Storytelling by Hotel Casa 400


Hotel Casa 400 launches storytelling website ‘Home To 400’ and shares its history by the motto “Mi Casa es su Casa ‘.

In 1957 Gabbe Scheltema, Frits Bolkestein and the late Nol South took the initiative to introduce a successful student hotel concept from Copenhagen in Amsterdam in Copenhagen. They wanted to offer a solution to the lack of student housing and wanted to solve the increased demand for hotel rooms in the peak summer season as well.

“With us behind every room a story”

The hotel pays tribute to the founders and 57 years of history by launching a unique website with stories from students, staff and visitors of Casa 400. The accompanying video for instance tells the story of the housekeeping staff, but there are also extensive written stories about (former) residents.

Expanding the storytelling website

Besides stories that are published already the website will gradually be supplemented with stories of all students, employees and guests. It is one of the best examples of storytelling in the hospitality industry nowadays.

Blackjack with taste, Vino Casino


  • Vino Casino World
  • Vino CasinoVino Casino

Last Sunday at the ‘Wine Weekend’ wine fair I spotted the ‘Vino Casino’ game. ‘Vino Casino’, as you can see in the picture is a specially developed BlackJack table, representing a large world map and different vintages on the side.

Blackjack with taste

The game begins with a wine tasting, without seeing the label. Through smell, taste and look participants need to indicate the country / region and the age of the wine. Blackjack with taste thus! The casino chips, which are distributed in advance, must be deployed on both the country and the age groups. When the country or year is correct the number of casino chips is doubled. You can agree in advance how many bottles to taste at this blackjack table. The one who has the most casino chips at the end of the flight, is the winner.

For staff parties or during a tasting

This game is perfect to teach your staff or guests more about wine, in a fun and playful way. It gives a competitive element to a tasting and selects the real ‘wine connoisseur’ among your friends and colleagues. ^Bram Kosterink

An Airbnb with as host the KLM


KLM listed an MD-11 as ‘Spacious Airline Apartment’ on Airbnb

The Dutch carrier KLM has teamed up with Airbnb for a promotion in which aviation enthusiasts can win a night’s stay in Amsterdam. The lodging would be inside one of the airline’s just-retired MD-11s. It’s listed on Airbnb as a ‘Spacious Airplane Apartment’ in Amsterdam. Airbnb says the Wi-Fi equipped two-bedroom lodging option also comes with two kitchens, a living room, eight “small” bathrooms, 116 windows and “a giant cockpit panorama window”. Unfortunately flying is prohibited. The Airplane Apartment is available for three nights only, Nov. 28-30 2014.

Coffee and Cake at the high level of Michelin


  • Bouchon Bakery
  • frambozencroissant

Chefs who have been awarded with multiple Michelin stars often use their name to open ‘gastro bistro’-like restaurants. Some chefs connect their name to a bakery. For example this last year, some Fika’s (a rendezvous for coffee and pastry) opened in Stockholm. This summer I even stood in line at the Bouchon Bakery by Thomas Keller (two restaurants with three Michelin stars) in Yountville, California. Meanwhile, the Thomas Keller group already has five branches of the Bouchon Bakery, one with a café.

High level of Michelin at fika coffee shops

Recently I read an article in The Guardian by The Foodie Traveller who writes about the development of ‘Fika Bakeries’ in Stockholm. Some famous chefs with Michelin stars did open a bakery, where they use their talents to lift the original Fika coffee shops to a higher level in Stockholm.

The Green Rabbit bakery

The Green Rabbit bakery opened in May 2014 and is owned by Mathias Dahlgren (two Michelin stars with his restaurant Mathias Dahlgren at the Grand hotel) and his executive chef Martin Berg in Vasastan, Stockholm. They seem to include delicate blueberries and raspberries muffins in their Fika.

Wienercaféet, Lindeberg Bakery and Patisserie and Culinary Center K-märkt K-Mart

Wienercaféet is also an example of a Fika Coffeeshop. Wienercaféet opened last year by Daniel Lindeberg, who first worked with Björn Frantzén (Restaurant Frantzén, number 23 on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants Pelligrino). Daniel Lindeberg left Wienercaféet already to open Lindeberg Bakery and Patisserie in another part of Stockholm. In the culinary center K-märkt Daniel Roos (world champion pastry chef in 2012) opened a bakery, with chef Johan Gottberg and sommelier Jens Dolk.

Which Dutch chef follows these examples?

Just a bakery where we can buy great sweet and savory pastries, fruit salads, cakes and specialties of the chef, possibly with a coffee-to-go. In the neighborhood of Leiden please. I’m in Stockholm late December and will take a look at the concepts and would love share my experience with chefs who do have plans in this direction! ^ Marjolein van Spronsen

Old Amsterdam Food Tour Dinner


The Old Amsterdam Food Tour and restaurant MOES organize the ‘Golden Age Dinner’ with Marleen Willebrands on Sunday 23 November. A meal will be cooked at the basement of an old storehouse from 1646 according to original 17th century recipes. Because the dinner was served in the afternoon back then, the dinner will be served from 14.00-18.00 o’clock.

Stories from the Golden age

Between the courses stories are told about eating habits, table manners and the availability of food in the city back then. Culinary historicist and publicist Marleen Willebrands retrieved the recipes and will explain the background of old eating habits. Students of the department of old music from the conservatory will play music from that era.
Guests can enjoy oysters on entry, a Rillette appetizer of crab, Tersey with smelt, sweet chicken pie, salad with parsnips, Blancmange & roggebroodijs* *(Roggebroodijs is a rye bread ice cream – ever had rye bread ice cream before?!) and Hippocras with dragees.

Old Amsterdam habits

Because of old habits only a spoon will be provided, please bring your own knife. The stories will be in Dutch; however, the food, wine drinks and experience speak a universal language for all to enjoy.
Location: MOES, Prins Hendrikkade 142-sous
Date & time: Sunday 23 November 14.00-18.00 o’clock.

In this restaurant they teach you sign language


A Toronto restaurant called “Signs” is staffed entirely with deaf waiters, a first for Canada. We complete missed this initiative but it’s certainly worthwhile the mention! So for all of you who missed this movie from July / August because we enjoyed the sun; Restaurant Signs opened July 2014. Guests are learning sign language from the menu and the waiters. We love their slogan; Signs, where noise meets silence.

RIJKS® at Rijksmuseum


  • RIJKS - (c) Erik Smits(c) Erik Smits
  • RIJKS - (c) Erik Smits(c) Erik Smits
  • RIJKS ® Chefs. Vlnr.: Jos Timmer, Joris Bijdendijk en Wim de Beer. (credits: Erik Smits)RIJKS ® Chefs. Vlnr.: Jos Timmer, Joris Bijdendijk en Wim de Beer. (credits: Erik Smits)

On 1 November 2014, the RIJKS® restaurant of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam will open. The restaurant is located in the redesigned Philips wing, the final renovated wing of the museum. The restaurant will be open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner, has 140 seats, a separate room for 36 guests and a terrace with 130 seats. There is a separate entrance to the restaurant on outside of the Rijksmuseum. RIJKS® is a joint venture of Vermaat Groep and the Rijksmuseum.

Responsible for the interior; Paul Linse

For the RIJKS® designer Paul Linse used a mix of materials such as bronze, oak, marble, blue steel and suede. This gives the restaurant it’s cool and stylisch character in combination with the design furniture. Paul Linse was previous responsible for the interior design of various stations in the Netherlands, like Rotterdam Central Station and multiple projects at Schiphol​.

The chefs; Joris Bijdendijk, Wim de Beer and Jos Timmer

Joris Bijdendijk is responsible for the kitchen team of Restaurant RIJKS®, that each season will be inspired by an international guest cook. Margot Janse from South Africa kicks off in January. The focus of the restaurant lies on Dutch products with inspiration from the exotic flavors that influenced the Dutch cuisine through the centuries. The chefs share the Slow Food mindset and have used products from The Ark of Taste in their dishes. Inspiring: At the restaurant a ‘RIJKS TABLE’ is served, check out the menu on the website to learn more about this. We are looking forward to future RIJKS TABLES inspired by the guest cooks and wish Joris Bijdendijk and his team a lot of fun and success at the RIJKS® in the Rijksmuseum.

Central Park by Ron Blaauw


  • Central Park Ron Blaauw

Restaurant and boutique hotel Savelberg will be transformed into Central Park by Ron Blaauw. The hotel and restaurant is located in the historic building ‘Vreugd en Rust’ (Joy and Peace), in the green area of Den Haag-Voorburg. With the arrival of Ron Blaauw as chef they chose for a new culinary formula. The restaurant concept is inspired by the accessible formula of his successful Gastrobar (*) in Amsterdam.

Central Park by Ron Blaauw

Culinary entrepreneur Carsten Klint is the new owner of the historic building. Along with Ron Blaauw he turns it into an affordable, culinary meeting spot: “from Picnic to Château Petrus.” The new name devised Carsten Klint with Perry Valkenburg, President Europe and COO International TBWA Worldwide, and this name emphasizes the new concept and its focus points: surprising, innovative and international. Currently the building is thoroughly restyled and adapted to today’s spirit, but with respect for the monumental details. Early November the doors of Central Park by Ron Blaauw will be opened.

Last summer we experienced in Napa Valley in California, how much fun it is to combine wine tastings, small dishes and picnics. Several wineries offer this option in their gardens. Great that a ‘culinary responsible’ picnic will be possible next year in Central Park by Ron Blaauw. We wish Carsten Klint and Ron Blaauw success with their new business! ^Marjolein

Dos Palillos: the new generation ‘open kitchen’


  • Dos Palillos Berlin
  • Dos Palillos Berlin
  • Dos Palillos Berlin
  • Dos Palillos Berlin
  • Dos Palillos Berlin
  • Dos Palillos Berlin
  • Dos Palillos Berlin



Niek Timmermans, consultant at Van Spronsen & Partners horeca-consultancy, visited restaurant Dos Palillos in Berlin. There, he saw his signature menu being prepared in the kitchen while seated in the restaurant. An ‘open kitchen’ 2.0, where the whole restaurant takes a seat at the chef’s table.

During my city trip to Berlin I’ve eaten at Dos Palillos (two chopsticks), a restaurant concept by Albert Raurich. Raurich started in 1997 as an intern of Ferran Adria at the famous El Bulli restaurant. Within five year he started working as a chef and stayed at that post from 2001 until 2007. Out of the many inspiration trips he made with Ferran the idea for Dos Palillos was born. In 2008 he opened his first location in Barcelona, followed by a second location in Berlin in 2010. And there I did experience his signature menu, which consists out of a total of 17 courses.

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Kids & fine dining; do they pair?


Sit down, relax and enjoy watching this 7 minutes video from a group of second graders from P.S. 295 in Brooklyn enjoying and reacting to a seven-course tasting menu in the French restaurant Daniel from Chef Daniel Boulud. Great start of the weekend, it makes you smile.

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