I know, it doesn’t sound right. When some Dutch friends of mine told me about some divine chefs in the Netherlands, I must have thought: “Seriously? They are talking about food and chefs with an Italian, do they really think they can impress me?” Ok, I admit I was biased, but I’m a very curious person and after some time I decided to experience with my eyes and my taste buds if those statements were true (It’s a tough job but after all someone has to do it!).
To start my Dutch cooking discovery process, I asked my boyfriend to give me as a present for my 30th birthday a dinner at De Librije, 3 Michelin stars considered the best restaurant in the Netherlands. The venue is just great: it’s located in the former library (in Dutch, ‘librije’ means library) of a 15th-century Dominican abbey which is close to the main canal in Zwolle.
The chef Jonnie Boer – he’s the owner of 3 restaurants, 7 Michelin stars in total – is a big friendly Dutch guy, who welcome guests and usually introduce the menu: if you decide to go for the tasting menu, you have to choose the main ingredient for each course without any other details about the dish (the staff will ask you about any allergies or ingredients you don’t like). After a very pleasant drink in the waterfront courtyard, you’ll be conducted to the table inside the former library where the show can start: you’ll be offered some meat, fish, vegetables, leaves and flowers in very original and ecstatic combinations.
Here are the amazing dishes I’ve been so lucky to taste:
Amuse bouche: oysters from the North Sea, clams, Dutch shrimps, razor clams © Sg