Kitchen talk with Tantris’ Benjamin Chmura

As summer is coming, there is always a desire to try different things and explore new flavors. It is particularly exciting to experience this from the perspective of one of Germany’s best chefs. We spoke about summer cooking with Benjamin Chmura, executive  chef at the legendary Tantris in Munich.

The Tantris in Munich

IRMA: What is your favourite spice to cook with in the summer?
BENJAMIN CHMURA: Aniseed, coriander seeds, anything that reminds me of freshness and the south, but my favourite thing to cook with in summer is herbs.

IRMA: What dish can guests at Tantris DNA look forward to on a warm summer evening?
BENJAMIN CHMURA: For me, the king of summer are vegetables!
Tomatoes, courgettes and aubergines.
At Tantris we have a tomato tart with oregano and mustard, which we serve with a tomato concassé of cherry tomatoes and vegetables baked in a traditional tian, a shallow, round, flat-bottomed earthenware dish.

IRMA: What herbs are in your summer kitchen and how do you use them?
BENJAMIN CHMURA: More aromatic herbs: basil (red basil), oregano, thyme, verbena, lemon verbena – I love the herbs, it smells like the south and is fun.
I also use less butter and more olive oil.

IRMA: Cheese in the summer to finish off a dinner, what would you recommend?
BENJAMIN CHMURA: All cheeses that are fresh and not aged and that can be combined with fruit and vegetables: Burrata, brocciu (from Corsica), ricotta or a fresh goat’s cheese.

IRMA: A summer dessert that embodies Tantris?
BENJAMIN CHMURA: Fine strawberry tart with lightly smoked tea, served with vanilla whipped cream and strawberry jam.
I also like the Mieze Schindler strawberry, which is a cross between a normal strawberry and a wild strawberry.

IRMA: Your tip for the side dishes if you want to organise a barbecue at home.
BENJAMIN CHMURA: Fumé gras d’un morceau de viande, Fat smoke from a piece of meat To counteract the smoky and fatty side of meat or fish, I would make a salad of ox heart tomatoes cut into large chunks. I always add a little sugar and olive oil and drain the salad. The juice can then be used to make a vinaigrette, for example. Grilled vegetables and always on top.

Tantris’ Benjamin Chmura with Jasmin Khezri from IRMASWORLD