Plant in hand. Dirt under his fingernails. That smell. That taste. How can I cook this plant in the best way possible? Chef Emile van der Staak would like nothing better than sit on a log in the Food Forest. The place where new dishes are created. It’s not because he wants to do things that are just that little bit different from what other chefs do. Emile believes that today’s choices determine what tomorrow’s world will look like. And many of these choices revolve around food. That’s why he turns ordinary plants into fingerlicking dishes.
Cooking is the formula. Flavor is the outcome. At “De Nieuwe Winkel” we experiment with various methods of preservation and preparation. On top of our turnip dish you will find grated, pickled egg yolk. That’s egg yolk which has been sitting in brine for three months before being grated. Here’s another interesting detail: resting on top of pieces of mackerel is a pea-sized ball of lemon. For this, we have had to reduce 12 pounds of lemon to just one pound by roasting them on a barbecue, blanching them and then mashing them. It’s that tiny little ball which makes all the difference between “tasty” and “exceptional”, proving that time and attention can be tasted.
At “De Nieuwe Winkel” flavor comes first. But we also cook to help make the world a better place. We believe in honest food, preferably from our own backyard. That’s why we cook with plants: botanic gastronomy. We pick plants. Smell them. Taste them. Analyze them. Ferment them. Cook them. Till there’s something on your plate that will truly astound and overwhelm you.
Sourcing our ingredients from a wholesale store woud be too easy. Instead, we’d rather pick them ourselves. So we know exactly where they come from. So you, as our guest, can taste the area and the season. This is why we rummage through Food Forest “Ketelbroek”, in the local town of Groesbeek. Or you may find us in the “Ommuurde Tuin” (Walled Garden) in Renkum, which was once King William III’s vegetable garden.