Friday, May 31, 2013

Dutch Design - Day 35 - Eindhoven Day 7 "Open Your Windows!"

The Muziek Op De Dommel festival is taking place this weekend and it is taking place near our apartments at the Van Abbemuseum on a floating stage in the Dommel River in Eindhoven. The venue was close enough that someone said to "Open your windows!" and we could hear the music flowing in.

The tasting club took our first dinner at Radio Royaal in the Strijp-S area in Eindhoven. We were here to try out the restaurant before we chose a restaurant for our group dinner tomorrow. I got the 3-gangen menu or the 3-course menu as it is a great deal.

I always have lots of fun with menus with unfamiliar dishes, but it's always a delight looking at a menu in a completely foreign language so every dish is a surprise (though our waitress did walk us through to explain what most of the dishes were), as trying to interpret mystery menus without any help is always excites me.

pastramia van kalf met radijs, geschroeide zwaardvis en ansjovismayonaise
pastrami of veal with radish, seared swordfish and anchovy mayonnaise
vis (dagaanvoer)
daily fish (I don't remember what it was)
chocolade dessert
panna cotta met bloedsinaasappelmarmelade en limoen yoghurtmousse
panna cotta with blood orange marmalade and lemon yogurt mousse

omelette sibérienne met frambozencoulisSiberian omelette with raspberry coulis

This was easily one of the best meals I have had on the trip. Every dish was delicious, all courses were consistent in quality, taste and presentation. The ambience is a unique experience with the building being a former power plant. Turbines are still in place and the support beams are exposed giving a very industrial feel. Pushing the quirkiness of the environment even more, a wooden swing is installed along with a metal net badminton court. The open kitchen makes the process of cooking food very transparent and is representative of the Dutch mindset of openness.

Of course, as they offered panna cotta on the dessert menu I had to order it. I am usually disappointed with the blandness of panna cotta...BUT I was blown away and amazed by their version. This is by far the best panna cotta I have ever tasted.

Creamy texture of panna cotta + sweet tartness of blood orange marmalade + tartness of the lemon yogurt mousse = AMAZING!

I would come back just for that panna cotta, but everything on the menu is delicious. Though I will have to say the best cooking from this place are the desserts.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Dutch Design - Day 34 - Eindhoven Day 6 - Dual Interview Day "Design is to define and redefine"

This was not a good morning. On our way to our first interview of the day, around Strijp-S, I was unfortunate enough to get into a bike accident and took a dive into the pavement. The guy who clipped me hit my back wheel. He barely asked if I was alright before he sped off without any consideration of my well-being. I didn't feel hurt at all, but when I checked later at the first stop, my right knee was scratched up pretty bad.

Post-accident. My bike doesn't look at all damaged.
Our first interview was at Piet Hein Eek. The atelier and showroom were nice (and really piqued my interest for stuff to buy). I wasn't really in the space as the interview was happening as I was tending to my injury, in the washroom applying bandages. Doh.

After the interview, of course we went over to the Piet Hein Eek restaurant (again. :D) for a quick lunch break. Yum yum. I got to try the daily special Truffel kroketjes met ham, truffle croquettes with ham.

Our second interview of the day was fun. We got to interview Jetske Visser at her new atelier. I really appreciated this interview over some of the other ones. Unlike the previous interviews with other designers who are more well established and have had been designing for quite a while, it was great to see design from someone who's coming in from a fresher and younger perspective. She was less clear with her intentions of creating her designs and expresses instead her fascination with exploring the limits of techniques and materials. She is such a nice person and I hope great things for her.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Dutch Design - Day 33 - Eindhoven Day 5 - Dual Interview Day "Why? How far do we go with this actual idea of needs. Do we need or we do desire?"

Dual interview day within Eindhoven loaded with so many ideas. It was a long day as our second interview at edhv ran long.

Our morning was rough as we had to ride our bicycles through the pouring rain to get to our first studio, Nacho Carbonell. The interview was awesome, Nacho is such an inspiring person with very clear ideas on asking hard questions of why. One of the strongest insights I got was from his rhetorical question of asking about why objects

"What I'm trying is to understand is probably this obsession that we have with objects and this necessity that we have with objects. I think we are in need of some things, but, why? How far do we go with this actual idea of needs? Do we need or we do desire?"

Our second interview was with Wendy Plomp and Remco van de Craats at the edhv studio. We were pretty drained as this interview was very long but we were given with such great insights. Wendy was so awesome, she talked to us about her involvement with the Dutch Invertuals and was kind enough to give us some Dutch Invertuals swag.
Remco gave us an in-depth explanation on edhv's process and the creation of their process books. Being able to visit a design studio and having someone share their studio's process is such a humbling experience. Asking them to take time out of their day to tell us what they do already feels like an intrusion into their work, but when they go the extra effort to tell their story and share a little bit about themselves and their knowledge, it's a heartwarming feeling of honest connection and respect.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Dutch Design - Day 32 - Eindhoven Day 4 - Exploring Eindhoven "Anytime's a good time for Herring!"

Today was a relax day to just chill out and explore the city. I went with a few others to check out a few design shops around the city. I didn't buy anything since I didn't see anything I really wanted, but it was still nice to look around.

Also checked out the Blob and 18 Septemberplein where there was the weekly Tuesday market was taking place and of course after seeing the fish stalls, we had to get some fresh fish to eat! We had some of the classic Dutch dish of haring or herring. Afterwards, we noticed some of the locals choosing the fried fish. We ordered one of the kibbelings with garlic cream sauce to share.
OH MAN. THIS WAS DELICIOUS. I should have more of this, but too bad this market is only open once a week.

We visited a design shop on Strijp-S called yksiwinkel. We were talking to the ladies working there and we realized we were talking to one of the Dutch Invertuals, Brit van Nerven. It is really interesting how small the design community in Eindhoven is and everybody knows everybody.