Meet Darla van Hoorn
Age: 26 years old
Profession: Consultant at Kult&Ace Marketing & PR – Amsterdam-based agency, which focuses on urbanite ‘2o- and 30- somethings’, representing brands such as Puma, The Student Hotel and Get it Done. Also part-time kitchen princess (who is too short to reach the top cabinets and climbs on the counter while cooking.)
Why so passionate about food: I grew up in a household where good en nutritious food was always very important. My mom was a professional chef, but also showered her love on us by cooking. 🙂 I remember taking an avocado sandwich to school and my provincial classmates would look at me cross-eyed, cause they had never seen such a thing haha. My dad eats super super healthy and, while raising us, has always underlined the origin and health benefits of certain foods. I think that’s why I (and my sister as well) love experimenting in the kitchen.
Hot Spot: Gee-whiz… there are so many great places in the city. First off, I prefer to eat at ‘cosy’ places with good food, rather than eating at a fancy schmancy restaurant. Most ‘haute cuisine’ places are so forced and overrated. People will turn heads when you drop your fork. And – in my opinion, a scallop and a piece of lettuce doesn’t make a main dish (bring me a Happy Meal please…).
Ok, back to the question: I ab-so-fucking-lutely love restaurant ‘De Koevoet’ in the Jordaan area. Don’t let the outside fool you, because it’s a traditional 1889 ‘brown’ café, which was taken over and revamped by Italians. The interior was kept in its original ‘living room-like’ state, yet owners Mario and Piergiorgio serve traditional ‘cucina Italiana’. (Piece of advice: you’ve got to try their infamous buffle mozzarella and they’ll also serve brilliant scroppino’s at your table!)
A spot a lot of Dutchies tend to avoid, since there’s a great chance of getting tourist-trapped (+ plus their soundsystem usually blows your ears out), is The Hard Rock Café. Sorry, this is the half-American girl in me popping out. 🙂 Little do most people know… they have awesome American-like cocktails (from frozen daiquiri’s to amaretto sours, all which are XXXXL-sized) which you can nip away on the small pier in the back, enjoying a scenic Amsterdam waterfront view!
O and… I can’t forget to namedrop Warung Mini in de Witte de Withstraat in Rotterdam. That’s an old time classic. Not just because no other warung upholds the standards of a good saoto soep like they do. (Did I say good? Theirs is way past good). Also, because they’re open ‘till 6 in the morning for the post-clubbing and starving. Can you imagine a better breakfast?
Fave meal: If I would have to pick one meal, it would be saoto soup. I can eat it all day errrday. Seriously. My friends advised me to go see a shrink, to kick the habit.
Fave Cuisine: Can’t pick just one! Each cuisine has it’s highlights. Probably: authentic (!) Mexican for its tamales, Japanese for its sushi, American food for great burgers, Italian for tortellini, Middle Eastern for its mezze and Thai for its curry’s. (But if I were sentenced to life in prison and I had to choose one type of cuisine to eat for three meals a day for the rest of my life, hands down it would be Surinamese saoto soup.)
Dish you master: Super fluffy banana bread, credits for the recipe go to my mom.
Quote: First one that comes to mind (and has nothing in particular to do with food): “Anything that gets your blood racing, is probably worth doing.” – Hunter S. Thompson.
Food today: When I’m at home I tried to eat with as many healthy ingredients as possible. This morning I made ‘gluten- and dairy-free’ pancakes (which I highly recommend, cause you can eat as many of ‘em as you want). Prep your batter using two egg whites, raw cacao, cinnamon and a banana… Easy is as easy does. For lunch I had a smokedsalmon-spinach-poachedegg sandwich (@ café Pastis), followed by dinner which was a homemade ‘tom kha kai’ a.k.a. Thai chickensoup in coconutmilk.
Recipe for Fluffy banana bread
– 2 cups (250 gr) almond flour (almond flour is a healthy alternative for white flour)
– ¾ cup (150 gr) brown sugar
– 2 eggs, beaten
– 1 teaspoon baking soda
– ¼ teaspoon salt
– ½ cup (115 gr) butter
– 2 mashed overripe bananas
Note: you need to choose those sad looking, mushy and brown-spotted bananas. They’ll give you the best ever moist banana bread, with ultimate banana-y flavor.
1. Preheat the oven to175 degrees. Lightly grease a loaf pan.
2. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar. Stir in the eggs and mashed bananas until well blended.
3. Stir the banana mixture into the flour until just moist. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan.
4. Bake the bread in the preheated oven for 60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Et voilà!
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