What speaks against a home office? Exactly: Eating at home is difficult – there is no canteen. So what to do if companies want to attract their employees back to work according to the new home work culture after the corona? Food helps. And it doesn't have to be currywurst or wiener schnitzel. ZDF promises “plan b: The canteen rethought” – and it lifts the lids on the cooking pots of the future. How could the canteen be better? The way to get there is to be quiet and educate.

Public money versus currywurst

Before the corona, the rule was: in Germany, every fifth person eats lunch in a canteen. Currywurst with fries has been a favorite there for over 25 years. The European Union has decided to shake this throne. Starting in 2022, the “SchoolFood4Change” project is underway, the aim of which is to make students taste food. And in the capital, the Senate is promoting the “Berlin Method” to help workers learn to eat better.

Master chef on the innovation course

ZDF travels to the capital, Berlin's public transport company. Michél Engling is the operations manager of the canteen. The viewer learns that he used to work in the star kitchen. Now the “Berlin Method” is being tried. Base: seasonal vegetables. The Berlin Senate will provide 1.15 million for the culinary transformation of more than 50 canteens, schools and kindergartens. But the road is hard. Michél Engling states: His kitchen is not designed for processing fresh vegetables, simply because of space. Pre-cut from the freezer – it's easier, faster and requires less work space. Engling is currently adding fish patties to the menu. And they are formed by hand. The master chef on the innovation course seems to like it. But aren't the seas often overfished? Chef Engling is looking for an alternative. And you can find it just 60 kilometers away in Storkow, Brandenburg. The fish master should deliver trout there in the future to displace cod and the like.

“I avoid the word vegetarian!”

But: who likes it? Are lentils and beans, the 'wonder legumes of sustainability', serious competition for currywurst? The goal of training chefs who aspire to sustainability is to increase their chances of success. In the practical kitchen, Engling and his team are roasting beans with apple and celery flavors. Perhaps the most important tip from trainer Manuel Poschadel: “I avoid the word vegetarian.” One of the BVB canteen chefs has already had this experience in practice. Vegetarian? Even vegan? It's better not to put it on the menu. Just sell it as a potato or pasta pan. “Then they ask afterwards – and what was vegetarian today?”

It doesn't taste good until the eighth time

So cheating helps. In the framework of the “SchoolFood4Change” project, Vienna Primary School is very intentional about training. The camera follows the students blindly testing the milk replacers. Some people grimace. Some people find oats and the like tasty. Rule of thumb: a person has to eat something unfamiliar five to eight times before he starts to like it. “It's a challenge,” says the chef, “because the kids don't know it at home.” The keywords that are presented to the viewer are always the same: CO2 footprint. Regional. Seasonal. Plant based. Organic. We've seen all of this spread far more often. Healthy meal, currywurst – it comes to you!