“A kitchen surrounded by fertile soil where vegetables and herbs thrive … Where daylight shines in from all sides and where the chefs are free to express their creativity daily using the best the season has to offer.
It seems an obvious concept, but I spent twenty years surrounded by white tiles under fluorescent lighting before I came up with it.”
This, from chef Gert Jan Hageman, who had earned a Michelin star in Dutch haute cuisine and found a new direction for his own career and a new purpose for the old greenhouse that belonged to Amsterdam’s Municipal Nursery, which dated from 1926, and was due to be demolished. With a lot of luck and help from the municipality and his family and friends, Hageman succeeded in converting the unique 8-metre high glass building into a restaurant and nursery – the Restaurant De Kas.
We have all of the ingredients for our own Restaurant De Kas here – excellent chefs inspired by locally grown, seasonal produce (Clayton Chapman of The Grey Plum, Paul Kulik of The Boiler Room, Julie Berry of La Buvette), passionate urban farmers (Dapose Veg, Josh Lux of The Green, Green Grass of Home, Cait Caughy of Big Muddy Farms, Chris Combs of Sweet Thyme Farm and many, many others), talented garden builders/designers (Sean Ward, Dwight Nysewander of Eat Your Yard Out, Anne Tremble of Emerging Terrain), and a big, old, beautiful empty building with a huge side lot. In Alley Poyner, we have a visionary, community minded architecture firm located not even a block away from the Firehouse. And in Omaha itself we have more than enough interest and ground support to keep a restaurant and gardens like this thriving!
Project Idea: Restaurant and Food Gardens
Location: 1017 N. 16th St., Omaha, NE
Menu: A daily created menu, fresh from the restaurant’s gardens, with dishes inspired by the flavors of the rural Mediterranean, where fresh local vegetables playing an important role. All prepared in such a way that they retain their fresh, authentic flavours, presented simply and stylishly.
Vibe: A community bistro. Casual and relaxed, open airy. Sounds, smells, colors and interiors that bring the outdoors in.
Layout: Gardens to the north with fruit and nut trees also planted, dining room downstairs, classroom upstairs where people can take classes on permaculture, urban gardening and seasonal cooking.