Michael Käfer | Germany

Caterer Käfer launches Veggie concept

The new Green Beetle by Michael Käfer
Green Beetle
The new Green Beetle by Michael Käfer

Green Beetle is the name of Michael Käfer's first vegetarian-vegan restaurant in Munich. The concept is geared towards sustainability: Chef Felix Adebahr relies on certified organic and regional products.

Michael Käfer has opened its sustainable restaurant Green Beetle at Schumannstraße 9, around 150 metres from the Munich headquarters in Bogenhausen. Already in 2020, the company has developed strategies with regard to waste and food waste avoidance, the use of environmentally friendly materials, energy consumption and CO2 emissions according to the motto "Käfer Goes Green".

Conserving resources and nutrients

"Sustainable and resource-saving business practices are very important to us as the Käfer family, as well as to our managers and employees," emphasizes Michael Käfer. The initiative is part of Clarissa Käfer's business division. "We see sustainability as an investment in the future. As a medium-sized company, we have the great system advantage of being able to act quickly and in a targeted manner. We use this and, by implementing clear sustainability goals and concepts, ensure that the company is brought into the next generation in a responsible and future-proof manner," says Clarissa Käfer.

The Green Beetle specialises in vegetarian, vegan, seasonal, organic, regional as well as national and above all sustainable cuisine. Under the motto "Why not just vegetables?", chef Felix Adebahr wants to create a pleasurable experience: "I use different cooking techniques, flavours and colour accents. High temperatures provide natural roasted flavours, while gentle cooking methods preserve freshness and colour".

Trying out and varying new things

Traditional sustainable processing methods such as fermenting, canning and pickling are also used. There is also experimentation, "We try a lot in the kitchen team. For example, we replaced the anchovies in the Cesar Salad with pickled eggplant and nori," Adebahr says. Guests don't have to miss out on any taste sensations, he adds. As a signature dish, the chef has created a green beetle stew, for example, with Breton artichoke, resina bean, cashew nut and watercress. Felix Adebahr knows how star gastronomy works - he has worked as Chef de Partie at Bobby Bräuer's EssZimmer and at Tantris.

The kitchen team consists of six chefs and three apprentices. Whenever possible, the team uses regional and seasonal produce. Exotic foods come from fair trade and organic cultivation. In summer, the crew collects wild herbs in the English Garden. Sustainability is also the order of the day when it comes to drinks. Käfer relies on local suppliers. 99 percent of the wines are organic, the organic coffee comes from regional production and tea is available in bulk. As a signature drink, the bar team has created a Green Beetle Sprizz with Cava Mirgin Gran Reserva and basil-ginger lemonade.

Sustainable furnishings and team outfits

For the sustainable interior, Thomas Mang and Stefan Mauritz chose natural materials and upcycled products. The wooden parquet floor comes from an old gym - you can still see the markings. "We also worked mainly with regional craftsmen," Stefan Mauritz points out. The wall is finished with lime plaster, and straw and nutshells were added to the plaster for a lively look.

Porcelain beetles by the artist duo Beate Reinheimer and Ulrike Rehm crawl on the wall as eye-catchers. The tiles are newly fired from old shards. And a South Tyrolean start-up has developed the lights in the interior: "The material is obtained from waste tobacco, hemp, wine and beer," says Mang. The chairs in the interior are made of wood from certified and largely local sources, the outdoor chairs from marine waste: "Seat as well as backrest are made of recycled fishing nets and plastic," explains Mang.

Service and kitchen clothing are also sustainable - made from organic cotton and polyester as well as recycled marine plastic. The shoes are vegan: the sneakers from Munich-based start-up Monaco Duck use mostly grape marc for their leather alternative. The menu is not printed: orders are placed via QR code: "If you don't have a smartphone, you get a recycled tablet," says restaurant manager Andreas Weber.

"We use candles made from plant-based oil. We also do without disposable materials, table linen and non-essential drink decorations such as stirrers, as well as plastic straws. Cleaning products with easily degradable ingredients are transferred from large containers into dispenser bottles made of recycled glass or clay," Weber says. Soon there will be a machine that turns kitchen waste into soil - which the greengrocer will pick up again.

On Sundays, an American brunch will be offered - a served à la carte brunch. Catering will also be available with vegan-vegetarian buffets. "But with all the focus on the environment and health, we want the Green Beetle to be a place of relaxed enjoyment. A bar with a cool play-list where you eat, drink and have fun," Michael Käfer emphasizes.

Astrid Filzek-Schwab