Welcome to Monday! How was your weekend? Mine was great and had a little of everything: some work, but also a good share of fun!
On Saturday we visited the recently opened food establishment in Amsterdam, East57. Have you read my review yet? I was quite impressed and will definitely be going back soon. Not only for lunch, but perhaps for an afternoon of wine and trendy bites followed by gourmet food shopping at their well-stocked delicatessen.
East57 AmsterdamI am now officially in love with Brandt & Levie’s pepper and juniper berry pâté which I purchased there along with cheese, bread and a bar of  the limited edition Tony’s Chocolonely chocolate bar with licorice flavor. Tried it yet? I absolutely hate licorice but after sampling a bite of this chocolate, I needed to buy it. The flavor is hardly overpowering, only enhancing the creamy milk chocolate with a mildly salty note.
Tony's ChocolonelyThat evening, as we were having dinner, I handed hubby an envelope (with a heart — how romantic am I?) with reservations for dinner for two at A La Ferme in a few weeks. The restaurant, located in ‘de Pijp’ in Amsterdam, serves traditional French dishes and features beauties such as Bresse chicken on their menu. Just looking at their offerings makes me smile! I made the reservations after hearing about the ‘Franse DinerDagen’, or ‘French Dinner Days’. During ten days, from the 14th to the 23rd of November, you can enjoy a four-course dinner (incl. coffee and a digestif) at fifty top French restaurants across the country that were selected by IENS and En Route Magazine. And at only €34.50 per person, not something you should pass up!
If I wasn’t eating or working these past two days, I was reading the latest issue of one of my favorite Dutch food magazines: Elle Eten. The issue features their ‘100 Favorites’, everything from products, to recipes, to restaurants, to food trends that all of us culi-nuts should not miss out on.
Elle etenI was especially intrigued by their mention of James Osterer, the English artist who covered subjects (mainly himself) in layers of cream cheese, candy, chips and other foodstuffs before photographing them for his ‘Wotsit All About?‘ project. The works reminded me of the Italian Renaissance painter Giuseppe Arcimboldo. Behind them is definitely some ‘food for thought’:

“The works become a catalogue of self- destructive behaviours, and are also managed in such a way that while transgressing themselves as odes to great works of historical art practice, they become re-packaged eye candy for uncomfortable consumption. They are bittersweet to the point of decay and emphasize much of our contemporary society’s needs for synthetic glucose praise, and, in doing so, proselytize the image as a new catalogue of self-harming sugar worship.” (jamesosterer.com)

In other news, this week I’ll be busy writing and testing over thirty recipes for another Christmas production for Vriendin. This one includes cocktails, too. I’ve got a ‘helluva’ job, I know! On Wednesday I’ll finally be meeting up with the fascinating Dutch food writer (and columnist for DUTCH), Gerrit Jan Groothedde. Gerrit Jan recently debuted with his book ‘Weg van de supermarkt’, a plea and guide for real food, which according to the author, cannot be found at our local supermarkets. I can’t wait to meet him in person! Later that evening I will also be having dinner at a newly opened resto in Almere, and reporting on it the next day for you, so stay tuned!
Make it a great week!!

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