What does Black Heidi do in Berlin Germany?
Jeniffer Mulinde-Schmid has lived in Berlin since 2005. “I like it when something’s happening. Things are always going on here in Berlin. It’s unpredictable.” In 2016, she opened her restaurant Schwarze Heidi in Berlin and has been serving Swiss classics ever since – sometimes even wearing a dirndl. And of course she reveals her most important tips and tricks.
“You have to swirl it in a figure eight. I’ll show you. Oops the lost bread dropped, that means you have to pay the next round. No not really.” “I love food – and that led me to create what’s turned into a little oasis for the Swiss living in Berlin, but also for Berliners who just want to have a taste of Switzerland. I want it to represent modern Switzerland, that there are people like me who are Swiss.
Her restaurant is called Schwarze Heidi – or Black Heidi. It was also the title of a comedy show she developed – inspired by the world-famous Swiss children’s book character Heidi. The trained actress wanted to play more than just the usual clichés in Berlin.
Actually, I wanted to play this role at theaters so people would see that I could be cast in other roles, but then I listened to my friend who said, ‘Jenny, that’s so funny, you have to do comedy.” “In the disco, there were thousands of those people.
The basic premise is that the Swiss girl Heidi has fallen into her grandfather’s pot of chocolate and suddenly turned black. Mulinde-Schmid performed in the show in Berlin from 2009 to 2011. “It really did break through the ceiling,because there are so few women doing comedy, and a black woman, and Swiss on top of that.”
Jeniffer Mulinde-Schmid was born in Kenya in 1982. Her Ugandan mother, a flight attendant, moved with her to Switzerland when she was still a baby. There she grew up with her Swiss stepfather and three siblings. “My childhood was very nice. Maybe it’s because I was able to speak Swiss German so well, that I often didn’t notice that I looked different.
I was reminded from time to time when I looked in the mirror, but actually I just felt the same and I never really had any problems.” “Hallo, ich bin Jeniffer Schmid…” The self-confident girl got in front of the camera at an early age. She studied drama in Munich, then made a career as a comedian. When she stopped doing that, she became a restaurateur.
I’ve always had the courage to do something. And I’ve always had the confidence that I can do anything.” And so confidently opened a restaurant in Berlin. She buys many of her ingredients at a shop called “Chuchichäschtli” – Swiss German for a small kitchen cupboard. And of course, a visit to the Swiss specialty store also helps when the homesickness gets acute. “I feel tied to this place because they import everything for me. It’s basically food heaven for me and a piece of home.” “A bit of your home country.” “A bit of your home country.” The “Fonduehütte” in Berlin opens from November to February.
It specializes in Swiss cheese fondue. It’s the best fondue you can get beyond the Alps – at least Mulinde-Schmid say so! Her favorite is fondue with truffles. Of course, it tastes even better with your loved ones. “In Switzerland we go skiing and there’s fondue in the ski lodge – that’s pretty standard. I just wanted to bring a piece of Switzerland to Berlin, so that the Berliners can feel that too.
Being in here feels like being in a Swissski lodge and that’s great.” Switzerland is where she calls home, but Berlin is where she feels at home and feels free. Here she found the courage to start her own business. There are always new discoveries to be made. And there are always new surprises.
I often feel like a little girl who came to Berlin and who now has a restaurant, which is still such a dream for me. Even when my restaurant is full, I think, why are they coming here? But then it makes me so happy. I don’t think I could achieve, what I’ve achieved here, in Switzerland.” “Tschüß (Bye-bye).” Jeniffer Mulinde-Schmid: a Berliner from Switzerland.