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The man behind the Werner Schnitzel

The man behind the Werner Schnitzel

22-07-2013 | 10.45

Boris Werner is known for his extreme stamina and his ability to play long sets. Exhilirating, inexhaustable and therefore Trouw’s resident DJ of the month July. But what about the food, fueling all this?
 
Frequent visitors of the Pilsvogel (De Pijp) or Café De Prins must have noticed Boris. Not spinning the decks, but turning pots and pans in the kitchen or juggling with glasses behind the bar. This came naturally: his father was the owner of Café De Prins, a well known café at Prinsengracht 124, but also a secure place for some excellent pub grub. Boris’ mother originated from Essen, so from her he inherited his taste for the German ‘Gutbürgerliche Kuche’. “A plate of fresh mashed potatoes is so comforting to me, really!” From there on, it is only a small step to the schnitzel. “Hey, but not any kind of schnitzel! My father prepared it perfectly, thin and crumbed in panko, and served it with horseradish on the side. For myself, I often add a salad of thinly sliced cucumber, red onion, apple cider and pumpkin seed oil. You might call it a schnitzel-de-luxe.”
Five years ago Boris suddenly had enough of his parttime barjob (‘I turned more sour by the day’) and decided to focus entirely on music, his emotional release. But he kept his passion for good food.
 
Bella Italia
Now we jump from the Pijp and the Prinsengracht to Viterbo. DJ Boris Werner frequently turned up in Italy, where he found that the local food often compensated for the ‘not-so-good’ gigs in small discotheques. “The food was great. Local recipes, simple but with fantastic taste. In Viterbo I was allowed into the kitchen of an old woman. So nice to see how a great meal is made with plain ingredients. I love ‘pasta alle vongole’. Pasta, shellfish, basil, oregano, peppers, garlic, olive oil: that’s all! And of course to dine at long tables and forget about time.. That’s why I love to be in Italy. In Holland we seem to lack the patience to spend hours at the dining table. It’s a pity.”
Boris has many more memories of places where time seems to stand still while enjoying food. “Thailand, South-Africa, Cuba: eating is an important ritual there. I always try something new, especially traditional exotic food, as long as it doesn’t contain insects, dog- or snake meat. I wouldn’t recommend rice with turtle though: too hard-bitten!”
 
TV Lounge Detroit
Let’s jump to the USA. Boris played the famous TV Lounge in downtown Detroit during Circoloco’s ‘A Celebration of Arthur Russell’ only recently. Apart from being a wonderful party, it felt heartwarming to be in Detroit. “The people there really took care of me. And the food was surprisingly good. A couple of days before – on May 20th – I celebrated my 32nd birthday in New York. Again: suprisingly good food. You really want to know what was being served? Uh… it was nice, let’s keep it at that, haha!”
We return to our point of departure: Amsterdam. Boris admits not being into good food all the time. “I spend the whole week in the studio and during the weekends I’m all over the place. Cooking is often not an option. So yes, I do grab a snack every now and then. A portion of döner kebab fills my stomach better than delicate sushi.”
As our resident of the month, Boris was allowed to put a special dish on Trouw’s menu: the Werner Schnitzel. Just because it’s a good stomach filler? “No, no, there’s a little story behind that. Schnitzels not only remind me of my father, they also bring back memories of Austria. I often went skiing there with my parents and, after a long day on the slopes, I loved nothing more than a crunchy schnitzel! Yes, I confess: deep in my heart I am a schnitzel child.”
 
Boris’ kitchen cupboard
But seriously: Boris loves good food. A list of his cooking essentials:
1.  Kikkoman Soy Sauce
2.  garlic
3.  thyme
4.  milk
5.  Opperdoezen (exquisite Dutch potatoes)
 
Boris’ favourite restaurant
“Café Curtis, Tweede Anjeliersdwarsstraat 6-hs in Amsterdam (the Jordaan). Superb Italian cuisine. A tiny place, so please don’t go there all at once!”
 
Text: Bonita van Lier