About desserts and new things: René Frank

When something new emerges from the familiar, Michelin-star chef René Frank is not far away. Once in his dessert restaurant CODA in Berlin, where he combines a wide variety of ingredients to create surprising taste experiences - or on the road, where he drives a Cupra Formentor. A visit with the renowned patissier, including a lesson in recombining.
Text Alfred Rzyski
Photo Alexandra Kinga Fekete

The new? René Frank simply likes it. And for him, it's practically his purpose in life because in his unique dessert restaurant CODA, the 37-year-old not only combines a wide variety of culinary influences but also creates something completely unique from them. This doesn't just mean the flavors of his dishes but the processes itself. The attitude of the creator himself included, of course. Would you like an example? There are the cocoa beans that he uses to make chocolate for his restaurant. A complex process that costs time and money - but is very important to Frank. Not only because of the quality that is ensured in this way, but also because of the conscious handling of the products.

But the patissier also likes to take on challenges in other ways, as he explains with regards to his career and CODA: »I would have to lie if I said it was easy. Especially because for a long time there was also headwind from the side of the critics, who didn't want to understand why we didn't just buy chocolate, for example, but made it ourselves in an elaborate way.« His success, however, has proven him right. In 2016, he opened Germany's first dessert restaurant, and his courage paid off: CODA now has two stars in the Michelin Guide, and Frank is a brand ambassador for the CUPRA design and performance brand. A unique development - like the seven-course dessert menu itself. How that, in turn, comes about?

»I remember the taste of many things I ate as a child. In addition, I am insanely fond of trying unknown products. And there is actually no good quality product that doesn't taste good when prepared consciously. I often go the route of remembering a taste, a dish, and then trying to achieve that taste with alternative products. In the process, something new inevitably emerges.«

You could also say in short: creative recombination of excellent ingredients and a smart recipe. In the process, watermelon sometimes meets algae, but also cocoa meets plum flavor on pasture-raised pork. The result is anything but an ordinary dessert. With exact quantity, temperature, and time specifications, Frank's result is always identical - but above all outstanding. He draws inspiration from Spain, France, and even Japan. The end product? A culinary world map in seven courses. Currently, the CODA menu offers:

The only question that remains is why René Frank drives a Formentor. Whereby that actually makes a lot of sense: after all, we already mentioned the thing with taste, excellent ingredients, and an intelligent recipe.


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