Three years ago, a humble potato stall opened at Viktualienmarkt. Nothing unusual there, you might think – the Viktualienmarkt is full of fresh produce stalls. This one, however, has quickly become one of the most popular stalls at Munich’s popular open-air market.
Caspar Plautz is at its busiest at lunchtime, when they dish up hot baked potatoes with homemade butter, or other seasonal toppings – Frankfurter Grüne Soße, apricot ragouts, roasted asparagus. They use local produce wherever possible – whitefish and trout from Bavarian fisheries (some fish is wild-caught from Lake Starnberg), Schrobenhausen asparagus, pastrami from Little Wolf, for example.
Dominik Klier and Theo Lindinger set up the stall in November 2017. “There was a rare opportunity to take on a stall at Viktualienmarkt and we jumped at it without thinking twice”, says Dominik with a grin. “We didn’t even have time to consider just how lucky we were. Fortunately, we knew Fabian, the previous stall owner, which was how the opportunity came about in the first place. Ultimately, it allowed to realise our dream of setting up a place of our own.”
The duo don’t come from a potato background, if there is such a thing. Dominik was working as a project manager and Theo as a goldsmith. They knew they could work together in stressful circumstances though – they both worked in the kitchen at the Monticule Festival in the south of France, which is a location and a half – I was lucky enough to stay at Domaine de Gayfié a couple of years ago.
“We learnt our craft from trying things out in the kitchen, from reading cookbooks and biology books, from talking to organic farmers and experts in Munich and its surrounding area,” Dominik explains.
Over the past three years, the Caspar Plautz founders have been busy, not just at their stall. They have created a ravioli filling with Westend’s Pasta di Monaco and released a cookbook. “Our collaborations are always with people who do things with gusto and we love learning new things from them,” Dominik says. “With Pasta di Monaco we had the chance to make our own pasta by hand – it was so cool! We’re currently working on a collaborative dish with Cou Cou Food Market. It’s a summer salad with pickled navettes, hibischus syrup, spinach and some other great ingredients. Hopefully more collaborations will follow, too!”
I ask how many sacks of potatoes they sell each week. “That’s a secret!” Dominik smiles. “But our most popular types are Agria, the potato we use for our baking potatoes, and Allians, which are great for potato salads or fried potatoes. My favourite is the Allians. It’s quite a greasy organic potato from the Hatzlhof in Olching.”
Pop down to the stall for lunch and to pick up a bag of potatoes – Allians or others, next to the Kaffeerösterei Viktualienmarkt, which is well worth stopping by for a coffee afterwards. There are a few tables to eat at, but there’s always a bench free somewhere at the market, should things look busy (and they almost always look busy.) To check out their potato dishes of the day, follow them on Instagram.