The new Librije
Text: Jürgen Dollase
Jonnie & Thérèse Boer
De Librije, Zwolle No. 38 / 50 Best 2016,
For chef patron Jonnie Boer, the new Librije marks a significant advance from national to international institution. And it's a new kind of institution: one that has nothing to do with the old-style pomp of the gourmet temple, and everything to do with fresh and lively cuisine. In order to 'get' De Librije phenomenon, and in order to get Thérèse und Jonnie Boer themselves, you have to understand that this is a place not only developing new culinary ideas with focus, but also a sense of freedom and intensity, a kind of gastronomic alchemy for the guests to look forward to. It is this quality that has given De Librije, and its hometown Zwolle in the Netherlands, a reputation as one of of Europe's top destinations for food lovers. This is an experience that everyone, but especially food-lovers, should treat themselves to.
What strikes you first of all is the merging of the front- and backstage – an open kitchen, with speedily delivered menus and chefs working among the diners. That the old-school black uniform for service staff has been replaced by a selection of down-to-earth working clothes is just one of the many subtle signs of this restaurant's inimitably laid-back vibe.
There is plenty of art here, but little artfulness. The menu also develops in a remarkably natural way. The snacks are genuinely arresting appetisers, often with an element of
interaction. Mini-tartars are served on the hand and dishes are presented on flaming porcelain rings or materials such as stone, designed to evoke a specific sense of place (a beach, perhaps). It is touches such as these, which emerge simply and without pomp from the kitchen, that transport the diner elsewhere. The food never fails to surprise, whether smoked in a wooden crate, or prepared not in a trendy Japanese designer oven, but at the table, on a grill over a battered tin can, as if we were at a food stall in an Asian or African street market....(weiterlesen im Magazin)