Gourmie is a culinary project by Fumiko Suzuki. She focuses on French, Italian and Japanese cuisine, yet always tries out new things. If you know the menu card of Gourmie , you can see there are no limits to the flavours she uses – from savory quiches to sweet tarts; vegetarian and meat curries, to drinks; small macaroons to wedding cakes. Fumi studied Humanities at the University of Paris III: Sorbonne Nouvelle. Later, she finished her studies at Volkshochschule in Berlin, and completed a diploma in Food Aesthetics. She always took pleasure in cooking for friends and family, which is why she decided to become a chef and start Gourmie. Fumi has been a member of betahaus for one year.
What does Gourmie offer its clients? Is there a particular target group?
I like personal service, so I cook just for one person. Nowadays, I also cook a lot for a bigger group. I like to prepare different kinds of cuisine, such as Japanese, French, and Italian. I can cook at a client’s home, or wherever people are holding events they want catered – I’m a very flexible person. Clients can contact me on my website if they have any questions or need any advice on cooking or food, or if they want me to cook for them or their event.
I don’t have a special target group in particular; I like to cook for anyone open-minded about food. I am running my company alone, so I can cook for as many people at a time as I want. I always think of how I want my food to look first, and then I consider the number of people I have to cook for, and how long it will take to prepare the food.
I am originally from Tokyo, but I moved to Europe 12 years ago, and I really like to live here. I’ve lived in France and Switzerland before, and I moved to Berlin to learn German after I discovered the international cuisine here that was present alongside the typical “grandmother-style” German cooking. A lot of my friends come from different countries and surprise me again and again with their national dishes and flavors. I feel really free here, and especially if you’re starting something new, Berlin is the city that gives you the possibility to do so, which is why I am still here and I am happy.
On the 15th of May, you are going to organize a workshop on making sushi here at betahaus. Could you tell us more about this workshop? What made you decide to start working at betahaus?
I grew up in Japan. Fresh fish, directly from the port, was part of the daily menu for me. This is perhaps the reason why I like to make sushi outside of Japan. I already have taught some sushi-making courses at the Volkshochschule in Berlin. This will be the first time I teach one at betahaus, so I would just like people to have fun, discover something new, and gain new skills. You don’t need to bring anything if you want to participate – you just need to be open-minded, and we will have fun together.
I have done some catering for cafes and for other private events, but this was too much for me to take on alone. I discovered betahaus, and I feel it’s best for me because I am always surrounded by people. I love the atmosphere here, though sometimes it can be really stressful during rush hour – people keep trying to tell me something, but I cannot listen to them because I’m too busy cooking. But every positiv feedback is really welcome, so just come over to my cook pult and tell me! Some members made my day really lovely with it. Negativ feedback, too. But not that hard. I'm a bit sensitiv.
I lived with a French family for a while during my stay in France. My host mother always cooked such delicious food, which is what first inspired me, and also my international friends. I’ve also been inspired by many food websites, cookbooks, and restaurants.
What are your future plans for Gourmie?
Right now I am updating my website, I always like it when people contact me and ask me for help or advice on how to prepare food. I like to help them, even if I don’t know them personally. I’ve also been thinking of writing a cookbook in the future, but for now, I’m focusing mostly on my website.
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I’m currently in Sende - a great coworking and coliving space in Spain, very close to the Portuguese border. I travel pretty often and the idea of being out in the Galician countryside, around other creative, entrepreneurial people sounded like a good idea. I’m currently doing a sort of high-level "Design Thinking" appraisal of my business, rethinking what I’ve learned so far in this first stage of business and how we can improve our services to better benefit clients and artists. The rest of the time I spend on music-making, and mixing the next batch of my own music for future release.
To be honest, I sort of fell into it. I was always working somewhere between content marketing and the music industry and around seven years ago a friend of a friend was searching for someone to help him curating music for his boutique surf spot on the beach in Costa Rica. The owner was a big music fan, but he just didn't have time to keep all the music up-to-date. So I got introduced to him, we shared similar tastes, and agreed that I would do the music for his space - curating it and updating it with new music on a regular basis.
This for me was a dream come true. I could finally work with music all day, and at the same time, I could help create an awesome experience for the guests. I saw people's reactions when they heard a song they liked. I saw them dancing, getting a little closer to each other at the bar and that for me was really rewarding.
This was the moment when I realized that there is something special about this idea and I got interested if there is actually market out there. I did some market research, and a lot of interviews with different hoteliers people in the industry trying to get more feedback. And the idea started growing more and more.
Interesting is the story of the last years winner in the category “Creative”. Hamburg based headraft literally took music experience to the next level by creating the world’s first AR Music Video for the German band “die Fantastischen Vier”. Designed for their song “Tunnel”, the cited app unfolds a virtual story world once the track starts playing, giving fans the opportunity to go on an interactive journey with the band rather than being a passive viewer.
Applications are now open! Finalists will be awaited by a curious jury of five leading industry experts. Among others, Kathleen Cohen who was already taking part in the first year will be in the panel of judges again. With a 25-year multiplatform career history under her belt, she is one of the most regarded in the field. As a digital experience expert, she has successfully implemented projects for DreamWorks Interactive and IBM Innovation, to name a few.
Needless to say, the yearly AUREA Award is definitely the place to be. Apply and become a member of the community bringing together all the promising products and solutions in the AR/VR sector.
Well, both. Currently we offer the following two options: shorter publicly available Brand Playlists and long-form private Soundtracks for spaces. For both of them we work closely with the client to understand how sound fits into their brand DNA and what their audience is like.
We believe that the guests’ experience with a particular space doesn’t have to begin and end with their stay. The idea of the Brand Playlist is to be a public brand playlists designed to engage the customers before, during, and after their visit at a space. It’s always accessible for them and serves as a new, dynamic marketing channel.
The Soundtrack is slightly different. It takes sometimes up to weeks of work and is designed by a world-class artist, DJ, or tastemaker. For it we first work with you to develop a deep understanding of your business and style. Then we match you with the perfect artist, DJ, or tastemaker to create unique, always fresh playlists, custom tailored to match your brand.
In both cases, we update them regularly based on guest habits and clients’ needs.
The way we engage with the music community is something really important for us and honestly, what makes us different than other background music providers. A lot of the background music providers out there have internal teams of maybe five or six DJs that do all of the music for their clients. We aim to connect with the local scene and always work with local DJs. There's some kind of magic in finding the exact right artists for the brand.
And on the flip side of it, when we hire artists, we make sure that the project is also inspiring for them and that they would be interested in participating. We always make sure to pay them well. The whole project creates for them a new income stream that they wouldn't have otherwise.
Yes! This was really fun. The objective with the betahaus "betabeer sounds" playlist was to showcase the community side of betahaus. There are so many cool, interesting people in the betahaus community and we thought a playlist could be a perfect way to not only help bring the community together but also show the diverse funkiness of the communities of Berlin and Neukölln, which is why Hazy Pockets, a longtime local Berlin DJ known for his eclectic mixes, was perfect for this project.
This playlist moves from bluesy 60s rock into surf and tropicalia, picking up momentum into Motown and onwards through some laid back disco tunes. Perfect for the betabeer events betahaus hosts monthly!
Oh, there are just so many! Like the Imren Grill for instance where you can find the best homemade Turkish food or Das Gift and Gordon which are both run by great music people. Kohelenquelle in Prenzleuer Berg is my favorite local bar (or rather kneipe). To satisfy my techno / electronic records needs I always go to Hard Wax and one of my most special places is the Zions Kirche steeple, which has an awesome view of the city and a great Weinerei close by.