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A Special Dinner with Fashion Designer Anne GorkeArticle by: Veronica Baesso

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WEIMAR- I was recently spoiled by a home made dinner by the talented Anne Gorke, who I had the pleasure to discover during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin.  Anne Gorke comes from Weimar, where the Bauhaus was founded. Today the Bauhaus spirit and creative energy are still alive in the young design scene and clearly present in Anne Gorke’s work. Her use of clean cuts and ingenious material combinations, juxtaposing stiff and flowing fabrics, are creating trademark architectural silhouettes in line with the “form follows function” maxim, wearability is essential for Anne Gorke’s designs. All designs are exclusively made of high-quality, toxin-free, fair-trade and ecologically certified textiles, 100% made in Germany.

Over this pleasant night, Anne and I spoke about her newest collection, her inspiration and love of cooking.

“The first collection I presented under my name was in 2011. A very strong influence in my collections are movies. Since an early stage I got interested in movies and  I studied with film makers. Film and textiles are both a language and a surrounding that I feel extremely comfortable with. So every collection starts like a short movie in my head after I found the initial picture or feeling. After that the idea develops into a film and in the end I have a collection with a woman and a setting and a whole story.

The “Nightingales” AW 2013/14 collection is inspired by the women of David Lynch Twin Peaks. The “Nightingales” Collection is dominated by dark blue, grey and black, set off with touches of cream and shades of gold and rosé. Ecological cottons and knitted fabrics combine with Indian silk to create clean, architectural silhouettes.

Some looks from the “Nightingales” AW13/14 collection during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin 

Regarding food, I prefer simple recipes. If I take time for cooking I do not want to work with bad ingredients. With my collections it is the same. I want only the best ingredients. Organic peace silk from a silk project in India, organic cotton from the USA that was produced in Switzerland and vegetable tanned leather from Germany. High quality ingredients, in turn do not need many herbs and spices. Again it is a similar philosophy to my designs. I do not like too many ornaments or details that don’t have much use.

The recipe I chose is called Hunter’s Chicken Stew (Pollo alla Cacciatora). It is chicken in a red wine sugo with garlic and capers and anchovies. It cooks by itself in the oven. And I serve it with rosemary – honey potatoes or a buttery polenta with fresh pepper and Parmigiano.

I love this recipe because it works. And it is like a firm handshake. And this is also what I expect of my dresses and clothes. I want them to have a firm elegance and femininity without too many frills, and unnecessary details.”

Ingredients:

2 kg higher-welfare chicken, jointed, or use the equivalent amount of chicken pieces

sea salt

freshly ground black pepper

8 bay leaves

2 sprigs fresh rosemary

3 cloves garlic, peeled (1 crushed, 2 sliced)

½ bottle Chianti

flour, for dusting

extra virgin olive oil

6 anchovy fillets

1 handful green or black olives, stoned

2 x 400 g good-quality tinned plum tomatoes

Preparation:

Season the chicken pieces with salt and freshly ground black pepper and put them into a bowl. Add the bay leaves and rosemary sprigs and the crushed clove of garlic and cover with the wine.

Leave to marinate for at least an hour, but preferably overnight in the fridge.

Preheat your oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4.

Drain the chicken, reserving the marinade, and pat dry with kitchen paper. Dust the chicken pieces with flour and shake off any excess. Heat an ovenproof pan, add a splash of olive oil, fry the chicken pieces until browned lightly all over and put to one side.

Place the pan back on the heat and add the sliced garlic. Fry gently until golden brown, then add the anchovies, olives, tomatoes (broken up with a wooden spoon) and the chicken pieces with their reserved marinade. Bring to the boil, cover with a lid or a double thickness layer of foil and bake in the preheated oven for 1½ hours.

Skim off any oil that’s collected on top of the sauce, then stir, taste and add a little salt and pepper if necessary. Remove the bay leaves and rosemary sprigs, and serve with a salad, or some cannellini beans, and plenty of Chianti.

 

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