Leaving your three-star restaurant to open up a chip shop? Sounds like one of those alcohol-inspired ideas. "That's about right," says Vladislav Gachyn with a grin. In Summer 2016, he opened up Goldies together with his friend and colleague Kajo Hiesl. The shop is located around the corner from Kreuzberg's legendary SO36 concert hall, where hipster meets punk. "Chips are laid-back – they're unpretentious," says Vladislav Gachyn. "The point isn't to behave yourself, it's to have a good time."
Vladislav Gachyn and his mother emigrated from Ukraine to Dortmund in 1993. Following a childhood spent in homes for asylum seekers, he trained as a chef under Kolja Kleeberg in VAU, Berlin's first Michelin-starred restaurant from 2011 to 2014. After completing his training, he worked as a Demi Chef de Partie in Wolfsburg at three-star restaurant Aqua. He left just prior to being promoted. "The Michelin training helps us to get the most out of a product," explains Vladislav Gachyn. Before opening their shop, Vladislav Gachyn and Kajo Hiesl embarked upon a lengthy tour of Belgium, the home of the world's very best chips. There they put every shop on the map to the test.
Cheap as chips
They selected the Agria potato for their own chips. Many of their potato dishes are inspired by other traditions – Chinese, American, Italian, Alsatian, Berliner – and of course, Ukrainian. Take their dish 'Odessa's Beets' for example. "Red beets are part of every other meal in the Ukraine," says Vladislav Gachyn. For 'Odessa's Beets,' he blends horse-radish, white cabbage, and fermented carrot salad – and dill, of course, a flavor standard in Odessa.
There's even a cocktail to match, the Odessa Mule, which is made with ginger beer, red beet, and fresh horseradish. Vladislav Gachyn and Kajo Hiesl designed the inside of the shop together with friends, complete with swimming pool tiles and a chip-yellow floor of epoxy resin. The chairs once stood in a school. And of course the shop is complete with a disco ball and its own custom artwork: a sculpture made of fried chip forks and a light installation designed by Leon Laskowski to evoke the image of the chips themselves.
Author: Stefan Hochgesand