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In few days the Venice lagoon will host the 2012 S.Pellegrino Cooking Cup, a competition that blends two passions - sailing and fine dining - in perfect Italian style.
While waiting for the behind-the-scenes scoop and exclusive video from Fine Dining Lovers, we’d like to introduce you to the young talented chefs who will cook aboard the sail boats.
Today we are going to know Dennis Van Dop, Dutch chef at Hofstede Meerzigt restaurant.
Here is what he has revealed about himself and his food world.
Describe your cooking style with three keywords.
Basic, tasteful, honest.
Which is the first taste you remember and why?
That was years ago when I first ate at a Michelin star restaurant and had halibut with risotto and truffle. The last ingredient I remembered because this was so intense, pure and had a smooth taste. I liked it from the beginning.
If you were a dish, which one would you be?
Langoustines with risotto, because this is my favourite dish.
Which is the dish you prefer to prepare and the one you prefer to eat?
The one I would like to prepare is a dish with lamb, because you always have to be very keen how you cook your lamb. The dish I like to eat and I thinks it’s one of my favourites is Langoustines with risotto and mushrooms. I can eat this dish every day!
Who or what is your main source of inspiration?
I get inspiration of the time of the year and the seasons. Like when it’s warm weather I like to work with fresh and light ingredients, but when its colder and darker I like to work with more heavy aromatic ingredients. I always keep in mind to work with fresh local and basic ingredients.
Tradition and innovation: which is the relationship with these words, and how is it applied to your cuisine?
I always work with traditional, local and honest products from our (local) suppliers or from our own garden. With these ingredients I always try new techniques combined with basic techniques, but I always keep in mind that the basic flavour/aroma of the ingredient is still recognizable!
What is fine dining for you?
Fine dining for me is a long evening with friends and family enjoying life and each other! With a good glass of wine and small and delicious dishes and to be amazed every time when another dish is served!
Which will be, according to you, the next big trend related to food and conviviality?
Consumers are increasingly thinking about our environment and the future, so there is an increasing demand for honest, organic and fair trade products. There will be and should be less demand for meat and fish.
If you weren’t a chef, what would you be?
I like to work out in the gym or play football. So that’s why I think I would be a sport instructor.
Year 2050: what food do you think we’ll bring to our table?
With the changings we already making I think we will not eat meat and fish anymore. As replacement we will eat insects, like grasshoppers, larvae etc. and other replacements for meat or fish. It will be more honest and biological.
Update: with the ingredients from the Mistery Basket the young chef from The Netherlands prepared a beautiful 'Sgombro d.o.p.'