It’s almost time, then the catering industry can open again. We struggle with this perspective, we are happy and concerned at the same time. What remains of our favorite pastime, dining out, if everything is laid out according to strict rules? How cozy is a restaurant when the walking routes are indicated, the service goes along the tables with a trolley, only five to ten tables are occupied, plexiglass screens stand between us and the rest of the world? And, most importantly, how protected are we really when we get back among people? On the other hand, we give restaurants a make-up summer and so we went out of our way to get a spot in metropolitan restaurants in June – call it journalistic curiosity.
We weren’t the only ones: owners were overwhelmed by phone calls from guests who were just outside their door in a sleeping bag. The hunger for eating out cannot be suppressed. For the time being, we still cherish our quiet, homely life with cooking ourselves, setting the table nicely, drinking the best wines and trying to forget that the world is upside down.
In that homely life there is mainly room for good ingredients and tasty things. Frozen pizzas make us unhappy, you can only guess at the origin of meat from the large gritter, bread that stays fresh for four weeks has not been available to us for a while now. And even though our wallets are certainly not fattened these days, good stuff remains a priority.
One of the suppliers of what we need so much these days, namely cheese, is Kef. With a few shops in the city they ensure that the sincere Burgundian stays alive, they supply the most beautiful cheeses. Fromagerie Abraham Kef, because that’s what the business was called when it was founded in 1953, is a household name. When we were young, we occasionally invaded the then only branch in Marnixstraat, if only to soak up the nostalgia of an old-fashioned cheese shop. Kef taught Amsterdam to eat French cheese, it is said. At the Kef of now you can order cheese packages for home, we fall naturally for the ‘dégustation à la maison vin’, a tasting package for the cheese and wine lover (there is also one for beer drinkers).
In this homely life there is mainly room for good ingredients and tasty things
On a sunny Saturday morning we stand in line at Van der Pekplein at a distance of one and a half meters from each other for a canvas bag with a slate plateau, two black boxes with nine packaged cheeses, a baguette that still needs to be baked and two bottles of wine. to receive. Our tasting with the cheerful title ‘Kef hetzelf’ costs fifty euros for two people, but it is an extremely educational and tasty party game with which you can lose a few hours just like that. The rules are simple: get the cheese out of the fridge on time! These cheeses are all perfectly matured, but you will hardly taste that taste if the cheese does not reach room temperature. Also important: each cheese has a number, so follow the numbers. Because if you start with blue cheese, you won’t taste that fine, young goat’s cheese anymore.
If you drink one bottle of wine (as a couple or more) with the nine cheeses, choose the Normandy poiré, because it goes with everything, with two bottles you first drink the poiré and then the red L’Aimé Chai, a biodynamic blend of merlot, cabernet sauvignon and malbec from southwestern France. And then something else: scan the QR codes on the leaflet with your phone, because then cheerful friend Joppe will tell you something about three cheeses on the plateau: the red flora or washed rind cheese Soumaintrain fermier affiné from Burgundy, the raw milk and mild Brie Fermier d ‘Ile de France and the blue-veined sheep’s cheese Brebis de Saint Sulpice from Auvergne, a cousin of the Roquefort. There are also four Dutch cheeses in the bag, including one – named Hansje – from Amsterdam. Enjoy your lunch!
From now on, we’ll be messaging from a world that’s nothing like the old one. A world in which distance and intimacy are involved in a devilish game. We’re going out for dinner again.