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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January was the month we settled in our new ‘haus at Rudi-Dutschke-Straße. Just like moving into a new apartment, it was cold at the start. It felt a little new and different, but the moment the Club Lounge started filling and members were getting lunch together at the betahaus | Cafe, a new magic started to happen. The magic we call the betahaus community. It takes time to build, but the connections that blossom inside the ‘haus stay forever.
In February betahausX released The Accessible Transportation Challenge - a partnership with Toyota Mobility Foundation for the BETAPITCH challenge in Berlin. Devoted to making Berlin a more accessible city, this edition of BETAPITCH gathered many startups working on great new transportation solutions.
In March, we announced a soon-to-be-open second location in Berlin in our favourite neighbourhood in the city. We took over the iconic Geyer Werke building in Neukölln and with the help of our architects from Kim Wang we turned the place into a four-floor coworking space. We shared with you some fun facts about the space before it’s opening and made a virtual map with our favourite businesses around the ‘haus.
In April, we celebrated a decade of coworking with our biggest party in the last few years - ''10 Years in beta''. For this one we transformed the coworking area in betahaus | Neukölln into a party venue. An art exhibition took over The Basement underneath and The Garden was filled with activities like acro yoga, mandala painting, and a collage workshop.
‘’One of my many favourite betahaus moments this year was when Christoph, Max and I stood nervously in the Garden to give a speech in front of all our friends and members at our 10th birthday party. We talked about our values, our future goals after this whirlwind of a change and our intention to make tech more human. There was just so much love and appreciation around us.’’ - Madeleine (Co-Founder, betahaus)
"My favourite betahaus moment of the year is the woman who was gently putting beef and minced meat around our 10 years party installation. Until this day, no one knows exactly who she was and if this was a part of the installation, but out of all the things we saw on the 10 years in beta, she stays my highlight.’’ - Maria (Graphic Designer, betahaus)
The 10 Years in beta party was also the official opening of betahaus | Neukölln. Spring was the perfect time for our new project to start growing. The Club Lounge started filling, amazing new teams joined the community such as LAUDO, Obst Digital, Wonderwerk, Trybe and The Zeitsprung Project. Our Gil became the Lord of the house, giving hugs to everybody, fixing all kinds of problems in the ‘haus and keeping it run smoothly with the rest of the Front Desk team. This was also the month when we launched our beloved weekly yoga classes guided by our dear Cynthia from Arrive Yoga.
" People matter! Community was always what we were all about. ‘’
In June we launched #PeopleInbeta - our monthly blog post series in which our Content Manager - Vihra interviewed teams and freelancers from the betahaus community to present the variety of creatives we have in ‘haus, to understand their missions and get some useful advice for our audience. We talked on topics such as sustainability (with PlanA) , decentralized digital identity (with JOLOCOM), curated music experiences (with Bespoke Sounds), freelance photography (with Sara Herrlander), full-stack development (with Obst Digital), design (with LAUDO) and much more.
In the summer, we launched a couple of new events in Neukölln like Freelancers, Unite!, The Backyard Sessions and My friend’s BBQ.
Freelancers, Unite! developed as our productive coworking session with freelancers from in and outside the ‘haus. Once a month, we picked an important freelance topic (such as taxes, time-management, etc) and invited experts to give us insights on the topic. We saw so many new faces and had the chance to come back closer to where we started from - the freelance, grassroots culture.
Another event, which started in July (and turned out to be our favourite events) were The Backyard Sessions. Organised by our queen of Neukölln - Robbin – the Backyard Sessions are our creative evenings with live music jams, movie screenings and cocktails.
This last event was hilarious because for quite some time, nobody knew exactly who organised it or invited them. The friend was throwing a BBQ for the community in the garden and this led to all our members joining and staying after for a beer or two with us.
‘’My favourite moment this year was the second friends bbq which was actually cancelled because of the rain forecast. But despite the bad weather, people show up and it turned into a super nice intimate evening with Elizaveta and Paul giving a garden concert.’’ - Robbin (Community Manager, betahaus)
''In July, it was great how the casual after-work BBQ turned into an impromptu acoustic blues jam session with Elizavetta Barsegova and Paul, who have the voice of an angel. Actually, all of the My Friend's BBQ's and Backyard Sessions were AWESOME.’’ - Paige (Head of Marketing, betahaus)
This year we released a new event format in Kreuzberg called ‘’The betaSalon’’. It's an open panel discussion which aims to give stage to important topics and give free speech on them. The fist one we did on the EU elections, last month we talked about changemakers, but our favourite one for this season stays ‘’Mother + Founder’’ where we partnered with FemGems podcast and recorded a live podcast episode for them having Madeleine Gummer von Mohl (betahaus co-founder), Kristine Zeller (co-creater of ooshi period underwear) and Luisa Hoffman on the stage.
Every September, our co-founders take part in the Techfestival. in Copenhagen, spending a few days disconnecting from the daily life and focusing on creating a better, more human-centered tech future. This year the think tank which included our co-founders Madeleine and Max came up with the TechPledge. The Tech Pledge was made to emphasize the need for a new direction in tech. Similar to the Hippocratic oath for doctors, the Tech Pledge is a promise to make tech a force for good and ensure responsible and sustainable tech leadership. It’s a commitment to driving a new direction in technology.
One of the most exciting projects for betahausX this year (which is also continuing in 2020) is their new startup challenge called The Werder Lab - a global startup competition that aims to reimagine the way clubs like Werder work with athletes, fans and partners.
This year couldn’t end without us having our favourite events - the end-of-the-year holiday party and the BETAPITCH Global Finals. On the 6th of December we saw the 9 finalists of the regional BETAPITCH competitions pitching in front of our jury. Congrats to Troy from Hamburg for winning the big prize.
We finished the year at our Holiday Party celebrating anything and everything at betahaus | Neukölln together with our members, friends of friends and our favourite artists from Passiflora LIVE, Tapete and Kotoe.
Thank you for being with us in 2019. It's been a crazy big year for us and it wouldn't been possible without your support, trust and the hard work of our amazing team. Have an amazing holiday time and we'll see you again in 2020.