This article is part of our written series that introduces and explores small businesses that align with the FEC mission of encouraging local food makers and producers. This series hopes to serve as a resource and as inspiration for other industry folk in sharing the stories of local food entrepreneurs in the Brandenburg area.
by Madeline McLean
I didn’t realize how difficult it is to pull a wild horseradish root out of the ground. As I’m hacking away at the root, then tugging on it so hard I feel my back buckle, I look over and see Micha almost gracefully haul out a hefty, prehistoric-looking root. We’re on a fishing-foraging-lunch trip in Uckermark, visiting Michael Wickert of Glut & Späne and this is one of the ingredients for the lunch he is planning.
We get back into the car, driving with our handsome loot of trout from our morning fishing adventure, back to Micha’s smoking operation and café at Gerswalde’s Der Große Garten. Together with the foraged horseradish, blooming herb flowers from the garden, citrus and a traditional gin-like spirit from the Schwartzwald region, Micha guts and filets a trout to make one of the freshest ceviches I’ve ever had. You see, this is exemplary of who Micha is: a lover of the land (and waters) of the Uckermark region and he’ll go to all lengths to make sure he imbues all of his food with the terroir of this land.
Micha is best known for his incredibly delicate and high-quality smoked fish. This is because smoked fish is his mainstay and the reason he came into the business in the first place. After completing his Bachelors in Agriculture and then a Masters in Fishery Science from Humbolt University—plus a two-year stint in Brittany, France managing a trout farm—Micha founded Glut & Späne in 2011.
With a tenure at Markthalle Neun as one of the inaugural purveyors, he set out to have both a gastronomy outlet and a wholesale business where he could produce for restaurant concepts in Berlin, providing wolesale smoked fish products at a quality and accessibility that didn’t really exist before. This was a tough balance to sustain over the years as the business grew in both retail and wholesale, so in May of 2016 Micha decided to make the leap to pioneer the countryside in collaboration with Philipp Pfeiffer and Lola Randl, owners of Der Große Garten, a nature-focused food and community concept in Gerswalde. Moving to Uckermark would provide Micha the space for his smoking and catering operations, plus an outlet to feed people his delicious wares and hold workshops.
Micha’s love affair with trout runs deep, as it is the most versatile fish culinarily and for how sustainable the species is. Though far be it from him to be exclusive to just one fish species, Micha works with many fresh water and salt water fish, including pike, perch, pikeperch, catfish and mackerel, turbot and cod in a variety of preparations in cold and hot smoking, preserving and pickling. He has a special interest in recovering old recipes and preserving or reinventing them for contemporary times, a special homage to German heritage that is important to him. With a sizable catering operation as well, Glut & Späne represents rustic, honest food, never withholding the highest quality ingredients and service.
Earnest and perceptibly passionate, Micha is intentional in all that he does. With not only his shop and café space at Gerswalde (where he also holds workshops), his most active work aims to connect chefs and other folks in Berlin’s gastronomy sector to producers, farmers and artisans in the greater northern Brandenburg area. He’s assumed almost an ambassadorial role to promote the bounty of the land and waters of Berlin’s hinterland and it makes the quality on our plates better for it.
For restaurant wholesale sourcing, prices range from 15€/kg – 30€/kg for smoked fish, depending on species, availability and season. Visit Glut & Späne’s website for more information on sourcing, catering, workshops, events, opening times and directions.
Opening hours in Gerswalde
April: Saturday 12am – 4pm
May: Saturday 12am – 5pm
June – Aug.: Saturday 12am – 6pm
September: Saturday 12am – 5pm
Opening hours in Warnitz
Season begins on May 10th 2018
July & August Friday 3pm – 7pm
Book Michaels Fish Smoking Workshop – starting from six persons – here.