Tanja Krakowski and Lea Brumsack
Culinary Misfits

In the Christmas classic, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Rudolph and Yukon Cornelius stumble upon the “Island of Misfit Toys” where unwanted playthings with cosmetic or physical flaws go to live until a home can be found for them.

In Berlin, two enterprising young women have created a similar haven for unwanted fruits and vegetables such as carrots with two legs, crooked cucumbers, or overly bulbous strawberries and potatoes. Tanja Krakowski and Lea Brumsack are the founders of Culinary Misfits, a culinary service that sell dishes cooked with abnormally shaped fruits and vegetables, food that would otherwise be destroyed, fed to animals, or used as compost. They see beauty in imperfection. Some of their unusual dishes include Schräge Pastinakensuppe” (weird parsnip soup), “Krumme Gurkensuppe” (crooked cucumber soup) and “Gekrümmten Gugelhupf” (curved ring cake).

One of the goals of Culinary Misfits is to point out the wasteful use of food in our throwaway society. Today, official marketing standards and customer demand for flawless produce have created an environment where food is selected accordingly to optical criteria alone. According to a United Nations study, approximately 40 percent of all the fruits and vegetables that are grown never make it to market. It’s the sad price we pay to live in our perfect world. 

Although Culinary Misfits primarily operates as catering service, it does occasionally have a food stall at Markthalle Neun in Kreuzberg where they find homes (tummies) for all these unwanted fruits and veggies. In any case, you should check out their Facebook page to get a taste of their awesome food creations.