Interview: Ursula Izabel Waltemath, co-founder Restaurant Brace
How is the restaurant doing right now?
Unfortunately, like most others, we are experiencing a big loss. But that is needless to say.
What we haven’t lost, however, is our motivation. We have taken it as an opportunity to analyze everything we have done and put together a plan for everything we still want to do for making BRACE an even more special space for both our team and our guests. We have a big surprise just around the corner.
At the moment we are running our BRACE-OUT Take-Away, which thanks to kind local support, is going very well.
Tell us briefly about this last year with the pandemic
It has been a year of surprises, challenges, constant adaptation, and creativity. We have been stripped of our routines, comfort zones, plans, and occasionally our smiles.
From day one of the first lockdown, we decided to put our feet forward and do takeaway, even if it was controversial for a fine dining restaurant.
The locals were extremely supportive, kind, and enthusiastic, which gave us more strength to keep going. We started a concept of 4 hands takeaway last April, in which we invited some great colleagues to cook with us, allowing guests to enjoy a very unique meal, at the comfort of their own homes.
Re-opening last summer was euphoric and we were exceptionally grateful for those months, until December.
It was only natural for us to revive BRACE-OUT in the second lockdown. It has kept our minds on track and our passion alive.
How does the corona-pandemic affect your sustainability-work?
In some ways, it made an impact.
For us at BRACE, the choice and care of the individual ingredients have always been a fundamental factor in our work. Since the opening, more than 4 years ago now, we have aimed at ingredients being local, also and above all sustainable products… we have done so believing that this is in line with our values and could be of added value for our guests to experience, which by choosing to dine with us, they could have an all-round experience: healthy, refined and balanced.
This principle has not failed for BRACE-OUT: we did not want in any way to distance ourselves from what has always represented us, but in a period like this it was sometimes complicated to find all the ingredients we wanted, from all our trusted suppliers. We had to adapt to this too.
By now, however, we have almost reached the end of this path. We are already working on the opening menu and Nicola is already committed to contacting new and old suppliers who will once again become our point of reference.
What is your biggest struggle in terms of sustainability?
As explained in the previous question, surely our biggest battle is the choice of ingredients. The dishes have a look and a taste, so rich and satisfying that we could never do without it on our menus.
The quality, as in every area of life, changes the perception and value of what you are doing, and in our case, of what you are eating.
Over time we have also approached other forms of sustainability: non-waste, reusing as much as possible every single ingredient, thus creating a non-alcoholic combination to our dishes; we used uniforms for the guys of our team made from recycled materials, as well as our lamps in the dining room made from upcycled copper.
Sustainability means hard work, it means making conscious choices. Sometimes complex, but always very rewarding!
What are your goals and dreams for the future?
To feel continuously alive, the ambitions must gradually grow and be adjusted.
At the moment we have a big project concerning BRACE.
The right time for great ideas always comes if you want it.
We want to give a new aspect to our restaurant, we want to move our desires higher and make them come true not only for our ego but above all for the pleasure of all those who can visit our restaurant and experience a truly unique concept in a space with design, good food and Italian memories embracing the Nordic nature.
Soon we will reveal the new face of BRACE.