Christine Kotzur on TAKE IT AWAY | Lonumedhu

Christine Kotzur on TAKE IT AWAY

Category: Interviews


Christine Kotzur first came to the Maldives twenty five years ago as a tourist, and being a diver, she kept coming back again and again. Fifteen years ago, together with her husband, Christine moved to the Maldives to run her safari boat business. Christine still runs her boat Hariyana 1. But being a food lover all her life and finding herself having to live in Male’, in 2014, she opened her take out shop TAKE IT AWAY.

Lonumedhu dropped by the shop to have a chat with Christine and among the things discussed were TAKE IT AWAY’s grilled chicken, her background in cooking, and her love for potatoes.


Lonumedhu: Were you involved in anything related to food before you came to the Maldives?

Christine: Yes, when I first came to the Maldives as a tourist, I had a restaurant in Germany.


Lonumedhu: What was the name of your restaurant?

Christine: It was Tiefenberger Hof. It was a restaurant in the mountains that served real German local food.


Lonumedhu: So is it safe to assume that you like cooking or baking?

Christine: Yes! Of course!


Lonumedhu: What sorts of things do you like making?

Christine: I find international food interesting. I like European food; Italian, the traditional German, and also Mediterranean food. I like Thai food very much, and also Korean food, that’s really nice with lots of fresh vegetables.


Lonumedhu: So, if you can have just one meal everyday for the rest of your life, what would you eat?

Christine: I think it would be potatoes (laughs).


Lonumedhu: Okay, so what kind of potatoes would that be?

Christine: With potatoes you can make mashed potatoes, you can make French fries, you can make pan-fried potatoes, boiled potatoes, you can mix the potatoes with some vegetables, there are just so many varieties.


Lonumedhu: What if I asked you about your favourite ingredient? Is that going to be potato as well?

Christine: Yes. It’s because of German and European cuisine. Just like you eat rice once or twice a day, we eat potatoes. In Germany we might eat rice just once a week, and pasta maybe a couple of times a week, and the rest of the time we’ll eat potatoes.


Lonumedhu: What do you think about the Maldivian cuisine? Is there something you particularly like?

Christine: I like roshi. Roshi is just great. I also like a nice curry, but not so spicy.


Lonumedhu: So, at TAKE IT AWAY, what’s the most popular dish or item?

Christine: It’s mostly the grilled chicken. We are the ‘kukulhu fihaara,’ and most of our products revolve around the chicken. Our chicken is really healthy, we don’t use any oil for the marinade, and we just use fresh onions and garlic and chilli, and make our own paste.


Lonumedhu: Do you run across any challenges or difficulties when running a take out shop in Male’, especially with finding ingredients?

Christine: As for ingredients we have learned to use what we have. We are sometimes limited, but 99.9 per cent of the ingredients are always available; the flour, salt, pepper, they are always here, chillies for sure are always here in the Maldives. Some items, we buy whenever they are available. For example, an item like chicken stock might not always be there in the shops, so if we find it we buy more.


Lonumedhu: Do you have to bring anything in from Germany?

Christine: I bring in the acid for the pretzels because this particular acid we can only get from Germany. The salt for the pretzels, that too we bring from Germany.


Lonumedhu: I forgot to ask you this earlier, from where did you learn to cook?

Christine: We had cooking classes in prime school. And when I finished school, I went on to study hotel management at the Hotelfach Schule in Heidelberg. And also my mother and grandmother, they also liked cooking.


Lonumedhu: Do you have a special family recipe or something like that?

Christine: My mother is from Hungary and we have this goulash stew, it’s a tradition in our house. It has lots of onions, garlic, bell peppers, tomatoes, a lot of fresh vegetables and fresh ingredients. We don’t put in a thousand items, just salt and pepper, and the taste of the vegetables and the meat really comes together.


Lonumedhu: We’ve reached the end of the interview, so is there anything you would like to add?

Christine: I just want to say that we are very, very happy, more than 90 per cent of our customers are Maldivian and along with that we have many regular customers as well.


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Lonumedhu is about eating great food right here in the Maldives.

Our easy to follow recipes use locally available ingredients.

In our blog you will find food news, interviews with chefs and cooks, useful information about eating out and other foodie reads. 




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