Friday, November 10, 2006

News from the Netherlands

The Dutch IACP members have been working hard! This autumn three of our 14 IACP-members have published books and we are very proud. The books are very, very different and are all focused on the quality of food.

José van Mil, together with her staff, (a.o. Nadia Zerouali another IACP member!) produced a fantastic 2007 calendar. She did an incredible job. The calendar gives a 5 ingredient recipe on a weekly basis that fits with the seasons and a shopping list. Every week you also will find a suggestion for making cooking more fun or easier (knife sharpening, what to do with left over mussels, what to do with capers, etc.). And finally, Jose gives daily cooking advice for a course. This advice just helps you to think about your evening meal or lunch in a different way and inspires you before going to the grocery store. She does write extraordinary detail and if you know her (she has been to the Annual Conference several times), you immediately recognize her style of talking. It is a unique Christmas gift for next year.

Yolanda van der Jagt presented her first book, Lekker Hollands, at the culinary fair Kuntshal Kookt in Rotterdam. Her book is about the beautiful produce of our country. Jamie Oliver, with whom she worked at the River Café in London, tells in his brief preface about her passion for seasonal ingredients. As soon as you have the book in your hands, your mouth starts watering. You want to start shopping in the countryside immediately, calling friends to come over for dinner, or running home to cook. The very accessible recipes are good, they give information and are easy to prepare. Yolanda not only shows the readers her recipes, she also tells you about taste, tasting while cooking, recognizing the produce and enjoying food. Yolanda worked at Chez Panisse in Berkeley and learned a lot from Alice Waters. Jamie Oliver ends his preface in the book with the sentence ‘On top of all this she can also keep up with all the boys when drinking at the pub – nice one!’

The last book, or books are from Onno Kleyn. Kleyn ' s columns and Kleyns Basics. Well, I don’t need to translate these titles. Onno writes a column in the leading Dutch morning paper, De Volkskrant. And finally a selection is made of these ‘reading-recipes’. Het writes about produce, his travels abroad, his kitchen experiences and so on with a dry sense of humor. Every column ends with a simple, tasteful recipe. So we all can throw away our clippings and enjoy the book.

The other book about his basic theories is about cooking eggs, making mashed potatoes, salt, herbs, preparing mussels and so on, is a real book of reference to have at hand in your kitchen.

So now you understand why we are proud of these IACP members. And although I can imagine you don’t read Dutch, you have to believe me that in this small country (1/3 of Kentucky!), we continue to make sure our produce will grow beautifully and taste fantastic.

Nelleke van Lindonk

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