Ode to regional food

Student Max Elbers and photographer Mirian Hendriks have produced a cookbook.
The hamburger from ‘Eetcafe H41’. Photo Mirian Hendriks

The book is entitled Proef! De Smaken van de Vallei (Taste! The flavours of the Valley). At least, they call it a cookbook but the beautifully produced publication is more of a coffee-table book. It is also an ode to the food producers and restaurateurs of Wageningen and its surroundings, and indeed to WUR as well.

It was Elbers who came up with the idea for the book. The Animal Sciences Master’s student loves cooking and has an entrepreneurial mindset. He had already set up his own catering company. ‘I do a lot of receptions in the Aula for PhD ceremonies and inaugurations.’ But that enterprise suffered from the Covid measures.

On a visit to a friend in Brabant, he came across a book about food products from that region. ‘That made me curious about what was available in the Wageningen area. So I phoned Mirian and suggested we produce a book together.’

Link with WUR

The search for local products resulted in 18 chapters that showcase what the region has to offer. The setup has three elements. ‘We looked for a producer, then a local restaurant that has the product in question on the menu and finally we added an inset showing the link with WUR.’ 

Both the producers and the restaurants get plenty of attention, with lots of photos. That makes the book more of a visual feast than a practical cookbook. For the next three weeks, Elbers and Hendriks will be promoting the book at the Streekwaar stall on market days. RK

Proef! De smaken van de Vallei can be purchased at www.proefdesmakenvandevallei.nl
45 euros.

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