Story by Manos Angelakis
Photos courtesy of Amsterdam Marketing
Dutch Michelin Awards
Since the beginning of the 20th century (1900), the Michelin Guide has been the “bible” for gastronomes and gourmets from around the world in discovering great restaurants and chefs. The stars awarded by the French tire company have defined the greatest restaurants across Europe since before World War II. It was initially a free advertising handout -- when one purchased a Michelin tire -- and covered only France with alphabetical restaurant listings. Nowadays, there are 25 issues of the guide covering countries and cities in four continents.
In 1926, the guide began to award stars to fine dining establishments. In 1931, the hierarchy of one- two- and three- stars was launched and the color of the cover of the guides was changed from blue to red. Finally, in 1936, the criteria for the starred rankings were officially published and since the guide was still considered a motoring aid, it noted when an establishment was worth a detour from a main road for a visit (2 stars) or even worth a special journey (3 stars). More recently (1955) another category was added “Bib Gourmand” indicating that one can eat very well in the restaurant at affordable prices (for Holland, a three course meal – starter, main course, dessert – would not exceed 37 euros per person).
The guide’s inspectors try out all kinds of restaurants but are always careful in maintaining their anonymity. They travel as ordinary customers and always pay their bills. Their verdict is based on the following criteria: product quality; chef’s creativity and culinary expertise; flavor; price-to-quality ratio; consistency over time across the entire menu.
A restaurant is listed only when it is considered to be worth a visit.
All listed restaurants, regardless of their star- or Bib Gourmand- status, also receive a "fork and spoon" designation, indicating the overall comfort and class of the restaurant. Rankings range from one to five: One fork and spoon represents a "comfortable restaurant" and five signify a "luxurious restaurant". Forks and spoons colored red specify a restaurant that is also considered "pleasant" (i.e. the staff is friendly and not overbearing).
On December 7, in Amsterdam, an awards ceremony took place to present the 2016 Dutch restaurants and chefs receiving Michelin Stars. Holland now features 107 restaurants with stars -- 2 with three stars, 20 with two stars (1 addition) and 85 with a single star, including 7 new additions. There are also 133 Bib Gourmands, including 25 new restaurants.
Bibendum, the Michelin mascot (Michelin tire man) presided at the proceedings.
I was happy to find that one of my favorite restaurants in Holland, the Green Lantern (De Groene Lantaarn), has been promoted from a single star to two. Congratulations Chef Eggen.
Five restaurants were given their first Michelin star, two restaurants got stars they had lost in previous years and one received a second star at the ceremony in the De La Mar Theater. The stability of the Dutch restaurateurs is remarkable. De Kromme Dissel has retained its star for the 45th consecutive year.
During the event, as the new Michelin starred chefs were named, they came up on stage to don their white chef coats with their Michelin star insignia. Following the event, the honored chefs presented tasting samples of their most notable dishes. The ones I found intriguing were:
2 Stars: &samhood places - Chef Dennis Huwae. Truffle cappuccino, black truffle emulsion, La Ratte potato
2 Stars: Aan de Poel – Chef Stefan van Sprang. Blackened seabass with anchovies and orange
2 Stars: Ciel Bleu – Chef Onno Kokmeijer. Cornetto with king crab, yuzu, beurre blanc ice cream and caviar
2 Stars: Bord’Eau – Chefs Marcel Bonda and Raymond Plat. Dutch oyster with foam and beurre blanc of Champagne
2 Stars: Librije’s Zusje – Chef Sidney Schutte. Gillardeau Oyster, goose liver, brined tomato, shiso, Rose, Sake
1 Star: Bridges – Chef Bobby Rust. Langustine fried on sourdough, cream of goat cheese and sumac with germinated seeds
1 Star: La Rive – Chef Roger Rassin. Chocolate mill, Dulcey chocolate, fig and orange
1 Star: Sinne – Chef Alexander Ioannou. Gamba Rosso, green curry, papaya, passion fruit
DeLaMar – Chef Martijn van Roon. Hare, sauce au sang, black pudding, quince, brioche
And a great time was had by all!
© January 2016 LuxuryWeb Magazine. All rights reserved.