vrijdag 29 november 2013

Vork en Mes - low food miles restaurant in Hoofdorp, mostly veggie food and not expensive.

Vork en Mes
Paviljoenlaan 1
Tel 023 5572963

My husband had his birthday yesterday and I wanted to surprise him with a slightly different lunch. We have three small children and don't get out that often!  I am vegetarian and he isn't, but he likes vegetaraian food. Where we are in Breda there is no veggie restaurant unfortunately, so when i heard the follwing chef on the radio, my ears pricked up.

I few weeks ago I was listening to Radio 1 in the car and heard a really interesting interview with Jon Karpathios, the owner of a restaurant in Hoofdorp.

Now,  that isn't that spectacular in itself but I was heartened and interested in his thoughts regarding locally grown food and knowing where your meat is coming from - and being in touch with nature by eating only what is in season. 

We are all so used to seeing strawberries all year round, seeing our demand for all year veggies fulfilled by faraway places such as Peru or Kenya. I am never too sure whether that is good or not but what I do know is flying all those veggies around the world creates a large contribution surely to the increase in CO2.

It has to be better to eat locally, thinking of our food miles and keeping in touch with the seasons. 

The menu is dictated by what is available in their gardens at the time. And they also work with local farms to provide their meat. 

The drive to the restaurant in straightforward - not far from Haarlem and not far at all from the motorway. The drive down a what looks like derelict plot only adds to the surpise as you appear in a carpark next to a lake and a park. The restaurant building is on the river and it has a wrap-around terrave where children and even your dog will be happy in the drier days. 

We were welcomed, they were expecting us and we were given the menu. What an exciting list of winter vegetables! Joeri and I chose a few smaller dishes to share. We only had the vegetable dishes and there were actually only a few meat dishes. Also some pasta dishes but I was interested in what they were going to do with the veggies. 

WOW! How can anyone make just vegetables taste so good? We were not disappointed at all, one dish was a beautiful mixture of winter veggies: beatroot, parsnips, carrots - just delicious! 

 We had:
Seizoensgroenten op verschillende manieren bereid, hangop met olijven en walnoten poeder
Tarte Tatin van ui met groene kool en komijnekaas
Brioche crouton met paddestoelen, uienjam en noten 

The three dishes were enough for a lunch, but we of course followed the meal off with a desert: Joeri had awhite chocolate pannacotta, grapesoup and chocolate mousse and I had carrot cake with walnuts, yoghurt icecream and caramel sauce.

We finished off with a coffee and left very happy. I even received an email the day after asking if I had enjoyed my visit and if I had any further ideas to improve. How many restaurants do that?

We had a lovely lunch, and I can imagine it is also a great place for dinner. Well done to Jon Karpathios whose concept is badly needed - we do need to think about where I food is coming from, we do need to be closer to nature and eat in season and there is no need that any of this needs to be expensive. 

I also have the cookbook now, so we can practice at home. Although I doubt that we will get anywhere close to the fabulous tastes we had yesterday.

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