March 14, 2016

Chefs annoyed with lying about allergies

Filed under: Food & Drink by Orangemaster @ 3:22 pm


It’s one thing to be allergic to foods like peanuts, shellfish, gluten or lactose, but it’s another to say you’re allergic to something and really mean you just don’t like it. There are people violently allergic to certain foods who have to watch everything they eat, especially at restaurants. It seems at the very least disrespectful for anyone to pretend they have an allergy just to get attention like a child having a tantrum.

A secret group of Dutch chefs on Facebook claims there is an increasing number of people in their establishments who don’t have allergies but enjoy getting attention by going to a restaurant and only once they’ve ordered do they ask if the food has peanuts, shellfish, gluten or lactose in it. Then, later on they order and eat something they said they were allergic to, as if it didn’t make a difference. These patrons are giving the disgruntled chefs major headaches and so chefs have started swapping stories.

One chef tells of a painstakingly put together lactose and gluten-free wedding buffet for 65 people only to see the guests go to town on bitterballen and beer later on. “I should have asked for a doctor’s note”, the chef jokes. Of course a wedding party should have the food they want, but why lie about having allergies? They could have simply told the chef what not to prepare instead of coming across as either liars or ignorant.

Lying about having a food allergy is a lot of work for chefs from buying ingredients to properly cleaning the surfaces where food is prepared. Another chef reassures his colleagues by saying that people with allergies check with the restaurant beforehand, and usually not when they show up and order. That’s how you can tell these two groups apart.

One chef who, upon being told that someone was allergic to gluten, politely asked if they had celiac disease (in Dutch he asked with a term that omits the word ‘disease’), which is not the only form of gluten intolerance, but a serious and rare one. The answer he got was “sounds great, I’ll have some”, indicating the person probably fell in the ignorant category. At least that chef didn’t have to scrub down his kitchen.


Tags: , , ,

September 9, 2015

Palestinian and Israeli restaurateurs make chick peace

Filed under: Dutch first,Food & Drink by Branko Collin @ 8:35 pm

chick-peas-personal-creationsIn July a vegetarian Palestinian restaurant opened its doors on the Weimarstraat in the Hague called Love & Peas.

The pun refers to the fact that the two men running the place hail from opposite sides in a war. The manager, Muawi Shehadeh, is Palestinian and the chef, Yuval Gal, is Israeli.

“When we met three years ago we immediately started cracking politically incorrect jokes about our backgrounds”, Gal told AD, “and that created a bond.”

The paper notes that this isn’t the first joint Palestinian-Israeli restaurant in Europe — London has its Ottolenghi chain.

Ynet quotes the Israeli ambassador to the Netherlands, Haim Divon: “My wife Linda discovered the place on a social network site. The idea of Israeli-Palestinian cooperation got around and became the talk of the day here because everyone likes this new venture. […] It’s truly hard to believe we’re sitting in a restaurant in The Hague. The hummus is really tasty.”

(Photo by Personal Creations, some rights reserved)

Tags: , , , , , ,

November 2, 2012

SS Rotterdam stays in Rotterdam

Filed under: General by Branko Collin @ 11:39 pm

The recently restored former passenger liner SS Rotterdam will stay in the city it was named after, DutchNews reports.

The ship was bought in 2005 by housing corporation Woonbron which wanted to turn it into a hotel and restaurant complex after renovations. Renovations, however, cost 230 million euro, which is 224 million euro over budget. Woonbron started capsizing and had to let go of the monumental steamer, and at the same time of its board member Martien Kromwijk.

NRC adds that the high cost was partially related to the unexpected presence of asbestos on board.

In 2009 the cost overrun was still limited to ‘merely’ 169 million euro, as 24 Oranges reported back then.

The new owner Westcord Hotels, a Dutch hotel chain, paid almost 30 million euro.

(Photo by Jakub Bogucki, some rights reserved)

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

November 7, 2011

Mobile restaurant modelled after apple crates

Filed under: Design,Food & Drink by Branko Collin @ 8:42 am

One of this year’s Eindhoven Design Academy’s graduation projects was Ardie van Bommel’s Pure Nature.

The project consists of a group of tables, chairs and kitchen islands that were all made to look like they were made out of apple crates. Van Bommel originally wanted to use actual apple crates, but that approach did not lead to the desired results, Man and Public Space Magazine wrote.

Van Bommel even made, it seems, a diorama of her apple crate restaurant inside—you guessed it—an apple crate. Her website suggests that this restaurant was made for the Philips Fruittuin (a former job creation project initiated by the local electronics giant), although it’s not clear to me whether the set-up has ever been in actual use.

Via the Pop-Up City which has been running a series showcasing “ten great designs spotted at the Design Academy’s graduation show“.

See also: Mirrors that look like holes in the wall and other Eindhoven Design Academy graduation projects.


Tags: , , , , , ,

July 19, 2010

Young Chinese entrepreneurs switching from restaurants to hotels

Filed under: Food & Drink by Branko Collin @ 8:33 am

Although Royal Horeca Netherlands has no hard data available, anecdotal evidence leads daily De Pers to conclude that Chinese families are moving more and more into the hotel business.

Vincent van Dijk, a ‘trend watcher’ who has taken it upon him to spend a night at a different Amsterdam hotel each night for a whole year, estimates that one in six hotels he stayed in were operated by Chinese people.

Alex Chang of Royal Horeca Netherlands sees a strong growth in hotels operated by second or third generation Chinese Dutch. He also notices investors from China are interested in buying or starting hotels in the Netherlands.

Is this the end of the archetypical Chin. Ind. Restaurant, establishments run by Chinese immigrants but serving mostly a sweet and greasy parody of Indonesian food, a cuisine the Dutch know from their colonial past? It took me a while to find such a restaurant for the photo illustrating this article (Ah Sang on the Overtoom in Amsterdam).

Tags: , ,

March 25, 2010

Daring entrepreneur scores with free food

Filed under: Food & Drink,General by Orangemaster @ 2:11 pm


Giving things away for free these days usually arouses suspicion, but one Dutch restaurant owner decided to give it a whirl anyways: free entree and main course, you pay the wine and the dessert. The article also makes sure to mention that the bread and butter is included, because in the Netherlands, you usually have to pay for that.

Restaurant owner Jeroen Verpaalen of L’Entrecote in Breda serves a salad with mustard dressing and walnuts, French bread with herb butter, entrecote and fries for free. Nope, the wine is not overpriced, nor is the dessert. Verpaalen considers it marketing, as “we all need the help of our clients”. In return, his clients are so happy with the food and service that they order more expensive wine and leave more tip, the latter already included in the price.

Letting clients decide what your product or service is worth and paying for it accordingly is a trend in business circles here, but doing the same with food in an industry that is constantly raising the prices is pretty daring. (Skip the steak, I’m a fan of the seafood platter!)


Tags: ,

March 5, 2009

Restaurant sends Michelin star back

Filed under: Food & Drink by Branko Collin @ 10:42 pm

Restaurant In de’n Dillegaard in Nuth, in the South of Limburg, has decided to hand in the Michelin star that it has had since 2004. The owners, Michel and Susanne Kagenaar-Stevens, want to turn the place into a less formal affair. Writes NRC:

“Many people associate Michelin with expensive, posh and formal,” says Suzan Kagenaar. “It creates certain expectations. We had been thinking for a while about going back to our roots, to a less formal atmosphere. The financial crisis has hastened our decision.”

Part of the problem, Kagenaar says is that there are too many Michelin star restaurants in the South Limburg region. There are five restaurants with one star and two with two stars. “This means that regular customers alternate between the [Michelin] restaurants and it takes longer before they return to us.”

Photo: In de’n Dillegaard.

Tags: , , ,

March 9, 2008

First dessert restaurant of the Netherlands

Filed under: Dutch first,Food & Drink by Branko Collin @ 3:15 pm

This month restaurant Sucre will open its doors in Amsterdam, serving only desserts. The restaurant is owned by Martijn Machielse (of local caterer Mynth Events) and Eline Kok (of local restaurant Bloesem), while the man behind the pan will be Peter Scholte, formerly of Chateau Brakkestein in Nijmegen. Sucre will be the first of such restaurants in the Netherlands, although similar places in New York and Barcelona (Espai Sucre) have blazed the global trail.

“You can get four or five courses here, made entirely of desserts,” Machielse told the Zest blog. “We will have one non-sweet dish though.” The menu is still a secret, but Machielse ensured the restaurant would not take the molecular cooking route. “We will choose accessible dishes, but twisted! You may for example discover non-sweet ingredients in your sweet dishes. But you won’t find classics like crème brûlée on the menu.”

Sources: Bizz and Zest (both Dutch).

Tags: , , , ,

May 4, 2007

DJ Tiësto opens his own restaurant

Filed under: Food & Drink,Music by Orangemaster @ 5:57 pm

In June, world-famous DJ Tiësto will be opening his own restaurant on the Reguliersbreestraat in Amsterdam. DJ Tiësto (we’ll call him Thijs) loves cooking as well as spinning records. The restaurant will name the dishes according to his greatest hits, so you can order a ‘Flight 643’ and a ‘Traffic’. The chef is not yet known, but apparently he is very creative.

(Link: Blik op nieuws)

Tags: , ,

April 21, 2007

Crazy new restaurant concept

Filed under: Food & Drink,General by Orangemaster @ 1:00 pm
freud restaurant

Not yet listed in the Iens or Special Bite restaurant guides, the mayor of Amsterdam Job Cohen opened and waited on tables yesterday at a new Amsterdam restaurant called Freud. Why the brouhaha? The restaurant, founded by psychologist Renske Kastelein and cooking instructor Gerda Hahn, is run by people with psychiatric problems. Their slogan translates to “Insanely delicious food”. “The staff here can’t get a job anywhere, but they function just fine, which is what they can prove here”, Hahn explains.


Tags: , , ,