She loves baking, he loves coffee. She grew up in the Soviet Union, he grew up under the hot sun of Israel. She calls herself a lazy perfectionist and dances around with her two little kids while preparing filigree cakes for the bakery. He tells you about the most painful moment in his life and how it became one of the most beautiful moments of his life. Mira Koretsky and Ori Kidron of Cookies & Co are two opposite poles, two planets orbiting and dancing around each other. There's so much energy, so much trust. They are one of the most positive couples I've ever met and together they are riding life's turbulent waves as they come.
Cookies & Co is one of Berlin's highly praised cafés / bakeries. The two owners never compromise to please everybody. Instead, they attentively take care that their place keeps its unique soul. A lot comes from Mira's style of baking, which - despite its perfect look and taste - never loses its charm. She's a professional baker with the soul of a home baker. Every cookie, cake, and croissant is unique. This is not a baking factory, it's the opposite. All pastries are made by Mira and her assisting pastry chef, Lior.
Maybe it's because Mira grew up in a political system that didn't allow culinary abundance but had a strong baking tradition, her recipes simply work and impress even if she left out the firework. However, let her start her firework and you will see the most colorful sweet feast. Fascinated by Japan's modern baking culture, she tops her Ricotta Lemon Cake with Yuzu Cream. Her Black Forest Cake is refined with miso and the bakery's popular Compost Cookies stay true to their name: take a thick, chewy cookie and add pretzels, chocolate, and potato chips. It sounds funky but it's so good!
One of the masterpieces from the bakery is their Croissant with Yuzu Filling and Purple Italian Meringue. It's a diva, you're almost too shy to cut it. It's dramatic but it keeps its promise: it looks like something that will excite you and it definitely does. And then the husband comes in, serving you an espresso that is just right. Ori is the barista in the family, also taking care of the guests while his wife is getting creative in the kitchen. Sometimes Ori has to slow Mira down otherwise the guests would never see their beloved Cookies & Co classics on the menu again. If she could, Mira would change the menu every day.
There are many bakeries offering perfect pastries but the ones we stick to, we keep going back to, are the ones that touch us, the ones that have a soul. Mira and Ori do almost everything on their own, keeping the quality level without compromises. Even if their energy is running low, they keep the motor running constantly. They are young parents, their youngest daughter was born with trisomy 21. The situation challenged them but they decided to face it with the same stubborn energy and positivity that they activate every day to deal with all facets of life. They don't look for the easiest way but they always find a beautiful way to enjoy life as it is: an endless circle of ups and downs. And in Mira's and Ori's case it's a dance.
For this podcast episode, Mira shared the recipe for her Ricotta Lemon Cake with Yuzu Cream with me. You can find all the blog posts about the podcast episodes including my guests' recipes on meikepeters.com under 'Meet in Your Kitchen'.