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Top Chef: Patrick Becker

Twice a month, we shine a spotlight on our favourite chefs in Berlin. This week: Patrick Becker of German-Alpine fine dining restaurant 3 Schwestern in the Bethanien former art squat.

Image for Top Chef: Patrick Becker
Photo by Sophie la Roux

Located in hospital-turned-squat-turned arts centre Bethanien, 3 Schwestern offers a German-Alpine fine dining experience with a bit of Kreuzberg edge. Head chef Patrick Becker began his career in Hanover in 1996 straight out of high school and worked his way across restaurants in Germany before eventually settling in Berlin 17 years ago. He’s been the chef for 3 Schwestern since their opening in 2010.

What kind of food do you cook?

Basically, it’s Alpine food with a heavy German influence: from schnitzel made from Kraichgau pork with potato-cucumber salad and lingonberries to high-quality entrecôte from Simmental cows. I also used to work in a vegetarian restaurant in Cologne, and that still influences the menu today.

What is your most popular item?

For our guests, it would be the Schweinebraten (pork roast). It is made out of the shoulder, roasted in the oven for three hours and served with red cabbage salad, peanuts and buttermilk dumplings.

What food trend do you hate the most?

Foie gras. It becomes a trend in Berlin every winter. They torture the goose to get this kind of liver. Knowing what the animal goes through, I don’t know why restaurants even still offer it. I try to be conscious about the decisions I making with our partners in sourcing our food, and I like to know where our animals come from.

Cooking tip?

Add red wine when you roast vegetables. I like to cook onions and tomatoes with some red wine – it adds a really strong flavour.

Dining tip?

French restaurant Morsh on Mainzer Straße in Friedrichshain. They make a great soup there with sweetened onions, which I really like.

The best thing about being a chef in a restaurant in Berlin?

I think the best part is that you have so many influences from all over the world. You can go to so many kinds of restaurants during the week – Asian, English, Indian, all these cultures in one city. Even if we focus on German-Alpine cuisine, it is good to take influences from all over.

…and the worst?

Honestly, it’s that you can’t get rich being a chef in Berlin! You won’t earn a lot of money from it compared to a chef in West Germany or somewhere else.