Dutch Goghstronomy!

Dutch Goghstronomy! 150 150 David Rosengarten
The Goghstronome who got me cookin'

The Goghstronome who got me cookin’

My week in Holland was a high…I haven’t even come down enough to tell you about it coherently. And yet, despite having just returned from there at 35,000 feet…my Tuesday story describing my recent gastronomic uppers is already due…today!

So here’s my plan…based on my great good fortune in attending THE re-opening of the mind-expanding Vincent Van Gogh museum…at the end of my trip, just the day before I left for New York…I’m going to post for you a Goghstronomic photo essay!

I had already been lucky, art-wise, in Amsterdam. The opulent Rijksmuseum, which holds the greatest Rembrandts, Vermeers, etc…had been closed for ten years of renovation…until two weeks before my arrival! I got a guided tour there on my first day ever in Holland, April 23, 2013…which left my oils oozing, my acrylics resinating, and my water colors dripping.

Rembrandt's masterpiece The Night Watch, in the distance, at the end of a long gallery at the beautifully restored Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam

Rembrandt’s masterpiece The Night Watch, in the distance, at the end of a long gallery at the beautifully restored Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam

But my chances for Van Gogh didn’t look so hot. Sure, there’s a small collection of Van Gogh at the Rijksmuseum on another floor…but I wanted the main course, the Van Gogh Museum itself…which, I was told, to my great consternation…was closed for repairs!

After a glorious five days of eating and drinking in Holland—you will see my big, in-detail report soon—flew to Paris to track down some wine, and spend another glorious three days (details soon!)

Then, on Wednesday, May 1, I flew back to Amsterdam to do a little business in acquiring Cameroon peppercorns as a new product (more on THAT later!)…and to catch my flight to New York on Thursday, May 2.

So here’s the trippy high that descended on me as I returned to the Netherlands on the first day of May: on the jet, I read in the Dutch newspaper during the flight that the Van Gogh Museum was opening…TODAY!

OMG. My flight was due at 1PM, and the museum was closing its doors at 6. Surely, it’ll be chaos. Surely, I’ll somehow fail to make it.

But surely…somehow…it worked out!

I got there at 4:15…just as the line at the entrance was beginning to peter out. By 4:30 I was in…which gave me 90 glorious minutes of Van Gogh-inhaling before the 6PM close. In fact, I felt like I had the munchies. Because the crowd was thinning, I was able to walk right up to canvases both un-famous and famous…and, with my little camera, take a bite of them. I took few whole-canvas photos, but I had snacks all over the frames…which, in most cases, created whole new looks at the work of this amazing artist.

Here’s a bunch of Van Gogh bites…leading up to the series of paintings that were downright gastronomic! Come on…it was 6PM…I was getting hungry!








As every art historian knows, Van Gogh’s earthy work changed considerably after he did what I did…go to Paris! The color of the South began to bleed into his paintings…as did his new fixation with Japanese painting!

Here is a Japanese painting that he wanted to “copy”…


And here is his copy:


Here’s another Japanese painting he wanted to copy:


And here is his copy:


And here’s one more Van Gogh work in the “Japanese” style.


From there, the sky was the limit……










By this time, I was getting good and hungry…and not just for oreille panée! I started thinking about one of the best bites I’d had all week in Amsterdam: french fries, with mayo, from a little stand with a long line! And, of course, it was then that I discovered Vincent Van Goghstronome’s particular obsession with…potatoes!

He painted potato peelers. He painted potato farmers. He painted potatoes by themselves, just like these:



Most famously, he painted “The Potato Eaters,” finished in 1885—often considered his first great work. Here are two “bites” I took from it, followed by pretty much the whole canvas:




And that’s when the museum closed…just in time to get to my favorite french fries stand and devour another kind of masterpiece:


Straight away, I will post my report on my entire gastronomic odyssey in Holland…and will, of course, tell you exactly which french fries stand you MUST get to when you visit.

I can pretty much guarantee it won’t be closed for renovations.

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