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KITCHENARTISTS

»You are what you eat,« they say. That is not only true for food intake. In conversation with Lukas Heller from the Munich-based premium kitchen brand next125.

»The architecture of a kitchen, where delicious food is prepared with passion, can also be pure indulgence. «

(Lukas Heller)

And this is what Lukas Heller is about to prove with impressive evidence: In the very heart of Munich, right at Maximiliansplatz, the affable entrepreneur will be opening a concept store of the premium kitchen brand next125. Heller himself was literally raised in the kitchen: His grandfather founded the traditional kitchen manufacturer Schüller in the Bavarian town of Herrieden, which to this day is a family-run business. From there, Lukas Heller embarked on his journey into the international world of interior architecture and design, which has now taken him to the Bavarian capital.

The kitchen – architecture for indulgence and encounter

The native Franconian is launching the business together with his Italian wife Claudia, who is an architect, and Thilo Walkemeier, who brings along a community of design aficionados from his ecades of experience in the world of interior design. The enthusiasm of the three Italophile entrepreneurs is reflected in their location decision: »Maximiliansplatz was our first choice, as it does have the look and feel of an Italian piazza. And the passion we share for the art of living is reflected in the experiential concept of our store: we have created a living space designed to appeal to the senses, which with its bar, library, gallery and event space goes far beyond a mere showcase or table landscape.« Withouht doubt, the kitchen has evolved in line with the changes in society from being a mere cooking area to becoming the centre of the home: Whereas once it used to be a place where the housewife would labour behind the scenes while the master of the house got comfy in the dining room, with or without guests, today the kitchen is the heart of our homes and a hub of communication. Virtually anything can happen in the kitchen: laughter, conversation, homework, joint cooking experiences. And instead of a separating kitchen door, we now have the cooking island right in the middle of the living room. What at first glance might seem like an architectural gimmick to turn the lack of space in tiny city apartments into a social virtue does, in fact, add a breath of fresh air to everyday life. Accordingly, the architecture of the showroom is also devoid of walls and boundaries. »We want to give space to free thinking and planning here. To this end, next125 provides a top-quality product which enables designs that go well beyond the average«, says Lukas Heller. Creative kitchen planning far off the mainstream not only will attract sophisticated end customers but also like-minded architects and designers.

A matter of savoir vivre

Obviously, in a venue like this, the cooking theme is ubiquitous. And here too, Heller is committed to quality: »The need to grab a quick bite to satisfy a craving exists undeniably. But the kitchen trend is moving towards health and indulgence. It ultimately depends on your own concept of life.« There is the ambitious kitchen pro who juggles with flavours, spices and tools to surprise his loved ones every night with a new culinary highlight. There is also the family who loves to chop, stir and cook or knead and bake together« Nothing is as personal as eating preferences and the demands on kitchen functionalities. But the desire to rediscover old cooking crafts paired with convenient modern kitchen technology is quite apparent.« At next125, you can also look at kitchens, choose colours, surfaces, and designs in a welcoming atmosphere, fiddle with dimensions, make plans – but most importantly, the kitchens on display will be filled with real life: Lukas Heller plans to host cooking events with top chefs in his showroom and invite potential customers and cooperation partners to enjoy culinary delights and conversation – true to the motto: Every party ends in the kitchen. Good parties start in the kitchen.

What could be more telling about Lukas Heller than one of his favourite recipes, about his love for Italy, which he imported from his time in Milan, about his love from Italy, which he married, about his passion for good food made of regional ingredients ...

Involtini di Zucchine
(serves 4)

Ingredients:
3 – 4 dried tomatoe halves
1 garlic clove
2 tbsp fresh basil
150 g buffalo mozzarella cheese
500 g zucchini
5 tbsp grated parmesan
6 tbsp olive oil
pinch of salt & pepper
to refine to your taste

1) Finely chop tomatoes & garlic. Slice basil into thin strips. Cut buffalo mozzarella into small cubes and mix all ingredients well. Add the parmesan cheese and 2 tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper.
2) Cut the zucchini lengthwise into slices about 5 mm thick and fry with the remaining oil until golden. Drain and season with salt and pepper.
3) Spread the mozzarella filling evenly on the zucchini slices and roll them up.
4) Place the rolls closely together in a casserole dish. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Bake in a preheated oven at 200 to 220 °C for about 10 minutes.

next125

next125 is the international premium kitchen brand originating from the Schüller company. Their kitchens are characterised by the attention to detail. Here, craftsmanship, technology, design and architecture blend with state-of-the-art, industrial manufacturing to create an exquisitely elegant design kitchen. The company purposely chooses a minimalist, aesthetic Bauhaus design and top quality to make a bold statement against fast-moving trends, given that longevity is a key aspect of sustainability alongside eco-friendly manufacturing practices.

More information on next125 via next125.com

The conversation with Lukas Heller was first published in the mcbw MAG as part of mcbw 2022.