About last week

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It has been crazy lately with work and the renovation of our new apartment. Our weekends mean at least one trip to the hardware store. We still need to paint and place the new floors. Not to mention that we also need to start packing since we need to leave our rental apartment at the end of the month. That’s something I am not really looking forward to and have been postponing since the beginning of the month.

On Tuesday I attended a cake workshop at the Grand Café Krasnapolsky. We were divided into 3 groups and we each made a different dessert. At the end, we were treated to a sweet feast. They placed so many desserts along the marble table we were working on before. A dream for anyone with a sweet tooth!

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It was so much fun. And I also got to take some cheesecake back home. It had been a long time since I wore a chef’s coat. I was just looking at my old Paul Bocuse album from the time I was in France in 2006. I can’t believe it was 10 years ago already!

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I created a new chocolate recipe for a port campaign. The picture below was the aftermath of the shoot. You can check out the recipe by clicking here.

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We had such nice weather on Sunday that we decided to just wander around the city in our bikes. We spotted the Amsterdam flag in the background and I just had to stop to take a picture.

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For more foodie inspiration, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook. For behind the scenes, more of Amsterdam and a peek of press events, you can follow me on Snapchat: cravingsinams.

The White Room (NH Collection Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky)

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Located at the newly relaunched Hotel Krasnapolsky, The White Room is led by 3 Michelin star chef Jacob Jan Boerma. The menu is based on his personal preference towards the use of spices and acidic tones. The team that carries out his vision is composed by chef de cuisine Arture Dalhuize, maître Richard Eerhardt and sommelier Isabel van Bueren. The room where this restaurant is located is registered as a monument and it is considered one of the oldest restaurants in Amsterdam. The name comes from the “Witte Zaal”, the original name of the restaurant when it first opened its doors in 1885.

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We started the evening with a lightly smoked macaron, structures of cucumber, salmon and a cream with herbs, and a tomato bonbon with spicy merengue. A little explosion of flavors in the mouth.

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Then we had the yogurt with beet and basil. The very airy and tangy yogurt complemented very well the sweetness of the beet.

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It was followed by the mackerel with herbs, yogurt and sea buckthorn. A light and elegant dish. I could have gone for seconds.

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The fish course was the trout with chlorophyll, crispy potato, green mustard and young garlic. A succulent piece of trout with julienned green apple and petit brunoised potato, which added a nice combination of textures to the dish.

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The meat course consisted of beef with ponzu and black garlic. The beef was very tender and flavorsome.

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Finally a dessert made out of lemon with aloe vera and buttermilk. A refreshing dessert with just enough amount of sweetness.

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Overall it was a very enjoyable experience. Each dish was well-executed and beautifully presented. The service was outstanding.

The White Room (NH Collection Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky)

Dam 9, Amsterdam

For more foodie inspiration, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook. For behind the scenes, more of Amsterdam and a peek of press events, you can follow me on Snapchat: cravingsinams.

Honey Afternoon Tea (Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam)

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Last week, I went to the Waldorf Astoria in Amsterdam to try their Honey Afternoon Tea. When the name Waldorf Astoria comes to mind, I think of opulence and grandeur. And with a 2 Michelin-starred restaurant under its belt, I knew I was in for a treat. This was a especial afternoon tea, since we got to visit the beehives located on the roof of the restaurant Librije’s Zusje.

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The declining bee population is nothing new. Honeybee pollination plays an important role in the environment and our food supply. Their loss of habitat, climate change and use of pesticides are weakening their population. The hard working bees fly 150,000 kilometers and visit about 50,000 flowers in order to make one dessert spoon of honey. By having these beehives, the Waldorf Astoria supports the foundation Beelease.

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During the month of June, the afternoon tea gets a touch of honey. It includes a madeleine with honey & pecans, a honey canelé, a macaron with honey & lemon thyme, a pofiterol filled with swiss cream, strawberry, lavender & honey and a mini tart of raspberry, honey & caramel.

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Among the savory treats were a duck liver lollypop, a quiche with pine nuts, blue cheese, leek & smoked chicken, a cucumber wrapped sandwich with goat cheese, honey & walnuts, a cracker with smoked salmon, cream cheese and chives.

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Every treat was a pleasure to eat and the service was outstanding. To spend the afternoon enjoying some delicious tea and treats, while overlooking the garden on a beautiful spring day. That is hard to beat!

You can enjoy the Afternoon Tea daily from 15:00 to 17:00.

The Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam

Herengracht 542-556, Amsterdam

Cultural Menu at the Brasserie (Conservatorium Hotel)

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Yesterday I attended the launch of the Cultural Menu at the Conservatorium hotel. They now offer a 3 course menu which is available from 17.30 to 19.30. Early enough so it gives you the time to have a delightful meal before you attend a concert, theater show or performance. This way you can enjoy a complete night out. For the launch, a few members of the cast of the musical PIPPIN gave a short performance at the lobby of the hotel. It was lovely to get a glimpse of the musical. Pippin has won 4 Tony awards and it is exclusively at the Carré till the 10th of April.

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The menu was crafted by chef Schilo van Coevorden. You are welcomed with a glass of Cava and the menu consists of a beautifully plated terrine of smoked salmon with cucumber, dill, watercress and a poached egg. It was followed by a very tender poached corn-fed chicken with Brussels sprouts, ratatouille, celeriac, garlic and poultry gravy. And finally a Pavlova filled with Advocaat ice cream and poached pear. A delicious and quite filling meal.

The Cultural Menu is available at the Brasserie and it costs €42 per person.

Conservatorium Hotel

Van Baerlestraat 27, Amsterdam

For more foodie inspiration, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook.

Royal Afternoon Tea – Conservatorium Hotel

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Last week I was invited to try the new Royal Afternoon Tea menu at the Conservatorium hotel. I had just been there a few days before to try Taiko for the first time and it didn’t disappoint. So of couse I was really excited to go back. The afternoon started with a glass of champagne, and Chef Schilo van Coevorden and the Pastry Chef Gino Gebhard welcoming us.

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The menu was created in collaboration with the East India Company. We were explained how to taste the tea and learned a few things about how to properly make it.

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How you should steep it for 3-5 minutes otherwise it becomes bitter, and how it is very important to always make your tea with freshly boiled water.

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And then all the treats came. Different kinds of sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and marmalade, and of course some sweets. It was an afternoon of true delight. This high tea is perfect to celebrate something special or to just to treat yourself.

The Royal Afternoon Tea is served at The Brasserie from 15:00 until 17:30.

 

Brasserie, at the Conservatorium hotel

Van Baerlestraat 27, Amsterdam

 

For more foodie inspiration, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook.

Taiko – Conservatorium Hotel

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I had heard a lot of good things about Taiko and I had seen many pictures of their very carefully plated dishes passing by on my Instagram, so I was really looking forward to give it a try. Taiko is the Asian-inspired restaurant of the Conservatorium hotel and it is run by Chef Schilo Van Coevorden. My husband and I went there to try their Valentine’s Day lunch. We were welcomed with champagne and oysters served with kimchi, a wonderful way to start our meal. Our first course was an Atlantic lobster, served 3 ways. In sashimi, in a sushi roll with caviar & 24 carat gold, and in a salad. A very fancy and delicate course.

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It was followed by hand dived scallops; wrapped in kataifi pastry, stuffed in a gyoza & served with a kimchi puree, and in siu mai with yuzu foam.

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After that came the black cod; which was marinated for 24 hours in miso and served with a sea salad. A caramelized lovely piece of fish.

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We were really looking forward to their Wagyu beef course and it didn’t disappoint. Thinly sliced and melt in your mouth pieces with BBQ sauce, in a very mild and flavorsome red curry and cooked in a broth and served with black truffles.

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And then it was time for the sweet course. Their rose garden was a dessert fit for the occasion, a white chocolate/raspberry mousse with almond biscuit, yuzu cream and champagne sorbet.

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Next came the dessert that was making everyone else turn to your table as it was brought to you. A chocolate cigar brought to the table covered in a cloche which had been filled with shisha smoke. And for the ladies, an edible ring. A beautifully decorated and bubblegum flavored pâte de fruit.

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Overall it was an exquisitely crafted menu and great dining experience.

 

Taiko, at the Conservatorium hotel

Van Baerlestraat 27, Amsterdam

 

For more foodie inspiration, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook.

My Place / Carrots & Co. (Element Amsterdam Hotel)

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Yesterday afternoon I was invited along with some fellow bloggers to taste the menu of the new Element hotel in Amsterdam. A long stay hotel (part of Starwood hotels) which will open its doors to the public next Monday the 8th of February. The concept of this hotel is based on sustainability and that transmits into the food it will provide to their guests. The hotel has two restaurants, one called Carrots & Co. where you can grab a snack or healthy lunch in an informal atmosphere. And the other one is called My Place and it’s the hotel’s full service-restaurant. My Place focuses on the 80/20 rule, meaning more healthy vegetables and less meat and fish. The tasting started with a very tasty carrot salad served over a bed of quinoa, and a roasted beetroot appetizer with a poached egg and horseradish dressing.

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This was followed by a creamy goat cheese risotto with peas and croutons, and a juicy flat iron steak with fleur de sel and chimichurri.

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And finally dessert, a rich chocolate tart with fleur de sel and caramel ice cream, and a gluten free raisin bread pudding with orange glaze.

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Since the hotel has a big terrace, the chef told us he has plans to have his own herb garden and wishes to have a bee hive so they can produce their own honey. And for all the coffee lovers, they are also going to offer coffee from Lot Sixty One. If you are not familiar with Lot Sixty one, it’s one of the best coffee roasters in Amsterdam.

After the tasting we got a tour of the hotel and got to see the rooms. The best part, since it’s a long stay hotel it has a kitchenette. It comes with a glass stove top, an oven/microwave, sink, mini fridge, Nespresso machine and dishwasher. And since the hotel is located in a shopping center that has a supermarket, it makes it easier to be able to cook your own meals if you wish to do so. During the summer months, they are going to have BBQs in the terrace and guests are going to be able to grill their own food.

You can get a peek of the rooms here*:

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Element Amsterdam Hotel

A.J. Ernststraat 577, Amsterdam

For more foodie inspiration, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook.

(*pictures of the rooms were provided by the hotel)

Sunday Brunch at Bluespoon Restaurant (Andaz Hotel)

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My mother in law was in town on Sunday and along with my husband, we went to have brunch at the Andaz hotel (Hyatt). I love the interior design of the hotel. The building used to be an old library and Dutch designer Marcel Wanders turned it into a whimsical building inspired by Alice in Wonderland. You can see it straight away as you enter the hotel.  The hallway leading to the lobby is decorated with tiny doors on the walls.

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The Sunday brunch consists of a buffet and a choice of a la carte dishes.  I ordered the spaghetti with clams which never disappoints and it was delicious. My hubby went for a burger and my mother in law for the soup. We all had a lovely meal and the service was amazing, as one should expect from a 5 star hotel.  Another recommendation is to visit the hotel for their monthly VodkaVriday. It takes place on the last Friday of the month. The theme changes every month, but you can expect delicious Vodka cocktails, nice music and bites. I was there about 2 months ago and it’s a great way to start the weekend!

Andaz hotel

Prinsengracht 587, Amsterdam

For more foodie inspiration, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook.