Over the past few weeks Bilder & de Clercq has been running a Guest Chef competition. Via social media, advertisements in Het Parool newspaper and via their website, they were calling on the citizens of Amsterdam to send in their best recipes.
We, together with Rogier, one of the founders of Bilder & de Clercq, were appointed as judges for the competition.
After being inundated with entries, we set to work creating a shortlist of our top recipes. We did so with certain criteria in mind:
– would we as Bilder & de Clercq customers buy the dish
– does the dish have a minimal number of ingredients
– would it come in on budget in line with all our Bilder & de Clercq dishes
– do we think it could be a delicious dish
After bringing the list down to 5 potential dishes, we selected 3 who would battle it out to be champion.
Fidan Tekinerdogan: Via her blog Fidalicious, Fidan creates exciting healthy vegan dishes. We chose her dish as it had a interesting way of utilising an ingredient which is very much in fashion at the moment and one that we have also used in a few of the recipes we have created for B&DC.
Kevin Corcoran: Kevin has recently entered the food world by being one of the creators of Nieuw Mosterd (available at Bilder & de Clercq stores). Together with his friends they are making mustard sexy again, with brilliant flavours and hip packaging. Kevin brought us an Asian-inspired dish which was easy, satisfying and full of flavour.
Doree den Hollander: Doree is passionate about all things food and that certainly comes across when talking to her. Through her blog Cato Cheftt, she cooks, creates recipes as writes food stories. Her dish used ingredients that we know work and that are also popular with B&DC customers. Doree is looking to make a career out of food and we’re sure that it will happen soon.
This past Sunday, the finalists arrived, ingredients in hand, at the store on the Ceintuurbaan to battle it out and recreate their dishes for us. We say battle, but in fact it was a relaxed and really fun evening. What was interesting to see was how all 3 finalists differed in their approach to cooking. Fidan brought glamour and charm to the kitchen – we’re still impressed how she created her dish in such high heels!
Doree was focused and meticulous, taking care that all her mise-en-place (preparation) was done before she started cooking. Kevin was relaxed and chilled, with all his prep done in the blink of an eye and being ever the gentleman, allowing the ladies to cook first.
Once all the dishes were completed, we sat down to do our tasting. We were so impressed with the standard of cooking and the flavours, knowing then that we had made the right selection. For that reason, it was decided that all 3 dishes will feature in the stores along with a photo of their creator.
However, as with every competition, we had to pick one overall winner. And that was Doree. We found that all the elements to her dish were cooked well and the flavours and seasoning were spot on.
You may have realised that we haven’t mentioned what the contestants cooked. That’s because we want that to be a surprise. All will be revealed in the coming weeks when we recreate their dishes for the recipes cards and posters. Stay tuned……