Kitchen stories

Olives - nature's green gold

For Josep-Maria Mallafre, olive oil production is an art form. At first, flavouring his oils was met with some scepticism, but Josep’s perseverance eventually paid off.

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WELCOME TO THE NEFF KITCHEN STORIES

Cooks are our inspiration. We share their love for great, nutritious food and their curiosity to explore new ways to bring delicious meals to the table. Our Kitchen Stories are about the people who grow, nurture and source wonderful produce: their food feeds our passion to make cooking so enjoyable. Bon appetit.

Wake up to bread made in Munich

Wake up to bread made in Munich

Germans love their bread. The thought of a shrink-wrapped loaf on a supermarket shelf, robbing you of a wonderful sensory experience feels like a bit of an anomaly. After all, nothing compares to sampling crusty bread still warm from the oven. That’s the kind of sensory experience master baker Fridolin Artmann works for. He's living proof that bringing out the best in dough is all about love and passion.

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A Japanese tradition

A Japanese tradition, the future for a Welsh breeder

When Welsh cattle breeder Ifor Humphreys first heard about the stunning buttery taste of Japanese Wagyu beef, he saw more than a business opportunity. He decided to import an embryo from Japan, and 9 months later, his breeding bull, Abramovich, was born. The rest is breeding history. In a world governed by the rules of mass production, his small Wagyu operation stands out as an example of high standards of quality. Today, he supplies gourmet restaurants, upmarket food stores and, as he’s very pleased to point out, his local community. When cooked, the meat is incredibly juice, tender and full of flavour. It’s testament to one man’s passion to create very special food.

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A passion for olives

A passion for olives

Olive oil is not a cooking ingredient, it's an element of desire, according to Josep-Maria Mallefré, who elevates the humble olive to green gold in the gentle lowlands of southwestern Catalonia. His mill proudly continues the family tradition started by his grand-father who founded the oil production business. Whereas many other mills combine the harvests of many different farmers when they press oil, Mallafré produces single-sort, personalised oil from individual harvests. This way, their unique character can be preserved, reflecting the source, the individual climate and time of year the olives were harvested.

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The art of cheese-making

The art of cheese-making

The French know a thing or two about cheese. Many verities undergo months of ripening before they attain their distinctive flavour. ‘Affinage’, the French word for ‘cheese ageing’, is a perfect mix of traditional craftsmanship and modern technology. Chief affineur Hervé Mons is the guiding star when it comes to excellent taste. He uses the milk from Salers, an old French cattle breed known for its delicious milk to create his award-winning Comté or Reblochon. Mons is known to gourmets around the world and his cellars contain well over 100 tonnes of cheese.

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Alpine Austrian treasures

Alpine Austrian treasures

31-year old Fisherman Alex has been fishing ‘Saibling’, or Alpine char, since he was a little boy. He knows this crystal clear Austrian freshwater lake like the back of his hands. Spanning 5.6 km, the Grundlsee water comes directly from the springs on the mountains, and filtered by limestone, it reaches the lake. It explains the extraordinary nature of the Saibling. Its pink, delicate flesh reveals a very subtle, almost nutty flavour when cooked. While the majority of his catch is destined for local shops and restaurants, Alex loves nothing more than enjoying a fish, freshly caught and grilled on beech wood while overlooking the breathtaking lake.

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The beauty of simplicity

The beauty of simplicity

There was a time when the south-Italian region of Apulia was known for little else than olives. But acclaimed Chef Pietro Zito has changed all that. As an early ambassador of the Slow Food movement, Pietro celebrates ingredients that haven’t travelled half the world to get to a plate. All the ingredients used at Pietro’s Osteria “Antichi Sapori“ come from his 15,000 m2 garden or nearby producers. Supporting local farmers and food producers means they are given the credit they deserve while reducing food miles. At Antichi Sapori, the seasons dictate what’s on the menu. Knowing when certain produce is ripe and ready for harvest, is what counts. Pietro uses his ingredients – together with the region’s best olive oil – to create an ever-changing menu of mouthwatering simplicity.

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Horse fishing in Belgium

Horse fishing in Belgium

Shrimps that taste of fresh sea water, is a rarity. To find them, you need to mount a horse on the Belgian coast of Ostduinkerke and join 12 passionate fishermen on their ‘fishing trip’. This is the only place in the world where Brabant horses are still used to catch shrimps in big baskets in the shallow waters. Washed, prepared and enjoyed straight away, it’s hard to beat their wonderful natural flavour.

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Chestnut reblochon radicchio tarte with pikeperch

In France, the crowning part of many meals is cheese. Here, you can use the acclaimed Reblochon to create a dish that plays a star role on your menu.

Go to Chestnut Reblochon Radicchio Tart recipe

Grilled caramelised Salmon

Spanish cuisine is tremendously varied from region to region. Andalusian, Basque, Catalan and Mallorcan dishes do have one thing in common though: lots and lots of olive oil, and this Salmon dish with an Asian-flavoured twist is no exception.

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Veal shank with apricots and saffron

Earthy celeriac, plump apricots and succulent veal shanks come together for an aromatic roast with delicate hints of saffron.

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