If you ask a Dutch about their food culture they will probably tell you about their snert (the famous slow cooked pea soup) or the stamppot (vegetables mixed with mashed potatoes). Ask anyone not Dutch what they know about Dutch food and they might mention Gouda cheese or stroopwafels if you are lucky.
But chef Joris Bijdendijk wants to change that. As the successful chef of restaurant Rijks in Amsterdam, he wants to create a small Dutch food movement that can serve to bring about the change and show the world that some great things are happening in the Netherlands.
On 13 January 2019, the Low Food Symposium in Amsterdam will bring together some of the most successful initiatives that have sprung up in recent years and offer a platform for these new and promising developments.
The Low Food Symposium is intended to be an annual event that brings together Dutch food pioneers who can be inspired and also learn from other pioneers in other parts of the world.
Joris believes that Dutch food culture has been suffering from a lack of self-esteem but there’s no reason for this. In recent years, a new generation of passionate food professionals have emerged who have quietly and without much fanfare made significant changes to the Dutch food and and restaurant scene.
Farmers have changed course and have started focusing on quality rather than quantity. And food producers and artisans are committed to offer high quality produce and ingredients.
With the Dutch government also helping to facilitate this innovation, Joris thinks all the ingredients for the revival of the Dutch food culture are here and Dutch gastronomy could be on the verge of a revolution. This revolution will change the Netherlands from a simple agricultural country to a country that celebrates its food culture and gastronomy. But for this revolution to take place, chefs also need to pick up their kitchen knives, farmers their pitchforks and government officials their pens to proudly show the world what the Netherlands has to offer.
The programme is not yet finalised yet but confirmed speakers at the symposium include Claus Meyer from Nordic Cuisine and formerly Noma), Kamilla Seidler (a chef, activity and Latin America’s best female chef 2016), Martin Scholten (Director Animal Science Group, Wageningen UR), Joris Lohman (founder Food Hub), Joris Bijdendijk (RIJKS restaurant) & Samuel Levie (founder Food Cabinet).
Martin Scholten and Joris Lohman will discuss what is regional? What is a meaningful distance for food to be local? What is the role of agriculture in food culture? They have recently published an essay on this topic which will be available in English in January.
The event takes place on January 13 from 1pm to 5pm at the Auditorium of the Rijksmuseum, Museumstraat 2, Amsterdam.
The event will be followed by a street food dinner at Rijks restaurant. Joris Bijdendijk and Nicolas Lopez will be cooking Amsterdam and Colombian street food for the event. Lopez is chef of restaurant Villanos and Bermuda which is currently 15th in Latin America’s 50 Best restaurants list.