For our “Electricity with…” column, we go on a round with well-known personalities in or on electric vehicles of various kinds and get their impressions of their “e-trip”. Of course, we also talk about other Touremo magazine topics such as nature experiences, regional specialities or sustainability in everyday life.
Meeting place with background
Munich’s Viktualienmarkt is the perfect location for our meeting with Holger Stromberg, and not only because the abundance of “Lebens-Mittel” (food) on offer provides an animating ambience for our conversation with the exceptional chef and multi-talent. The chosen location also has to do with his new, large-scale project for sustainable food production through circular economy. At the edge of the market there is a first small “signature store” of the “Organic Garden AG”, which is frequented by a conspicuously large number of young people who queue patiently to get their hands on one of the different vegan hot dog variations.
Martin Wild and Holger Stromberg at Organic Garden’s Signature Store at Viktualienmarkt
Holger Stromberg also brought Martin Wild, his partner and CEO of Organic Garden AG, to the appointment. And – in keeping with the theme – he did not miss the opportunity to come along with his electro-mobile “gateway drug”, an e-mountain bike. He came to the bike by chance through his job with the German national football team, for which he worked as a cook and nutritional consultant for ten years.
E-biking as a key experience
When the team was preparing for the World Championships in the South Tyrolean training camp, a bicycle manufacturer provided the team and coaches with various mountain bikes for recreational fun. Among them was a model with electric drive, which the then rather untrained star chef immediately chose for a test ride to the next mountain hut. The ride to the summit turned out to be a key experience, because once he reached the top he was completely overwhelmed by the view. But also by the prospect of being able to conquer dreamy realms in the future thanks to motorised assistance, which had previously seemed inaccessible to him through the use of muscle power alone.
Since then, the nutrition expert has mastered as many routes as possible, even in the city, with the e-bike. This saves him a lot of time and the training effect should not be underestimated – despite the “built-in tailwind”. Whenever his schedule allows, he likes to take his back-friendly “fully” out for a spin on the forest paths around his home and, whenever time permits, of course also in the nearby mountains. For Stromberg, this is a good way to clear his head after long meetings, for example.
Holger Stromberg once again confirms that experiencing e-mobility for oneself, no matter what kind, is the central prerequisite for an open-minded attitude towards this form of transport. And so, for him, “electric driving” is now not limited to e-biking alone. Since he often has a lot to transport, he recently opted for the Mercedes EQV, an e-van that is ideal for his purposes because it combines a large amount of space for passengers with a large transport volume. He is completely satisfied with it, with the rather sober Westphalian even using the word “sensational”.
And the E-Smart, his second four-wheeled electric vehicle, “is also mega” because it gives a real go-cart feeling. And because charging at home is also completely problem-free, Holger Stromberg has consequently become a real fan of e-mobility.
Generally speaking, I think that our engineers and designers should think (re)more radically in the field of mobility. That will come, just like with the chefs. I am firmly convinced of that.
Despite his diverse e-mobile experiences, we were able to provide the nutrition visionary (?) with a new, very special driving experience at the end. We went on a tour of Munich’s city centre in the “eFiaker”, an electric carriage from Pedalhelden. Under the eyes and enthusiastic cheers of numerous passers-by, the e-coach took us on its leisurely, sometimes quite fast, sightseeing tour. A good opportunity to continue our conversation.
Holger Stromberg loves and appreciates nature and is outdoors as often as he can. His life plan includes spending the night in a hammock. In the middle of the forest. But he’s not quite comfortable with being all alone… So until that happens, he prefers to take the occasional trip into nature on his e-bike. But he also loves to be in his garden. “There I blossom, just like the flowers and grasses around me, because I cut very little. I let everything grow as it comes. Even “weeds” are often beautiful and are simply part of the overall picture for me.”
Typical favourite dishes of childhood
From an early age, the scion of a Münster gastronomic family had a taste for food in the truest sense of the word. Playing in the kitchen, standing at the meat grinder with his father and going to the wholesale market with him early in the morning – all this influenced him early on. Just like regional specialities of the Münsterland, such as the ragout “Pfefferpotthast”, which he still likes today, even though he hasn’t eaten it for a while. But also broad beans with bacon croutons and fried potatoes, stalk mash, kohlrabi vegetables, carrot vegetables “mixed up”, lentil stew and other hearty specialities of the old homeland make his mouth water just thinking about them.
Turning to vegetarian and organic cuisine
Nowadays, meat dishes rarely make it onto Stromberg’s plate. There is no single decisive reason for this. Very different experiences have led to an overall picture. For decades, the Michelin-starred chef has been noting the unacceptable husbandry practices in animal fattening, the transport and slaughter practices, the changing supply on the fish markets, the omnipresent use of pesticides in the field of crops and mainstream breeds without taste. Meat seems to him to be held in less and less esteem and the living being, before it is “scaled” into sausage, is “popularly covered up”. In addition, in the last few years of his DFB activity, the topics of climate, growth of the earth’s population, product diversity in abundance, but instead food waste and plastic without end have preoccupied him more and more. All this, in connection with his own health experiences and discussions with farmers, scientists, politicians and colleagues, have led to the fact that “food changes everything” has become his guiding principle and inspiring people has become his mission. The readers of his books and the future customers of “Organic Garden” will learn that there is a better way than industrial food production. We will soon be reporting more about this innovative company and its plans in the Touremo magazine.
Text: Peter Grett
Pictures: Lutz Duerichen
Picture: EQV Mercedes-Benz
Coming soon: Episode 2:
“Stromern with actor Peter Lohmeyer”