"Cooking up friendship"
in De Librije
This is the name we have given to our tour of Europe, a trip that will enable us to share unique moments with friends.
What led us to embark on this tour of the old continent?
In the past we were fortunate enough to cook in a few countries in Asia and Latin America. This year we wanted to return to Europe for different reasons.
During our recent travels around Europe we encountered a more authentic, personal, demanding and committed cuisine. Kitchens and homes with a lot to teach. What's more we feel, experience and cultivate a culinary passion that helps us face, what is otherwise a hard and complex profession, with enthusiasm and freshness each day.
Kitchens that in many instances have been created by chefs whom over time have become friends. Friends that have generously opened up their kitchens to cook that friendship.
First stop: De Librije
My team travelled to De Librije with their suitcases full of treasures, shared days, visited markets, countryside, rivers or seas, entered fish markets, learnt about working methods, and analysed and valued the two realities. We supported each other and created a menu that aimed to seduce native customers that may not have been familiar with my work and home, but who were very familiar with their own and/or used the opportunity to get to know both. In short, we challenged ourselves and fed our dreams and those of our diners.
The De Librije en Zwolle family, our beloved Jonnie and Thérése Boer, welcomed us in a very special and unique manner: a walk around their origins in Giethoorn, where Jonnie was born. On our return to Zwolle we were treated to a family meal, and then we rested.
The following day, after a spectacular breakfast, we set to work in the kitchen.
We set about preparing and coordinating our teams: menu design, wine selection, crockery selection, shopping list. Not easy, but very exhilarating.
A front of house team meeting at which Didier Fertilati and José Antonio Navarrete had a lot to say, family meal, and go! Two distinct teams, but joined by the same passion and motif. And some very exited and receptive customers. In the kitchen for the Quique Dacosta Restaurante team were Juanfra Valiente, Carolina Álvarez, Andrea Antonini, Angiolina Sumaria and I.
Everything worked out great, the teams were pleased and we met our objective: happy customers.
We put some of our DNA on the plates of Dutch diners, who once again had placed their trust in us. It was very important to us that we seduce them; we wanted them to come and enjoy our territory, and broaden their experience - welcome them to our home. We are not so far away, a mere 2 hour plane flight separates Amsterdam and Valencia.
To be continued!
Thanks to everyone involved, both in Spain and Holland.
It was a joy to have such committed, hard working and quality personnel.
We've only just begun. Next stop, the home of my esteemed friend Andreas Caminada. His Schauenstein castle, also with three stars, in Fürstenau (Switzerland), moved us greatly.
In the meantime, we await you each day at Quique Dacosta Restaurante with our #DNATheSearch.