Discover Benelux, Issue 42, June 2017

Page 48

Discover Benelux  |  Utrecht  |  The Ultimate & Unforgettable Summer Destination

Pure flavours TEXT: CHARLOTTE VAN HEK  |  PHOTOS: MARIANNE COLDENHOFF- ZEELENBERG

The small team at Concours surprises its guests night after night. Always honouring the hallmarks of flavours resembling nature and the four seasons, this intimate Utrecht-based restaurant serves up an ever-changing range of fuss-free, pure dishes. An evening at Concours is like joining a family for dinner. Instead of choosing from a solid menu, guests are merely asked about their personal culinary wishes and turnoffs when seated. What appears on your plate depends on your answer and what the chef is making that day. You can opt for a three, four or five-course menu. Dishes embody traditional the French cuisine in which chef Alex Zeelenberg was schooled. Together with his wife Lisa, he helms the restaurant. Concours is renowned for focusing greatly on pure, fresh and natural ingredients. Lisa and Alex maintain close relationships with local farmers, thus many products and ingredients are locally sourced. Their offerings are heavily season-bound and change 48  |  Issue 42  |  June 2017

every week. “Every day we add one new dish to our offerings, while one dish leaves,” Lisa explains. “By the end of the week, our whole offerings have changed.” Dishes are beautifully complemented by Concours’ extensive wine list – on which almost everything is poured by the glass. The restaurant’s sommeliers gladly share their knowledge and passion of wine. Ideal for small groups is the Chef’s Table, which is located in the kitchen. Because there is no menu, it swiftly serves its guests the delicacies of the day, allowing them to truly indulge in what they came for: enjoying dinner together. The ‘open hour’ on Saturday morning provides guests with the opportunity to take a 60-minute sneak peek in the kitchen. Feel like cooking yourself? Groups of friends, family or colleagues can book a personal cooking workshop, in which Concours reveals its culinary secrets in a unique way. Concours’ choice not to serve from a menu makes it essential for the team to

know the customer well. “Our team has to estimate who the customer is, their culinary mood, if they prefer a lighter of fuller wine, and so on.” The team exclusively consists of full-time employees. “That is something we do on purpose,” Lisa concludes. “We greatly value a personal approach. Our team does so much more than just putting your plate on your table: they are responsible for your evening. That takes full-time effort.” The Chef’s Table can also be hired for meetings and business lunches. For more information visit: www.restaurantconcours.nl