I watched with delight Chef Abroad hosted by the Canadian Chef Michael Smith has he finds a culture that has lost touch with its traditional food ways in Amsterdam.
I adore Amsterdam. It has been over a decade since my last visit which was a couple years after I graduated from interior design. Shopping in Amsterdam is a treat since you discover amazing design products. The sad thing for us is that almost none of Dutch design product is exported.
The Netherlands like to push the envelop of design. This is what eating-designer Marije Vogelzang of Proef does in her designs studio-restaurant in Amsterdam.
Marije is an artist who plays with edible food. Her creations are meant to be eaten. She wants us to take conscience of where our food comes from. Her Ham Man filled with pieces of ham on a stick illustrates one of her display techniques.
Other times, Marije Vogelzang works on ways to rediscover a forgotten vegetable. Some dinner menus are declinations on an ingredient where one ingredient is eaten 7 ways from appetizer to dessert.
She uses how we perceived eating and etiquette to stimulate people interactions at the communal dinner table. For example, she gives two half-plates to every guest with the same food on both plates. Half the people receive two plates of smoked salmon; the other half gets two plates of lemon. People have to exchange plate to assemble the dish. Another event was a picnic where half of the guests received the food and the second half got the tableware.
As a designer Marieje explores food through 8 factors: senses, nature, culture, society, technique, psychology, science and action.
If you are curious to have a look at her spectacular eating concepts but do not plan to go to Amsterdam in the upcoming weeks, get her book Eat Love where she explains her philosophy.
I applauded her imagination. It is on my to-do-list for my next trip to Amsterdam.