Collabs & Crossovers
Enjoy the blog by our colleague Niek Timmermans from Van Spronsen & Partners hospitality consultants. He blogs about the trendy collabs & crossovers, how hip and popular are they in 2019?
Earlier this year, Leonie van Spronsen wrote a blog about crossovers, how she felt 2019 could have been the year of crossovers. She kicked it off with an example of the Emmy Cheeseburger Dumplings of Mimi Chengs in New York. Two hospitality entrepreneur comrades that created a dish out of their individual bestsellers. We also have an example of this in the Netherlands, the Taiko X FEBO authentic FEBO snack wall in Tunes bar with limited-edition langoustine frikandels and Wagyu burgers specially created by chef Schilo van Coevorden.
Whether the crossover product has already completely landed in the Netherlands is not very clear, but chefs inspire each other through collabs all year long. We have seen many of these ‘collabs’ recently, not just in the big cities. For example, restaurant Hemingway at hotel De Draak in Bergen op Zoom hosted a guest chef series last October with two star michelin chef Syrco Bakker, of Pure C in Cadzand. After these series one of Syrco’s signature dishes remained a highlight of the menu. The next series will follow in April 2020 when chef Dennis Huwaë takes over the kitchen for HEMINGWAY x DAALDER.
One of the trendsetters in Holland for these types of events was chef Joris Bijdendijk that started with inviting many international colleagues to show their skills in the kitchen of Restaurant RIJKS®. Last summer he took it to the next level by swapping kitchens for 4 days. Named ‘Trading Spaces’ this event brought the chefs of Restaurant Locavore (Ubud, Bali) to the kitchen of RIJKS and vice versa! Not completely new, as we know this concept from ‘The Grand Gelinaz’, a collaboration of 37 amazing chefs worldwide that share and swap ‘their lives, identity and restaurants’. This year they are shaking things up by staying in their own restaurants but cooking the menu of a different chef. ‘The grand Gelinaz! Shuffle stay in tour’.
The Dutch 3 star michelin chef Jacob Jan Boerma also hosted parties with colleagues at Parc Broekhuizen, something his predecessor Marco Westmaas started in 2017. Chefs like Jacob Jan can be spotted regularly at comparable parties worldwide hosted by his chef friends. We met him in Portugal a few years ago. In 2019 a new concept was launched that took these ‘on location’ chef experiences to the next level, Mallorca Luxury Villas made it possible to rent a villa where your food would be prepared by chefs of Les Patrons Cuisiniers. Another great example is the ‘Cheese conveyor belt take over’ at the cheese bar in London where over the next few months, different cheese specialists get to show their goods on the conveyor belt one night a month.
One more fun example is my favorite patissier from New York Dominique Ansel, who invited colleague bakers from Boston to bake their ‘sticky, sticky buns’, ‘Boston Cream Pie’ and ‘double Chocolate Rye Cookies’ together in his Bakery in Soho. I have heard that everything from his bakery is so incredibly delicious, so if anyone in Holland could bring him over – I’m coming!
However we have yet to see real crossovers like the Cheeseburger Dumplings that we started with. We spotted that chefs in London challenged each other to do something else with “their” product or when they put in effort to enthuse everyone about cooking with local products like in the ‘Not native guest series’.
The first real crossover we spotted in a while came about recently and inspired this blog. Black Seed Bagels in New York is currently selling ‘The Crown Shy X Black Seed Bagel’. You can buy a bagel of your preference made by Black Seed topped with a delicious combination created by the chef of ‘The Crown Shy’ (* Michelin 2020).
Don’t you think that would be quite interesting if you could get a sandwich created by Jonnie Boer for lunch?