After an absence of five years, Palazzo put up its famous Spiegeltent (‘mirror tent’) next to the Johan Cruijff ArenA. Joris Bijdendijk, one of the most talked-about chefs in the Netherlands, cooked his fabulous dishes for his guests.  But the 3th of March it will end, so be quick…

 What can people expect?

It is nice to see how food culture keeps developing in the Netherlands. With some great new talent we’re on the eve of a Golden Age for Dutch gastronomy. In this respect, it’s only logical that Palazzo is coming back to town. Cooking gets an extra dimension at Palazzo: it is an open kitchen, so people can enjoy the show and experience excellent food.

You are going to lead the Palazzo kitchen this fall, how are you preparing for this?

Well, I’ve been involved in this wonderful Palazzo project before. We prepare ourselves by putting together a fantastic team. We’ve spent a lot of time trying and testing all the dishes, wines and other drinks. Our team is extremely well-trained so we’re sure we’ll be able offer the best quality day in, day out.

What attracts you most to Palazzo’s dinner show concept?

I’ve seen the previous Palazzo shows and recently visited Palazzo in Berlin. It’s really a very entertaining show. It’s great that a wider audience is getting a chance to get to know this spectacle and enjoy a delicious meal.

What is your motivation to do this?

Palazzo and me, we share some nice history: about 10 years ago, I was given the chance to run Palazzo’s kitchen. It is a great honour to be the main chef for this edition and follow in the footsteps of famous Dutch chefs like Herman den Blijker, Ron Blaauw, Robert Kranenborg and Cees Helder.

Being the executive chef of Michelin-star restaurant RIJKS®, how did you get involved with Palazzo?

At RIJKS, the restaurant located in the Rijksmuseum, I prepare Dutch products every day, surrounded by art treasures and less than hundred yards away from the Night Watch! I find theatre a beautiful art form so I didn’t think twice when Palazzo asked me for this event.

What are the most important core values for a successful Palazzo dinner, in your opinion?

Quality. To me, that’s top of the list. Apart from the beautiful Spiegeltent (‘mirror tent’), Palazzo stands out with a fantastic show and delicious food and drinks.

To what extent are the dishes matched to the acts on stage?

There’s a symbiosis between the menu and the show. During the show, we serve four courses and the show responds to the different dinner moments. Reuben Kaye, the Palazzo host, will explain the menu in a theatrical way and we’ll make sure there’s some nice interaction with the show.

What do you consider absolute culinary no-go’s and what kind of food should people eat more often?

Well, I prefer to think in go’s rather than no-go’s! People should eat beautiful Dutch products more often. For example, meat from the Blaakkop cow, a breed that’s slowly disappearing. It may sound paradoxical but by consuming this meat people are giving this cow a right to exist. Also, people should eat more fish from the North Sea and vegetables from Dutch soil.

What is Palazzo going to be with you responsible for the kitchen?

A new show, a new menu from a new chef. I am really looking forward to it and I hope the guests will appreciate my signature dishes.

You gained a lot of work experience at a young age, including 2 years at a Michelin-star restaurant in Montpellier, and as a chef at Bridges. What are your dreams for the future?

My dream for the future is that the Netherlands will be firmly established internationally when it comes to gastronomy. And I hope I’ll be able to contribute to this.

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