Pumpkin lasagna, pumpkin pizza, chopped salad with Sicilian cherry tomatoes, pasta seasoned with spinach pesto, almonds, sunflower seeds, espresso and cappuccino. In Berlin you can find a different kind of Italian cuisine: the raw-vegan one. You just have to go to Officina Berlino, Giulia Visci’s new Italian restaurant/wine-bar in Liegnitzer Straße 18 – in the district of Kreuzberg, a few feet away from the suggestive Paul-Lincke-Ufer.
The ingredients are rigorously organic and gluten-free. «The ingredients we use, with a few exceptions, come all from Italy and from Brandenburg. The freshness of the ingredients is fundamental in our restaurant. The Italian cuisine – especially the Southern one – is full of vegan recipes. Is there anything better than spaghetti seasoned with tomato sauce and basil leafs? We love the authenticity of poor and simply meals. There is no need for special sauces or spices to prepare a tasty course.»
Giulia Visci, born in Pescara, graduated in 2015 at the Matthew Kenney Culinary School in Los Angeles – one of the most important raw and vegan culinary schools. When she used to work as a journalist, she published two cookbooks. The first one’s name is “Il nuovo nel piatto: 128 ingredienti conosciuti da pochi ma alla portata di tutti“ (128 ingredients that few people know, but that anyone can afford) and the second one – written together with Pier Paolo Rovatti – is entitled “La dieta slow-aging: restare giovani, sani e in forma più a lungo“ (The slow-aging diet: how to stay young and healthy longer than usual). «I am not a passionate of raw-vegan cuisine and I am not interested in bringing forward an ideological battle. Anyway, I like proving the fact that a meal can be tasty even without the animal usage. My favorite meal? It depends on the season. I think that we should think about our nutrition on the basis of what a certain period of the year offers to us. In general, I’m very proud of my lasagna with Roman zucchini and nuts ragout, of my pizza with cashew cheese and of the many chopped salads. What is fundamental in a raw-vegan restaurant? The kitchen must be very clean, almost “immaculate”. What is my biggest satisfaction? The compliments received by Boris Lauser, the most celebrated German raw-vegan chef.»
Officina Berlino is open from Thursday to Sunday. Here you can eat or just drink a coffee, a smoothie, a spritz or one of the bio-vegan wines selected from the Italian-Berliner Wine Age. The restaurant is little – about 10 covers – but when the weather is good, clients can go in the terrace and breath a summery air. It is a very simple place, but you couldn’t wish for anything better.
Alge Officina Berlino
Liegnitzer Straße 18, 10999 Berlin-Kreuzberg
Telephone number: +49 (0)30 34719033
Open from Thursday to Sunday, from 12:00 to 00:00
Translation edited by: Federica Presta