M*** Restaurant

Restaurant M*** is the culinary pop-up restaurant of MASTERS EXPO. For four evenings and an afternoon in 2019, a total of 23 chefs will be cooking for a total of 40 stars. The concept, implemented by culinary entrepreneur Carsten Klint, is not only a pleasure for foodies, but also a nirvana for networkers. The knives will be sharpened and the taste buds tested before 2021. First, enjoy a little more...

Text: Bart-Jan Brouwer
Opening image: Good Folk
Photo report: SpecialPixels
Editor: Susan Poeder

"You meet incredibly interesting people here," Hilde Watty tells me, the sponsor of the art project that Micky Hoogendijk is showing at Masters of LXRY. "It's not about what you know, but who you know." On the opening night, guests are welcomed with a flûte of sparkling Champagne Philipponnat. Hands are shaken, experiences are exchanged, there is talk and laughter, while amuses such as artichoke bonbon, caviar and tandoori yoghurt are served.

I give Piet Boon a hug, ask Jaguar Land Rover Benelux CEO Marc Bienemann about the situation in the car world and give Micky compliments for her outfit. The evening is a succession of surprises, including performances by the professionally singing Pasta e Basta service led by Jolijn Middelhoff and the beats of Hans Stroeve, resident deejay of De Librije.

Intimate dining

Carsten opens the evening with the words "it's a fairy tale you're in". This is no match for the ' Tafeltje dek je', where attention has been paid to every detail: from the menus and napkin rings to the flowers (courtesy of Expo Flora and Silk-ka). Not only the tables, but also the restaurant looks fairy-tale like. Interior designer Mariska Jagt signed up for the perfect makeover with creative verve. She transformed a cold office into a cosy haven.

"I took the business out of it and made it an intimate setting. For example, I covered the bare floor with carpet, installed my self-designed lamps and decorated the walls with creations by Dofine and art by Micky."

Heaven on Earth

But my gaze is not directed upwards, for heaven is on my plate: white cabbage ravioli with cep mushroom gravy and Amalfi lemon, a dish by Moshik Roth. The creations from the kitchen form a holy trinity with the wines selected by importer Vinites from Jean-Claude and Carolyn Martin's Creation wine estate in South Africa and the water from S.Pellegrino and Acqua Panna.

While the tables are buzzing with conviviality, the kitchen is also buzzing with a friendly atmosphere between chefs on duty Moshik Roth, Erik van Loo, Edwin Vinke, Fred Mustert, Dick Middelweerd and Marcel van Lier. "We all know each other. A bit of banter, great fun," says Moshik. Vinke complements him: "It's old boys' bread here. Just a party." The chef of De Kromme Watergang does not mean currant bread. En papillotte prepared celeriac, cauliflower, kimchi, walnut and huttentut. A taste sensation that is hard to beat. A fairytale in itself.

Film-worthy material

Jort Kelder, who is sitting next to me on the other side, laughs: "This is the worst possible start for an evening at work: all that delicious food, all those wonderful South African wines...". His film crew, with whom he will be going to the exhibition floor shortly, is not there yet, but this evening in M40 could have provided enough footage.

Starring Selwyn Senatori, whom I'm calling on during the launch of the winter edition of LXRY because he created the festive cover. The artist who lives La Dolce Vita also knew how to correctly assess the excellent wines of Vinites, but apparently did not quite estimate them in the right quantity. As a result... The Selwyn Show! He spontaneously made the blow-up cover, which was actually intended for the Jaguar Land Rover stand (Selwyn is a Jaguar ambassador), into the first prize of a quiz.

"Who knows how many years Rob Peetom has been a hairdresser?", Selwyn shouts into the microphone. Denise Boekhoorn, sitting at the table in front, guesses 53 years. I look at Selwyn: "What's the answer?" "I have no idea, kid. Hahaha!" Rob Peetoom is called to the front, it's about everything and nothing. The answer was wrong, but Denise wins anyway. No rules. No limits.

Going once, going twice...

The latter does not apply to the auction of three unique covers of the LXRY LOVE Edition, created by Selwyn, Roland Kahn and Jan des Bouvrie. When it was time for the work of the godfather of Dutch interior design - a compilation of four back covers of cigar boxes containing his sketches - to go up for auction, Yves set a lower limit: 'We start at 1,500 euros. In the end, the cover went for four times that amount to Henrico van Lammeren, the CEO of Vinites.

I congratulate him on his purchase and generous donation - the proceeds are destined for the Heart Foundation. He, in turn, congratulates me on the pop-up restaurant: "M40 is professional, high-profile and trendsetting. For the first time in three years, it has reached a level that suits its ambitions. Top cuisine, great guests, hospitality and a great atmosphere."

In addition to Dick Middelweerd's dessert, maracuja with tangerine and five spices (so good, I'll take two), KLM Netherlands director Harm Kreulen also has a nice dessert for those present: KLM house number 100, a miniature version of Paleis Huis ten Bosch in The Hague. After the coffee and chocolate surprises, the tables slowly empty and everyone makes their way to the exhibition floor. I walk up a little with the harassed but combative Addy van den Krommenacker. "This was a gift, really great!

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