Janine von ÆNDRÈ im wilden Gespräch.

Mit gutem Essen die Welt verändern.

Mit ihrem Café ÆNDRÈ in Hamburg versucht die Niederländerin Janine die Welt ein Stück besser zu machen. Hier kocht und backt sie ausschließlich mit Biozutaten, die aus der Region stammen, deren Händler sie kennt. Komplett pflanzenbasiert. Denn ihr liegt unsere Gesundheit und unsere Umwelt am Herzen. Wir durften die inspirierende Janine über ihre Mission befragen. Und wir können sagen, dass sie lebt, was sie liebt (Lesezeit 6 Minuten) 

"And what we do with these foods is magic. Also called love.”

The pandemic crisis hit you in your first year of existing. What have you learned from it?

Wauw it was a shock at first. I just couldn’t believe it. But in a few hours I accepted that the crisis was real and that I was responsible for how I was going to react and act. Somewhere in me there was a fire of creativity that got very strong. That is the first lesson; accept the situation and trust yourself that you can decide how you react and that you have everything in you to make it work. The second lesson was definitely that there was so much flexibility in me and in my team, a flexibility and strength that we until today use and trust.

ÆNDRÈ is not just another cute café. What makes you unique?

Unlike other concepts, I don't like to think in terms of hospitality concepts. That feels really restrictive for me, makes me uncomfortable. Same goes for describing your lifestyle. It's really limiting. There is no room for change and that is exactly what we are: change IS the only constant. And I want to change the food game. I want to serve, help people, guests & our team, to live a conscious and healthy lifestyle and thereby make a positive impact on ourselves as individuals, on our community and our environment. Food is a language on its own, it can open doors and has the ability to connect. We believe in the power of the shared table.

What is your mission? What would you like to change?

 ÆNDRÈ  means to change. That is a verb. You can only make a change if you DO. If you BE the change. I don't like to explain we sell this or that. What I do like to tell is why we do it and what our values are. Way more interesting. Everything is based on plants. Everything is contributing to a healthy body and soul. Most of what we buy is organic. Most of what we buy is local. We are as sustainable as possible. We think holistically, and sometimes it's very complex to tick all these checkboxes, but we are not restrictive and always positive. No finger pointing. 

"We believe the choices we make about what we eat, where it comes from and how it’s prepared and eaten, have a powerful impact on the health of individuals, business and the environment."

Your own relationship to food?

My journey into food starts very personal. I noticed that with food you can change yourself. Your body and your mind. I always appreciated good food, had a good nose for the delicacies. I started cooking. Soon I realised that food was not about feeding and not about myself. It became my vehicle to contribute and change. I was and am every day inspired by the cultures of the world, nature and its current status, the over and underfeeding we see in the world. It was never my dream to sell coffee or haute cuisine. It was never my dream to create something alone. It is my dream to create a business based upon particular values. To contribute to a movement.

From your fresh food supplier to the guys that make your tempeh you have carefully selected your sources. What were you looking for?

Originally I am Dutch, I moved to Germany three years ago. I knew I was going to start up again in food. But what can you do when you only can say "Guten Tag & Tschüss"? And how do you get to know a new town? Food of course! I strolled over all the markets. Cooked for new made friends. Went to all the coffee cafes & restaurants. Went out to meet the countryside and farmers. It went where my heart led me. That was the fundament for what I have built now. All those suppliers and products are selected based on values that I developed for myself long ago. Maybe for someone else it would be described as hard, but I like to think in a way that if you know what you want and have clear values, it is easy to find and decide.

Where do you get your recipes from? 

I create all our recipes myself but as with everything: I’m standing on the shoulders of giants. I have many great cookbooks for inspiration, I often go to other restaurants and  I especially get creativity from old recipes, cultures and the market. I combine, I try, I taste, I share and that’s how you develop your own recipe and your own style.

We make everything from scratch. Our food, our drinks, our spice mixes, everything. That is the only way you can be original and know exactly what is in your food.

We never have waste. We manage that by cooking everyday fresh. Much is sold the same day and when we have a less busy day we sell it the day afterwards. And if we have some bread leftovers it goes to the pig of Kaya’s, our team member, mother. 

What’s an easy recipe for our readers to get some taste of ÆNDRÈ at home?

I would definitely recommend going to the market and buy vegetables that attract you at that specific moment. Give them some oil, salt, maybe some spices and put them in the oven. It’s the most basic ‘recipe’ I would like to recommend, and the ‘recipe’ we use the most.

To be a bit more specific: buy yellow beetroots, give them some oil, salt & pepper, tamari & roast them in your oven or 25 minutes, 200 degrees. Let them cool down, add spinach and some orange juice and you’re check!

Janine's wild questionnaire

My favorite from the current menu

We have a delicious ‘shiro miso millet polenta’ which is topped with a fresh tomato salad and cherry tomatoes with basil fresh out of the oven. On top some very good olive oil, a buckwheat crunch and some fresh herb oil…

My favorite herb

I love my everyday friends like parsley or coriander. But more favourite is maybe tarragon. 

How to impress your guests at home: be grand with big plates to share and all the toppings you can think of. And I like to make alcohol free drinks like kombucha or tonics.

What I would like to say to my guests

Thank you. I am all gratitude for the energy you bring with you.

What I would need more of from my guests

More interest in the value of food & ingredients would be a massive contribution and loads of fun.

Where I recharge my batteries 

I walk everyday around the Alster, 90 minutes of peace. Also I recharge by cooking at home or a yoga practice. But the best recharge is definitely being in nature.

My mantra

The last year: better done than perfect. At the moment I am thinking of a new one.

My plans for 2020

Taking further steps in the development of ÆNDRÈ, which would go in the direction of packages for home delivery & becoming mother.

Liebe Janine, wir bedanken uns ganz herzlich für dieses wilde Interview. Wir wünschen dir für deine Familie und deine Projekte das Allerbeste.

Schaut unbedingt bei Janine im Café ÆNDRÈ und auf Instagram vorbei und schmeckt den Unterschied. Oder begleitet uns auf unserer Wanderung durch Hamburg, wo wir gemeinsam mit ihr kulinarische Besonderheiten entdecken und zubereiten werden!