Organic community building, one platter at a time

“My concept is simply back to basics” says Sophie Halder, chef and manager of the new restaurant SCA33 on Gumpendorfer Straße. It certainly looks the part, its tiny interior all wooden panels and simplicity. Her cooking combines a love for healthy local food with a knack for new flavors and fresh combinations. Halder’s favorite this summer was a salty-sweet meeting of feta and watermelon, and her trademark dessert of yogurt and cherry sauce comes with star anise and cardamom.

The 27-year-old learned her trade at the elite École Hôtelière de Lausanne in Switzerland, returning to her hometown Vienna to pursue the dream of opening her own place. After surveying suitable spots across town, Halder set her eyes on the former premises of the popular lunch eatery Mamsell close to Naschmarkt. Her aspiration is to follow in its footsteps as a community hub.

“I would love for it to be a sort of neighbourhood meeting place, also on evenings and on the weekend. A kind of Grätzelkantine,” Halder says. With a tasty (and healthy) lunch for less than €10 a plate, she is off to a rocking start. After a few weeks’ trial, SCA33 is set for a grand opening on September 10.

Saint Charles Alimentary
Gumpendorfer Str. 331060 Wien
1060 Vienna


Recipe

Ragù

Heat oven to 180 degrees; grease oven form. For the ragù, heat olive oil in pot, add carrots and celery root and cook at medium heat. Raise temperature and add ground beef bit by bit. When meat is done, add tomato pulp, purée and bay. Salt and pepper to taste. Let it simmer on medium heat for at least an hour. Add water if needed and stir.

For the béchamel sauce, dissolve butter in a small pot at medium heat. Dust with flour and carefully add milk. Let it simmer until it thickens, turn off the heat and let it rest -briefly. Add salt and nutmeg.

Grate the Parmesan. Put lasagna sheets into oven form, add ragù and top it up with béchamel. Add several layers until you reach the top. Bake for about 25-30 minutes until the top is crisp. Buon appetito!

 Ingredients

Olive oil

1 carrot, grated

1 piece of celery root, grated

500 grams of ground beef

salt, freshly ground pepper

tomato purée

bay leaves

1-2 cans of tomato pulp

Béchamel

2 spoons of butter

2 spoons of flour

¼ liter of milk

salt, nutmeg

Parmesan cheese

Lasagna sheets

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Alexander Fanta is a foreign news reporter with Austrian Press Agency since 2011. His beat in Vienna includes UN, OSCE and Austrian diplomacy, with the occasional lost dog story thrown in between. Follow him on Twitter: @FantaAIex