Wednesday, 15 October 2014


Food Culture at Hermitage Amsterdam

Dining with the Tsars  - 6 September 2014 – 1 March 2015

I'm very happy to see another great museum is taking the change to relate to our historical food culture. Showing off time. A culinary view of imperial dining customs, in a culture where banquets of 300 dishes were no exception.

Dessert was the highpoint of the meal and the ideal course for showing off the host’s wealth and refined taste. Richly decorated delicacies were served with exceptional inventiveness.  The rich collection of European porcelain from the Hermitage in St Petersburg comprises over 15,000 items, including many unique pieces, were produced by leading porcelain manufacturers such as Meissen, Sèvres, Gardner and Wedgwood and decorated to the highest artistic standard. During the food inspired exhibit you can book a dining experience at Bridges for lunch and dinner. For the menu Chef Joris Bijdendijk was inspired by the luxury banquets in the ages of the Tsars. Of course he gave a modern twist to the 19th and 20th century dinners by creating a menu of 5 smaller coursesNice how historical food culture eats itself into a city like Amsterdam. Remarkable detail is that restaurant Bridges was the formerly staff canteen of the CityTown Hall of Amsterdam. In 1949 the world famous COBRA artist Karel Appel created here a mural inspired by the hungry children of post-war Germany that Apple saw begging for food during a train journey to Copenhagen. However, the officials of the canteen had resistance and the mural disappeared for ten years behind a partition. Nowadays you see the now acclaimed mural left at the entrance. The interior of Bridges - a design by the French interior designer Sybille de Margerie - is inspired by the shapes and colors of this mural from Appel.

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