Tim Golsteijn is executive chef of restaurant Bougainville (hotel Twenty Seven) in Amsterdam
By who or what are you inspired?
‘Could be anything. I just came back from a great trip through Thailand. Even though i already knew that type of cuisine, because i often go out to dinner with my Thai friends. For example, i learned to maken curry paste thanks to one of their grandmothers. At Bougainville we serve raw papaya salad, but always slightly adjusted. Really nice is the poached monkfish with red curry paste, Thai basil oil and yoghurt cream and a raw salad wit fennel, wild green papaya, sugar snaps and crushed peanuts. Right now i’m looking for wild pepper leaves from the jungle. With that i want to make miang khan-packages; an explosion of flavors.’
Can we find some flavors from Pascal Jalhaij, inspirer from the very beginning?
‘With Pascal we made the first menu of Bougainville. The gado gado, which we developed together, is an incredible vegetarian dish. A salad made from all ingredients. The cucumber is cut very fine brunoise, just like the green beans, first lengthwise and without the seeds. The dish also has finely chopped pointed cabbage, cubes of potato and tofu plus boemboe, a vinaigrette made of shallots, gel of egg yolk and egg white that’s been through the sieve; like mimosa. From the cut of parts of the cucumber we also make juice and gel, a crispy brique with vegetables and herbs and on top of that a scoop ice cream made of caramelized coconut. Gado gado is no longer on the standard menu, but we still serve the dish as part of our vegetable menu.’
How do you and wine director Lendl Mijnhijmer complement each other?
‘Eighty percent of our guests order the menu and sixty percent opt for the wine pairing: that has to be right. From the beginning of inventing a new dish, Lendl is kept informed so he knows in which direction he has to think. It takes a least three weeks for a dish to get approved and the entire time we make sure Lendl gets involved in the process. There are trial bottles involved, but Lendl also gives his input. For example, he suggests to add something sour, or something greasy to a dish. That’s what makes the process more fun for everyone. We’re very strong at wine-food combinations.’
Beautiful your yin and yang-dish!
‘That’s also due to the accompanying vegetable based gravy with the texture and power of jus de veau. Making it is simple, but it’s a long process. We start with the crushing and roasting of five to ten kilos of WUPS, except the celery. The celery we cook with water and flavoring and let it absorb for two or three hours. We strain and reduce that. From fifty liters we only remain one, one and a half liters and then add tomato juice. Last year we made our vegetable gravy for the first with wild asparagus. It was so popular, that it became a basis to many of our vegetarian dishes. At one point the combination with celeriac was made. The celeriac is roasted, baked and added into our juicer. We were just trying things and the result is a celeriac cream with white chocolate. Added to that are several mushrooms and, because of the nutty taste, tahoe cress. Plus a reduction of celeriac stock, which we serve at the table the same time as the vegetarian gravy. An incredible dish. If you let the white chocolate behind it’s vegan.’
What are you looking forward to right now?
‘The best season is now. Of course i look forward to asparagus, but also to broad beans, strawberries and ramson, which we pick ourselves. I already did that at Rosarium Amstelpark. There’s just so much growing in the wild. And it’s a lot of fun to hunt with each other. As international hotel on Dam Square, we have 200 kinds of spices and thirty different types of pepper; that’s our signature. We also work with local ingredients, such as Amsterdams fallow-deer, Amsterdams bread and of course the typical Amsterdams Kesbeke pickles.’
During the time Edwin Kats worked at the Amstel, we worked with the classic style; everything was handmade. I’ve done a lot on the pastry side, until i chose to go back to the kitchen. I love fruits, but i find it much more challenging to use vegetables in desserts. Many people don’t lik sweet with sweet, but do like exciting combinations such as sweet potato, fennel, cucumber and celery. Or truffle potato, tomato and olives. Of course in a different form, like chips from violet potatoes, sun-dried tomato chutney and gel from olives. In the current menu we use a lot of pastry-making techniques for the savory dishes. Like tuna in combination with passion fruit and old soy. I also love citrus fruits: yuzu is a standard and in the winter the blood oranges and bergamot. Oh yes: the kaffir limes and clementines…’
Why did you go for Rungis?
‘There’s no better one: really. I’ve worked with different suppliers, but since i discovered Rungis… They have a wide range of extraordinary products and offer great service. I am more than satisfied. Their employees have an enormous product knowledge and passion for the profession. Just like us. That’ what makes me more than happy.’