Amsterdam’s highly respected chef and creative entrepreneur Ron Blaauw just opened his newest adventure ‘Nacarat’, on the fifth floor of shopping Walhalla Hudson’s Bay. The name is inspired by the warm orange colour and the flavours of the orient, as Nacarat offers the city a Middle Eastern culinary treat. During the day, in between shopping sprees, you can enjoy a light lunch, such as a large variety of hot and cold meses to share. In the evening it’s all about 1001 nights, when the hip and hot fine-dining ambience of Tel Aviv takes over.
About Ron Blaauw
Ron Blaauw is the quintessence of a chef with culinary guts and vision. In 2013 he decided to trade in his two Michelin stars to create ‘Ron Gastrobar’, a more accessible place where good food is offered at a great price in a pleasant atmosphere. To his surprise, Michelin appointed him a star only a few months after opening.
He is one of those Amsterdam chefs who will step out of the ordinary, follow their passion, show varied talents and make a difference in future culinary traditions. He is closely followed by institutions like Michelin for his more modern take on food and hospitality. He has a natural flair and his views on wining and dining adventures are numerous. From colonial Indonesian, classic French brasserie to modern Asian cuisine, Blaauw has the talent to attract and train young professionals who understand his view and taste and are thus able to guard the quality. His vision is often copied but for many Amsterdam citizens Blaauw’s restaurants are always the place to see and to be seen.
Your first time in Amsterdam
I grew up in Hoorn, a town that is just a 30-minute train ride north of Amsterdam. Like many of my generation, around the age of 14 I would go to the city centre to buy clothes at CoolCat and find the latest disco records. At the end of the ‘70s, Amsterdam was a very different place; it was the time of squatters and riots, a lot of areas were a ‘no go’, making it very thrilling at that age.
I relate to Amsterdam
My first job was at Restaurant de Kersentuin in the Amsterdam South area. It was and still is a well-known pool of talent where many respected Dutch chefs have learned the trade. After 35 years it remains a mix of tourists staying at adjacent hotels and a neighbourhood meeting spot. I never left the city professionally since this valuable first working experience.
Secret city spot
I never give away my secret spots to prevent them from becoming hotspots. There is nothing nicer than having a place where you can go for some quiet time, where you know the people and they know you. The best secret is to walk through various neighbourhoods and find your own special secret spot like you might do in your hometown or neighbourhood.
Het Amsterdamse Bos (‘the Amsterdam Forest’) is three times bigger than New York Central Park and even on a hot day it never feels crowded. You can go for a walk, run, or bike ride. You can even go horseback riding and the available water sports are endless. Amsterdam has many parks and green spots but here you truly feel out of the city.
There are many interesting statues in Amsterdam but fountains are a bigger challenge to find. On Rokin and right in front of my newest project ‘Nacarat’, a fountain statue has just been revealed and it feels like a connection of new initiatives for the city. It is a massive block of two connected heads, each of which looks a different way, with a waterfall in between.
Amsterdam for children
That is very easy: Ajax. If you mention the name Ajax anywhere in the world, everyone will know that you're talking about Amsterdam's legendary soccer club. It is a great tradition among many Amsterdam generations and next to the excitement of visiting a match, it simply is a way of life. Also the Amstelpark is a nice place to relax with the family; it remained as a park after the famous Dutch flower show of 1972, Floriade.
I love to visit hotel The Grand in the heart of the city and the university area along Oudezijds Voorburgwal. It is an important historical landmark; built as a convent in 1411, it was the City Hall from 1808 to 1987, and the current restaurant area was used as a canteen for the civil servants up till the last date. There is a beautiful inner courtyard and private garden where you really can enjoy a moment of peace and quiet.
Worst Amsterdam tourism experience
The ‘Sexmuseum’. I understand many tourist attractions but this is simply a monstrous place located where many tourists enter the city for the first time.
My good friend Selwyn Senatori. He is an exceptional Dutch-Italian neo-Pop Art artist and his art is all about the secrets of happiness. He reflects the quality of life and pure enjoyment in colourful paintings, symbolizing the true essence of life. He inspires me in my projects of creating locations where people enjoy and forget the everyday sorrows for a moment.
Best place to relax
Boating along the Amstel River. It is a lush green waterway just outside the city, a traditional rower’s paradise and you will see people fishing or having a picnic. This river has inspired many Dutch artists like Rembrandt, Breitner and Mondriaan.
Favourite Amsterdam citizen
Our Mayor Eberhard van der Laan, who is truly loved and respected by all Amsterdam citizens. He understands our city and its challenges and has the ability to connect and serve as the best ambassador of the Dutch capital.
What would you like to improve in the city?
Cyclists with headphones, or any other distraction, are so dangerous. Personally I use the roundabout at Haarlemmer station often, and during rush hour it really becomes an area where a lot can be improved regarding traffic safety.
AdresRokin 49, Amsterdam
Telefoonnummer+31 20 790 0320
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