This April, Dutch culinary and artistic expressions converge at Brasserie on the Eighth. In celebration of the Dutch Days, the restaurant will collaborate with the Consulate of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and Van Gogh Senses to host guest chefs and brothers Hendrik and Kamiel Buysse from Blend with the pop-up dining concept “Art X Dining on the Eighth”. Their appearance at Conrad Hong Kong will be especially remarkable, as they will concoct a menu that pays tribute to Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh. It will be a rare opportunity for guests to get up close and personal with the masterpieces from the Van Gogh Museum supported by Van Gogh Senses, Asia’s first Van Gogh themed lifestyle experience brand, aspires to share Van Gogh’s passion & unique color palettes, while savouring gastronomic delicacies from the European lowland.
The Buysse Brothers established Blend, an innovative concept combining food, drinks and entertainment, in 2015. Hendrik is the brain leading the kitchen. Having worked for Michelin-starred restaurants in native Zeeland, the Netherlands, he discovered many exceptional local produce and incorporated them into his global tours. As the face of the team, Kamiel employs his knowledge in mixology and music to heat up the atmosphere. Together the dynamic duo quickly launched themselves on the map of great culinary personalities, presenting playful and delicious experiences in pop-up events around the world.
With overflowing creativity, the “blend brothers” handpick the finest and seasonal ingredients from their home country in representing the works of van Gogh. Sunflowers, one of the painter’s most revered pieces, becomes the muse for Hendrik to demonstrate his skills in cooking. The work’s bold brushstrokes translate into picanha (sirloin cap) steak tartare boasting rich flavours, elevated by arugula, sunflower seeds and pumpkin. Another renowned painting The Harvest also finds its way to the plate. French garlic, Zeeland cockles, sweetbread and nasturtium recreate the vivid hues in van Gogh’s idyllic scene featuring the simple country life of Arles, France. Cocktail lovers can’t miss Kamiel’s interpretation on Almond Blossom and Wheatfield under Thunderclouds, for which he mixes wheat grass, apple, almond and absinth.
While tasting the artwork-inspired dishes, diners will have the chance to revisit the van Gogh’s life journey through three paintings from the Relievo Collection of Van Gogh Museum – limited edition, high resolution reproductions using advanced three-dimensional scan technology. These pieces document van Gogh’s productive, yet tumultuous last years. While the peaceful Harvest (1888) epitomizes his utopian worldview, his disenchantment is mediated through the Sunflowers (1889) after failing to develop an artist community and a fall-out with Paul Gauguin. The stormy skies in Wheatfield under Thunderclouds (1890) are evidence to the sadness and extreme loneliness he endured which led to his ultimate suicide.
The Dutch Days with Buysse Brothers will take place from 21 to 30 April. Dinner sets are available in four and six courses at HK$830 and HK$1,080* respectively, with options to include cocktail or wine pairings. A special art wine dinner will be held on 27 April highlighting van Gogh’s illustrations. Alternatively, guests can sample Hendrik’s dishes from lunch sets and a special cooking class. Some art-inspired tapas and cocktails by Kamiel, as well as the pop-up store with special edition merchandise presented by Van Gogh Senses can also be found at Pacific Bar during the promotion period.
* Subject to 10% service charge