Salt & Silver
What happens when you ask yourself what are the most important things in life – and then you quit your job and travel halfway around the world to discover it?
Salt & Silver traces the journey of Johannes Riffelmacher and Thomas Kosikowski as they travel through Central and South America—reporting on all the best surfing locations, chronicling the stories of local surfers and restaurant owners, and compiling recipes representative of each area. Find out as we interview with Thomas ("Cozy") Kosikowski and Johannes ("Jo") Riffelmacher.
What is the surfing scene like in Germany?
It’s hard to tell since we’re not really in it. There’s a pretty dope coldwater surfing scene up in northern Germany, and of course the river-surfing scene in Munich, but the rest of German surfers either move to France, Spain or Portugal at some point, or stay a travel-surfer forever. We chose the travel-surf life.
What are your backgrounds in cooking and publishing?
Everything we do nowadays grew out of passion - we are not trained chefs, nor writers, but have a solid background in the having-fun-in-life branch.
Cozy is a photographer and cameraman and Jo used to be an Art Director. Our cooking skills come from practicing since we were little kids. It’s just a thing we both love doing so we somehow became skilled enough to make a living from it. There are a lot of trained chefs whose food tastes like shit, and a lot of hobby chefs who cook like French gods, so we don’t really care—let people be the judges and we’ll just do what we love.
Where did you get the idea for the Salt & Silver concept to travel, surf, and cook?
We were discussing what we love most in life over some beers, and these are the three topics that came out of it. After thinking awhile about how to actually do only those things full-time, we decided to quit our jobs and give it a try. We never thought this idea would go as far as it did, but somehow it did—and we damn sure like it, so we’ll just keep not giving a fuck.
No matter what kind of job you have, if you hate getting up on Monday and think all week about Friday, there’s something wrong with it.
What prompted you to leave everything behind and start this new adventure?
No matter what kind of job you have, if you hate getting up on Monday and think all week about Friday, there’s something wrong with it. Once we acknowledged that fact, it wasn’t that hard to give it a try to do something we actually love doing ALL the time. It doesn’t feel like having a job, even though it’s pretty hard work to keep all that sexy content flowing.
What were some of the cultural challenges while traveling?
As Germans you are used to a lot of structure in your life, as well as reliability and punctuality. It took us a while to adapt to the laid-back mañana mañana culture in Latin America. We love the lively Latino culture, and we both are pretty un-German anyway, so it wasn’t hard to blend in.
Where was the one location that seemed to have it all – from the surfing to the food?
Peru and Mexico were our favorite countries, though there’s too much amazing food and too many pumping waves in those two countries to tell you an exact spot.
How long did it take from the concept to the final printed book?
We first had the idea in summer 2013, the book was published on the 22nd of June 2015. So yeah, it took a while and a lot of persistence to get it done.
Did you find what you were looking for?
Just look at our smiles in all the pictures—then you’ll know.
What’s next for Johannes and Thomas?
We’re almost finished with writing our second Salt & Silver book, called Tacos, Tequila, Tattoos. It will be published in Germany at the end of June. We are also importing our own Salt & Silver Mezcal from Mexico to Germany, and currently are searching for a location to open our first restaurant. A TV show is in the planning stages, we’ll see where that goes. So yeah, we definitely are not done yet.
Find out more about the Salt & Silver journey here. And purchase the Salt & Silver book here. Photo credit: Thomas Kosikowski & Johannes Riffelmacher. Andrews McMeel Publishing © 2016. All rights reserved. Images excerpted from Salt & Silver: Travel, Surf, Cook by Thomas Kosikowski & Johannes Riffelmacher. Used with permission of Andrews McMeel Publishing (www.andrewsmcmeel.com).