you want to stay, flavor, and chat about coffee.  Theoretically, you could do a coffee tasting experience every day in a different place.  I am a coffee addict, so…where else to be??
Do you want to talk about beer as well? 🙂

Anastasia

The Foodie Architect

Tell us about your background?

I was born in the country which doesn’t exist anymore. With a degree in creative writing I quickly realized that I won’t be Bukowski and switched my attention to visual forms of arts, such as design and architecture. Since then I practice and worship all forms of stone formations occasionally photographing it for my own pleasure. 

How did you spawn a love for food?

I’m a hedonist, looking for simple pleasures making the sense of life. Food is one of my most favorite hobbies! It takes some time for dramatic forms, such as love and hate of the parmesan cheese period during my pregnancy, but eventually get back to normal, simply enjoying good food and curious about all that it has to offer. 

Why Berlin and How long have you been here and which Kiez do you live in (talk about your journey here) ?

I moved to Berlin in 2012 with full luggage – husband and little kid. It was a way to escape from cold and stressful Moscow to a better place to raise a child. I live in Neukolln, the mecca of the best Turkish restaurants, Arabic eateries, Sirian confectionary shops, and trendy bars. It is busy and hectic, but I love this boiling mix of cultures, generations and food traditions.

What made you fall in love with Berlin?

The idea that one can work part-time and still survive. But apart from jokes, this city is very comfortable for living, lots of parks, not a very dense population, countryside within the city – you can find everything in Berlin.

How do you feel Berlin has developed since?

It’s getting more expensive and more gentrified, but still has a lot to offer.

Your favorite German word?

kopfkino – literally means cinema in your head, which is the flow of thoughts you cannot stop.

Berlin being the hub of club-culture, what is your most memorable night experience here?

This part of Berlin is least interesting for me, as I never been into techno and clubbing much. But I really enjoy Berlin bars atmosphere and great music gigs you can find almost every night. Also worth to mention the spectacular concert venues, such as my favorite Funkhaus, which is former GDR broadcasting studios resembles an abandoned military campus.

Weirdest FKK experience ? (Frei-Körper-Kultur translated as the Free-Mind-Culture refers to swimming totally naked, which Germans and especially East Germans are very well known for at any public swimming spot or sauna)

I’m getting there! I’ve been through all 5 stages : denial, anger, depression, bargaining…now I’m in acceptance stage and made my way to Vabali – a fully textile free spa in Berlin. Nothing can surprise me anymore.

Your current favourite eatery in Berlin?

I have many favorite eateries in Berlin, and they are all international. Onegin  –  Basque country tapas bar, probably my longest commitment. La Bolognina – Italian bistro with handmade pasta and Italian flatbread, typical for emilia romagna region – piadina. Yafo – little Tel Aviv in Berlin.

The most absurd thing to eat in Berlin

Mett – minced raw pork tartare with chopped onion served on the wheat ban. Never again.

Graham

Dr. Sauerkraut

Tell us about your background?

Well, I was born & raised in Chicago, USA, but took a brief stint to study math in the cornfields.  People paid me to play with large sums of money for a few years, but I got bored & flew to Berlin.  Here I formed an unsuccessful band, met a lovely Spanish woman, and after ten years consider Berlin my home (kind of).

How did you spawn a love for food?

My Mom was/is a great cook & instilled a passion for food in my tiny child brain.  Plus, Chicago & the USA has great food – don’t believe the haters!

Why Berlin and How long have you been here and which Kiez do you live in (talk about your journey here) ?

I was working in a cubicle one day & it dawned on me that I’d never left the country.  Two weeks later, I was hopping on a plane & heading to Berlin. I read it was cheap & fun & it turned out to be true.  I’ve been here coming on 11 years, and living in ultra-mega-hip Neukölln for about 10 of those years. 

What made you fall in love with Berlin?

The astounding freedom this city grants us.  You can do pretty much whatever you want as long you don’t cause harm.  

How do you feel Berlin has developed since?

No major complaints.

Your favourite German word?

Unkraut – Weeds

Berlin being the hub of club-culture, what is your most memorable night experience here?

I’m going to ignore the most memorable night because I probably don’t remember it & it probably shouldn’t be publicly shared.

Weirdest FKK experience ? (Frei-Körper-Kultur translated as the Free-Mind-Culture refers to swimming totally naked, which Germans and especially East Germans are very well known for at any public swimming spot or sauna)

As for weirdest FKK, having my male friends lay naked, spread-eagle on the beach while carrying on normal conversations.  It was a lot for my midwest sensibilities.  

Your current favourite eatery in Berlin?

Yoyo – even despite the owner.

What do you miss about your home country?

What do you miss about your home country?
Peanut butter, food that is actually spicy, & stellar beer.