'Chef' João Sá invites Jonathan Zandbergen to promote Dutch cuisine

Today, on February 29, repeating yesterday's experience, the chef João Sá, from the SÁLA restaurant, will host a four-handed dinner where he will share the kitchen with the Dutch chef Jonathan Zandbergen, from the Le Merlet restaurant, rated with a Michelin star. “We thought that the […]

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Today, February 29, repeating yesterday’s experience, chef João Sá, from the SÁLA restaurant, will host a four-handed dinner where he will share the kitchen with the Dutch chef Jonathan Zandbergen, from the Le Merlet restaurant, rated with a Michelin star.

“We thought that Jonathan's culinary line had a lot in common with ours, when it comes to proximity to period products, and that it would be a good first invitation to a four-handed dinner at SÁLA”, says 'chef' João Sá.

Jonathan Zandbergen is a young rising star in Dutch cuisine.

He has been leading the Le Merlet restaurant in Schoorl since 2015 and has managed to maintain the Michelin star that the place has had since 1998.

Now 31, he was named 'Most Talented Chef' in 2017 by the prestigious 'Guia Gault & Millau'.

"Based on French cuisine, Jonathan has worked in restaurants since he was 14, having risen to the position of 'chef' at 23", highlights a statement, adding that the Dutch 'chef' is "passionate, optimistic and hardworking".

“Jonathan Zandbergen is the perfect pair of hands for cooking with 'chef' João Sá, who has always worked with local products and Portugal as central pillars. At the dinner table will be the seasonal products, many vegetables, fish and seafood, in what is the best tradition of what is served at SÁLA ”, said the statement.

The price of the dinners is 130 euros, with drinks included, and there are 20 places available for each day.

“The kitchen has gone through João Sá's life forever. Both the godfather, as well as a nurse who takes the place of second mother, instilled a love for food. At the age of 12, he already created events at the school related to gastronomy, and at the age of 14, his interest in everything that was practical and manual took him to the Estoril Hotel School ”, the statement in question said.

According to this note, "it was an early entry into the demanding world of cuisine, and the journey was intense and done on the pulse".

“In 2003, he took a leap into the avant-garde space of the capital, Bica do Sapato, under the baton of Fausto Airoldi - from where great kitchen professionals came out. In 2004, he spent two months at Viridiana, a Michelin-starred restaurant in Madrid, under chef Abraham Garcia. Here, he discovered typical Spanish cuisine, very well prepared. He also acquired experience in the hotel world - he worked for two years at the Sheraton Porto, under the supervision of the 'chef' Jerónimo Ferreira, until he realized that his love was in other cuisines ”, reveals the same document.

João Sá worked with other 'chefs' who marked him - like Lubomir Stanisic, in '100 Maneiras', with whom he acquired a lot of technical knowledge, or Nuno Mendes, in 'Viajante', in London -, until he made his solo debut as 'chef' 'at the' G-Spot 'in 2009.

“There, he lived the greatest creativity experience of his career, over three years - he did not repeat a single dish. In 2018, he returned to the helm of his restaurant with SÁLA ”, says the same statement.

For his part, Jonathan Zandbergen also cooks from an early age.

“At 14, he already worked in restaurants and at 23 he was a kitchen chef. In 2017, he was considered 'Most Talented Chef' by the prestigious Guide 'Gault & Millau', which bodes well for a smiling destination. Jonathan took the second and third levels of the cooking school and the 4th level of specialization. Then he studied at the Cees Helder Academy, where he focused on gastronomic entrepreneurship, and completed several internships in important restaurants, such as 'De Librije', with three Michelin stars. Of the several awards he received, the most special for him was the first place in 'The Prix Culinaire Le Taittinger International', a tribute to classic French cuisine ”, the statement said.

Zandbergen opened, in 2014, his company, 'The Soul Kitchen', “in which he shares advice and gastronomic points of view”.

“Leading the restaurant 'Le Merlet', in Schoorl, since 2015, he managed to maintain the Michelin star that the place has displayed since 1998. Jonathan has become well known to the general public as a member of the 'Top Chef Academy' jury, in RTL. Optimistic and entrepreneurial, he describes his gastronomic style as “contemporary French, with local products, visually appealing and very tasty dishes”, explains the aforementioned statement.

“I create dishes that tell stories,” believes 'chef' Zandbergen.

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