Dylan Watson-Brawn is the co-founder of the new restaurant “Ernst”, located in Berlin-Wedding, and made an amazing playlist for us
All good things are worth the wait: Well before its hotly-awaited opening, experts and food lovers alike were already in agreement that the food was going to be good at the new Ernst restaurant – and were completely over the moon.
Thanks to Instagram, you could vividly follow this ambitious gastronomic concept in Berlin Wedding’s creative process at work. Various print and online publications ran features on the people behind it as they initiated their intimate supper clubs and even before the location, which was designed by architectural firm Gonzalez Haase AAS, was at all finalized.
The core team at Ernst consists of Dylan Watson-Brawn and Spencer Christenson, the owner and head chef respectively. Christoph Geyler is the sommelier and Paul Klein is also on board as chef.
Dylan discovered his passion for food at the age of 14 and found himself in the kitchen of a top Japanese restaurant just three years later. After positions in Copenhagen and New York, he moved to Berlin and began cooking in his apartment under the title “Jung, Grün und Blau.”
After Dylan met his business-partner-to-be, they changed the name to “Ernst” and the plan stood to create an exceptional culinary experience in Berlin. The location in Wedding had just been found and Christoph barely brought on board as sommelier when Paul completed the team as another chef – and now the restaurant has finally opened as of August 9.
In terms of its dishes, the restaurant is set on pure taste – often “just” single vegetables will be served in their full intensity, little meat, but all “radically fresh.” Ernst works closely with regional organic farms to realize that vision. Also, you buy tickets for an evening in the restaurant – an admission ticket to enjoy the menu from one of the twelve places at the bar directly in front of the open kitchen.
We feel honored to present this very personal playlist – one that plays in the kitchen while the dishes are being prepared. Here, an interview with Dylan, one of creative forces behind Ernst and, of course, the music.
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What role does music play during an average workday at Ernst?
We listen to music in the restaurant every day, although it changes from when we arrive in the morning and do prep to what we play for our guests in the evening. We go through phases of albums and mixes from friends as well as radio stations like NTS.
What’s special about the songs you selected for the playlist below?
It’s a collection of music the team enjoys in various occasions – before work as well as after.
Describe your restaurant Ernst in three sentences. What can visitors expect?
Pure dedication to our produce. A restaurant that tells its story and the stories of those who created it. A direct connection to your environment through the menu we serve you on that day, based on the season.
How would you describe your approach and what makes you different from other restaurants?
We try to cook less and look and feel more. We get wonderful products from the farms we work with and we would like to share them with our guests.
It’s our goal to mess with the produce as little as possible and just to try to bring out the best that is already there. We don’t think too much about what other restaurants do – we just try to create a vibe that is good for us and the people we work with.
What stages of preparing to open the restaurant did you enjoy the most? Which not so much?
We learned a lot: good and bad. And both sides brought moments of discomfort and joy. Now that we are almost finished, I’m glad we had both and really spent time to look at all of the details.
How did you find the location and what influence did it have on your concept? How important is Berlin as a location?
The location found us. It was an old casino on a little street near my apartment. The facade was terrible but the rent was low. It gave us a lot of flexibility to start from scratch and – with the help of our architects Gonzalez Haase AAS – we wanted to create an environment that we enjoyed working in, so we could pass on that joy and passion to our guests.
How important is Instagram in your communication “toolbox”?
It’s the only real consistent window into Ernst at this point. I run it so that it’s just a collection of moments that happen over the year in the restaurant.
Photos: MAIDJE MEERGANS
Translation: Melissa Frost
Julia co-founded one of the first fashion blogs in Germany in 2007 and became a freelance consultant for digital strategies after publishing her first book in 2010. After an eventful four years with Condé Nast working mainly in the digital department of Vogue Germany, she decided to launch her own online magazine with her dream partner, Veronika Heilbrunner. She is based in Berlin and loves to read books.
Updates about her next professional steps can be found at https://www.linkedin.com/in/juliaknolle/.