Ben Pommer

The 2 Minute Interview

What defines good food? Sophisticated compositions, pleasant surprises, spectacular presentation and exquisite service? To a certain extent, yes. Ultimately, though, it is about enjoying and experiencing culinary delights together. Ben Pommer feels the same and would always choose a table full of food and friends over any Michelin starred palace. The chef had had a bellyfull (haha, very funny!) of three-star-kitchens and watching his passion and love for food be boiled to shreds. So he decided to start grilling ribs – in food stalls, on markets and always delicious. Gourmet ribs, so to say. What happened then is rather spectacular. All of a sudden, good old Ben was everywhere. Village Market? Ben Pommer. Parker Bowles? Ben Pommer. Food court at Neue Heimat? Ben Pommer. Happy Belly? Ben Pommer. Expert advice for the country’s latest and most exciting restaurant concepts? Guess who…  Who is this man with a name that already sounds like a hearty dish of roast potatoes with something really juicy. That’s exactly what we wanted to find out, too. After all, we’ve been working with him now for the second time round and this sums it up quite well: take a big portion of talent, mix it with a large helping of creative potential, add a generous dash of gumption and a pinch of humour to taste. Bon appetit!


Name: Ben Pommer
chef and restaurateur
Shoe size:
Favourite ingredient:

What was the last thing you had to eat?
A fabulous chicken sandwich at a tasting for a new summer project.


Sweet or savoury?
Definitely savoury.


If you had to decide between never eating a burger again or eating a burger everyday, what would you choose?
Then never again. For one thing, burgers are overrated and often not particularly exciting and for another thing, there are far too many good ingredients that shouldn’t be anywhere near a burger and I definitely wouldn’t want to miss out on them.


What can’t you get enough of?


If you weren’t a chef, then you’d probably be …
Then I probably would have finished my business degree and would be cooped up in an office bored to death. What a horrible image…


What is the most disgusting thing you’ve ever had to eat?
I’ve eaten many – let’s say unusual – things during my travels. But the most unpleasant thing by far was a deep-fried tarantula. The little hairy legs are manageable, but I really would prefer not to eat the gooey insides ever again.


A day you’ll never forget:
A while ago, I spent some time in Tokyo with two good friends and we chowed our way through the city. It was fantastic! There is not a city that can compete with these culinary delights. Anyway, we had chosen a restaurant we wanted to go to, but we couldn’t make any reservations and would have had to wait at least an hour to get a table. But we were already starving and my friends convinced me to try somewhere else in a district with lots of very small places typical for Tokyo and only seating up to 10 people. But it was a Sunday and almost all restaurants were closed. One of us then saw a little sign glowing on the first floor of a building in a dark alley. I was annoyed that we didn’t stay at the initial restaurant, but what we then got to eat was unique in its freshness and quality. We had ended up in a little restaurant with charcoal table grills and were grilling all sorts of Kobe beef cuts and offal and eating sensational pickled vegetables. After about 2 hours, the head chef came to our table in disbelief and was extremely happy to see how much we appreciated his food. He brought Sake and it was a very long evening with old and new friends, spectacular food and drinks. It was absolutely brilliant!


What do you regret not having done by now?
I have no regrets, but it’s really time for me to do some more travelling… I’ve especially been wanting to go to Africa for years.


Any exclusive culinary insider tips for Berlin?
It still is an insider tip and I guess it would be quite egoistic not to share it…too bad, really. A friend of mine that I worked with in Hamburg and Bergisch Gladbach has opened a new wine bar. And it won’t be a secret for long anyway… Weinbar Schwein at Elisabethkirchstraße 2 in Mitte. Extremely good!


In which situation would you like to say „no“ more often?
At work…I work a lot and sometimes I’d like to be able to say „no“ more often and have more time for my personal life.


With which famous person would you like to go out for a drink?
Franz Beckenbauer, in vino veritas.


Why aren’t pizza boxes round?
So they don’t roll away, should the deliveryman drop them…


What would you cook for us if we visited you at home?
I thought maybe you could cook for a change?!


What are you afraid of?
Allergies and intolerances that make it difficult for me to cook. Preparing lobster bisque must be horrible if you’re allergic to shellfish.


When was the last time you did something for the first time and what was it?
Last week, my head chef and I bought crates of vegetables and pickled, fermented and smoked loads of them. That was exciting and very educational.


What should no one know about you?
That I suffer from red/green colour blindness, which can sometimes be quite challenging in the kitchen.


Which question should we have asked?
When can we finally eat at your place again?


Last Words:
Not necessarily something the guest always has…