An interview with Raoul Meuwese
Name: Raoul Meuwese
Function: Chef de Cuisine
Date of birth: 14 October 1982
Birth place: Zoetermeer
Chef of Bridges and Oriole since: September 2018
Guilty pleasure dish: Dim Sum at Oriental City
When and how did you enter the profession?
When I was 17 years old, I started as a dishwasher and then gained experience as an apprentice at various restaurants and hotels. Also, I have worked in a number of renowned restaurants, where I was able to grow in various positions to where I am today.
How did you end up at Bridges and Sofitel The Grand Amsterdam?
I was a Chef at restaurant de Hoefslag where my predecessor, Andrès Delpeut, also worked. He approached me and asked if I wanted to take over his position at Bridges. I didn’t hesitate for a moment and I took the step.
Why is this place so special to be allowed to cook? Why should people come to your restaurants?
Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam has a magical appearance, especially during the festive season. The two restaurants, Bridges and Oriole, both located in the hotel, have an international reputation and a welcoming atmosphere.
When did you receive your first star? What did this do to you?
In 2014 I received my first star. At that time I was 32 years old and I worked at restaurant de Hoefslag. It was a great moment, but it also brought extra pressure, especially since I had taken over the kitchen from another Chef.
What is your biggest dream?
First of all, my children. A second dream of mine is to start my own restaurant someday.
How would you describe your dishes? What characterizes your dishes?
My dishes are classic, with a creative twist and Asian influences. I like a modern presentation of the ingredients on a plate.
What is your favorite dish from the menu?
Two preparations of langoustine with sambai, duck liver and a cream of carrots.
Which trends do you notice?
More “bistronomy” and fewer products on a plate, but with a creative twist.
Is there a chef that you admire most? Who and why?
Jannis Brevet from Inter Scaldes (3 Michelin stars). Jannis is always constant and makes perfectly executed dishes. I also admire him, because he never predominates in the media.
Do you use local products? If so, which local products do you prefer to cook with?
Yes, we certainly use local products. We use local products since they are sustainably grown or caught and because we like to work with seasonal products. My favourite local products to cook with are trout, beetroot, celeriac, parsley root and seafood from the North Sea.