Sabine Berke is the chef at The Cozy Tea Cart (104 Route 3, Brookline, 249-9111, thecozyteacart.com
). Berke was born and raised in Switzerland, where she attended culinary school and worked for ski resorts and five-star hotels. And while The Cozy Tea Cart isn’t a typical restaurant, Berke loves the comfort food-inspired menu and cooking with teas. Since she’s been the chef at The Cozy Tea Cart, Berke said, she’s learned much more about tea than she had known as a regular tea drinker. She finds incorporating teas into cooking interesting because she can create new things, like chicken marinades created with smokey teas.
What is your must-have kitchen item?
I definitely need fresh local vegetables and foods — just local ingredients. That would definitely be a must-have in my kitchen.
What would you choose for your last meal?
Probably some kind of weird Swiss dish that everybody would wrinkle their nose at that I used to have as a kid. Definitely something my mom or my grandmother used to make. That would be my choice.
Favorite restaurant besides your own?
I really enjoy sushi, so that would probably be the one thing I can’t make myself that I absolutely love. We usually go to You You [Japanese Bistro, in Nashua].
What celebrity would you like to see eating at your restaurant?
We really love sports, so anyone on the Bruins team. That would be really exciting.
What is the biggest food trend in New Hampshire right now?
People seem to really want to know what is in their food. I think people are more conscious about what they’re eating, even healthier. We have a lot of people that are gluten-free or have some kind of food allergy. … Customers are just a lot more conscientious about what they put in their body.
What is your favorite meal to cook at home?
Anything my family loves. There’s nothing worse than if I cook something up and nobody wants to eat it. Like mac and cheese and of course steak and baked potatoes, but anything they love is what I like to cook. That is the most rewarding.
What is your favorite dish on your restaurant’s menu?
Right now, that would have to be the beef stew. We just got that on the menu. We did that last year and it was a huge hit — beef stew provencal. It has tomatoes in it, orange zest, potatoes and carrots and onions, so it’s really just a hearty dish for the fall and winter.
— Emelia Attridge