exploring ‘how flat is the netherlands’

waddensea area


the eat’inspiratie anything but flat? has its focus on the question “how is flat is the netherlands?”. so we have selected randomly five iconic dutch landscapes of which we created edible impressions:

  • wadden sea area. in this area water, salt, sand, air and foam come together. for us the opportunity to showcase all kinds of dutch sea vegetables.
  • heathland (drenthe area). in this dish we merge the beautiful heath landscape with the peasant life as depicted in the early paintings by van gogh, bartje’s famous words “i do not pray for brown beans’ in a well known dutch book for children, and the era of the dolmens.
  • arable landscape. the netherlands is a country of growers and farmers. so in our opinion an arable landscape can not be missed out, so we created a landscape on which dutch root vegetables flourish.
  • the hilly landscape of limburg. this eat’impression is guided by a combination of elements, both present and past: coal mining, viniculture, beer and loess (limburg clay with a typical yellow-red color).
  • urban landscape. in the netherlands the amount of nature is decreasing and cities are claiming more and more space. in large cities one can spot significant changes in the street view. one of these changes has inspired us to a dish, a dish with a wink.

the question ‘how flat is the netherlands’ has yielded many interesting discussions. the 5 eat’impressions turned out to be a helpful approach to create a more nuanced view of dutch landscapes.

now we are in the process of visualising the result of the central question ‘how flat is the netherlands’ for the exhibition “dutch icons revisited.


november 1, 2014: museums at night @ van gogh museum.

Page_2 the commission & challenge

  • create an edible impression of paintings by van gogh for museums at night 2014 (november 1, 2014) with an emphasis on taste;
  • theme of museums at night @ van gogh museum: all your senses.

the selected paintings

van gogh in colour codes

input for the bites in a nutshell.

  • the fact that vincent became more colourful on the canvas during these 3 periods. we showcased this process by creating colour “bar”codes for the selected paintings, and these colour codes reflected in the 3 eat’impressions.
  • besides the eyes and taste, we also addressed the other senses in each bite, as eating & drinking is a full sensory experience for us.
  • the act of eating/drinking for the visitors of museums at night @ van gogh museum was inspired by the specific action of the persons depicted by van gogh on the paintings.
  • van gogh’s signature brushstrokes we used as input for the wheat field with a reaper.
  • van gogh’s respect for the hard labour by paysants we incorporated in the woman lifting potato.
  • his struggle in life and in his paintings we expressed in the eat.cocktail reflecting agustina segatori in le tambourin. 

the result: 3 eat’impressions reflecting van gogh and his paintings.

  • so visitors could lift and peel potatoes (marinated and wrapped in clay) and they received a bonus for their labour.
  • visitors were invited to experience an eat.cocktail which was expressing in many ways the cafe life of vincent and his struggle as an artist and in life.
  • and visitors could enjoy the labour of the reaper in the field and touch the bright sky.

the future of this project.

  • this commission by the van gogh museum amsterdam inspired us to the eat’inspiration in search of excellence, in which we explore the talents of various dutch masters.
  • this project will be part of our exhibition dutch icons revisited.
  • and in 2015 -in the context of vincent van gogh 2015– we will create an eat’inspiration as a tribute to his work. so … if you did not had the change to do van gogh in 3 bites during museums @ night 2014 we give you a 2nd chance.

nov 23, 2014: chocomania @ SLA zuidas

chocolab chocomania @ sla zuidas amsterdam

we were invited by nina pierson, co-founder SLA (a chain of contemporary salad bars in amsterdam) to participate in the SLA lab programme. for which we created chocomania, a chocolab, in which pure & raw chocolate have the centerstage.

on a sunny sunday afternoon, november 23rd to be more precise, we hit the road for SLA zuidas amsterdam. at the very moment we were ready with all the preparations the enthousiastic participants for chocomania began to trickle in.

as a chocolate bar does not find its way to the shop shelves by itself we kicked off with the story of ‘from flower on a cacao tree to chocolate bar‘. after the introduction we invited the participants to a tasting of 5 different pure and raw chocolates, which they could score using chocolate tasting forms. it was great to exchange all kinds of thoughts & opinions.
hereafter we continued with another kind of tasting, a tasting of textures and combinations, and a demo of tempering chocolate, and some other contemporary techniques. chocomania did end with assembling & tasting a vegetable/chocolate dish.

we enjoyed the interesting questions, the discussions during the various tastings and demo.


Thank you for visiting us!

Unfortunately De Culinaire Werkplaats is closed permanently.

Sometime next year we will be publishing a book about this unique place.

 eric meursing