Lisette Kreischer (Check HERE my previous article about her ), organised and thus invited me to the election of the The Puur Restaurant Week (Pure Restaurant Week), which took place yesterday in Restaurant Proef in the Westerpark in Amsterdam. The election took place for the 3rd time and there are 324 participating restaurants. Proef has been founded 7 years ago by Marije Vogelzang and Piet Hekker in Rotterdam (he’s also founder of the Bakkerswinkel, which is just like Proef situated in the park). They moved to Amsterdam in 2006 and since last month Marije focuses on her work as a designer and Piet is running the restaurant on his own now. The restaurant looks industrial, cool and yet warm like a homey livingroom.
The audience was a mix of amongst other restaurant-owners, culinary journalists, biological ingredient suppliers, sponsors, bloggers and writers and other foodies. At 15.00h the guests received a welcome drink. Rabarbarella is a cocktail which reminded me of a smoothie, it had a beautiful texture and a very girlish-pretty-pink-colour, consisting of rhubarb, banana and a hint of… vodka. The meeting started with an introduction by Jeannette van Mullem, the initiator of the Puur Restaurant Week, with a welcome-word and an explanation of the Puur Restaurant Week. All participating restaurants offer a 3 course honest, fair and pure menu. The Ambassador of this one-week-lasting event; cook and tv- maker Ramon Beuk, was unfortunately not present, but we were shown a short movie he made to promote the week, check below (in Dutch);
Jeannette told us; “I hope the culinary journalists present, will spread the word about the Puur Restaurant Week. Everyone should know about this election and about the Pure Week and about how honest and pure the nominated pure restaurants are. While showing a Powerpoint presentation, she informed the audience more in-debt about the the Puur Restaurant Week and also pictures were shown of the dishes the jury-members had tasted. These dishes will be the same dishes you can eat when you visit and choose the pure menu! The participating restaurants were assessed by questionnaires filled in by guests and the goals was to pick out the 5 best, but the jury had such a tough job they decided to make it 6. All the conditions of the Puur Restaurant Week had to be taken into account; biological ingredients, fair-trade food and sustainably caught fish; also the menus were evaluated on flavour, quality and presentation of the dish. The jury consisted of Jeannette van Mullem, Jeroen Thijssen, culinary journalist of Dutch newspaper Trouw, the Chief editor of Misset Horeca; Martine Zuil, Chief editor of Dutch foodie magazine Delicious; Makkie Mulder and of course the ambassador of the week; Ramon Beuk. During the event we were offered fairtrade, organic and sustainably prepared drinks and snacks. I tested a banana-beer… very interesting but perhaps more suitable for a tropical beach than a fall day in Amsterdam.
The nominees were;
- Aangenaam in Haarlem. The jury was impressed by a quinoa salad. Aangenaam is the Dutch word for agreeable, pleasant, pleasing and the jury said that that’s exactly what their dinner in this place was.
- De Culinaire Werkplaats from Amsterdam (The Culinary Workplace; See my previous article about De Culinaire Werkplaats HERE). Eric Meurs and Marjolijn Wintjes were the only restaurant-owners who could unfortunately not attend this event. De Culinaire Werkplaats is a restaurant where you experience food, where you learn about food, where food and art are one.
- Fifteen in Amsterdam prepared a bruschetta with tomatoe, olive oil and basilicum. This place, founded by Sarriel Taus, cooks tasty, is sociable and sustainable according to the judges.
- In Merkelbach in Amsterdam, Jeanette herself was the lucky jury-member to have dinner and she tried seabass, puree of parsnip, “oerwortel” (which is translated as prehistoric carrot, but I have no idea if that is also the English name) and pancetta. She said this place has an elegant way of cooking.
- Natuurlijk in Egmond presented a loin beef carpaccio with old cheese, pineseeds and applesirup. The judge (Dutch newspaper Trouw culinairy journalist Jeroen Thijssen) described this place as Ridder in de orde van duurzaamheid (In English this would be translated as “Knight in the order of Sustainability”, derived from The Order of Orange-Nassau, in Dutch: Orde van Oranje-Nassau, which is a military and civil order of The Netherlands, created on April 4 1892 by the Queen regent Emma of The Netherlands, acting on behalf of her under-age daughter Queen Wilhelmina.
- De Veldkeuken (The Fieldkitchen) in Culemborg, presented their assigned judge with bread with seeds, goat-cheese, walnuts and honey. The judgement was that the restaurant is very special on a very special spot. A pearl in Culemborg, situated next to the river the Lek.
The winner was Natuurlijk in Egmond aan Zee. Natuurlijk means natural or of course. Natuurlijk took the concepts of sustainable, fair trade and biological and presented them in an approachable way. They stimulate sustainability in every way and are very accesible. The winners Niels en Mirjam Gouda,who opened their restaurant only 7 months ago, and the other nominees, received awards and of course great fame and publicity. The owner of winning Natuurlijk mentioned her restaurant is only open for 7 months. I saw on their website that on top of the food the offer some extra’s I’m definitely interested in! As a goodbye we received a pure bonbon made by Van chocolade. On their website I see they make chocolates from amongst others salvia, wasabi and even gorgonzola. Wow. I’ll definitely keep you updated about my opinion on those!
What do you think of the Puur Restaurant Week? Would you go? Did you try any of these restaurants? What was your experience?
Lisette Kreischer has got a new website and it’s gorgeous; http://www.lisettekreischer.com
All about & to make reservations Puur Restaurant Week http://www.puurrestaurantweek.nl
Restaurant Natuurlijk in Egmond aan Zee http://www.natuurlijk-egmond.nl
Restaurant Proef in Amsterdam http://www.proefamsterdam.nl
Restaurant Aangenaam in Haarlem http://www.aangenaametenendrinken.nl
De Culinaire Werkplaats http://www.deculinairewerkplaats.nl
Fifteen Amsterdam http://www.fifteen.nl
Restaurant Merkelbach in Amsterdam http://www.restaurantmerkelbach.nl
Restaurant de Veldkeuken in Culemborg http://www.veldkeuken.nl
Van chocolade http://www.vanchocolade.nl