Le Nouveau Chef presents a fun and laid-back interview series, featuring dedicated individuals who truly inspire us. Guests respond spontaneously to questions that span topics like food culture, childhood ambitions, breakfast habits, and everything in between.
Our guest today, Arturo Dalhuisen, is a passionate chef who loves to cook with vegetables, fish, meat, and other vegetarian ingredients. Ever since he can remember, he has wanted to become a chef. Currently, he works as a star chef at Landgoed Parc Broekhuizen, where, under his supervision, restaurant Voltaire holds 1 Michelin star.
If I had to choose, I'll go for a fresh slice of bread with peanut butter. I'm pretty straightforward when it comes to things like that. Of course, I do enjoy luxurious dishes like smoked salmon on toast with a poached egg, but that's not something I eat on a daily basis.During the morning, I'm usually in a rush, so I'll eat a sandwich during my commute to work.
Do you like to cook with wine or beer?
My preference goes to wine, especially because of the possibility of wine and food pairings. I find wine more exciting, especially because there is such a rich variety of wines in Europe, and I love wine myself. With wine, you can create basic sauces, such as jus de veau with red wine. For fish dishes, I often use a white wine sauce.
Where do you dream of going?
A beautiful trip to New Zealand is at the top of my list. I'd go there because of its nature. While I find nature beautiful all over the world, New Zealand is known for its breathtaking landscapes, which fascinate me. I engage with nature everyday because I consider Mother Nature my boss. I work with what the herb garden has to offer, go hunting in the forests during the fall season, and in the spring, other ingredients become available. So, nature is truly an essential part of my work.
Do you prefer chocolate or vanilla?
I'll go for chocolate. I find pure chocolate very tasty; the more intense the flavors, the better, actually. Many people don't like the bitter tones and cocoa flavor, but I can enjoy them. Vanilla is something I've known since I was a child, but it doesn't do much for me.
What is your guilty pleasure?
That would have to be an ice-cold Gatorade. It may sound strange, but after a busy workday, I really enjoy a refreshing Gatorade drink.
Which series or movies would we want to surprise ourselves with?
To be honest, I do start watching series, but I rarely finish them because I don't have the patience. No matter how exciting they are, I have never finished a series all the way through. I don't really like watching movies in my free time either. I'm usually on the go, busy enjoying food, with friends, or family. I'm not much of a TV binger.
What does every chef's wardrobe need?
I believe a well-made chef's jacket is just as crucial as regular clothes, maybe even more so. Everyone in my surroundings sees me in chef's clothing when I leave and return to work, so, in fact, it's even more important. It needs to fit well, feel comfortable, and look cool. Fortunately, there is a lot of choice because, as a chef, I attach great importance to it. The most important thing is that the chef's clothing is comfortable, and you feel good in it. I believe it's crucial that my clothing matches my role as a chef.
If you could eat one dish every day of your life, what would it be?
Something I could eat every day? Every single day? I love to try new flavors, so eating the same thing every day, I can only keep that up for a month or two. But if I really have to pick something, it would be a bowl of yogurt and granola. It may be a safe choice, but I already eat it almost every day. Otherwise, I don't really have a dish that I could eat every day.
Chinese food or Japanese food?
I'd say Japanese, mainly due to the artistry found in Japanese cuisine. Just look at sushi – a simple dish with just rice, salmon, and nori. When you dip it all together in soy sauce, it transforms into a piece of art. I find the intensity of flavors in soy sauce, kombu, miso, and sambal very impressive.
I've been to Japan once, primarily for Wagyu beef. I was inspired by how people there deal with food, especially the abundance of street food. There is so much to learn from the way they cook and deal with food, and my body needed to adjust to it while I was there. Being in Japan for two weeks really introduced me to its regional cuisine. My stomach had to get used to a completely different way of eating. Every hour of the day, on every corner, you can find something delicious to eat. This results in a different eating pattern. An average diet is not composed of three main meals a day but six small snacks throughout the day. We are used to large plates full of food that have to be finished. It's really different in Japan.
What is the best compliment you have received as a chef?
The best compliment is that I have my own signature. People now come specifically for my culinary creations because they know what defines my work, and that is a great compliment for me. Recently, I received the compliment that every dish I make is a work of art. Art fascinates me, though it is crucial to me that everything not only looks good but also tastes delicious. In everything I do, this is my top priority. I immediately pass on any compliment I receive to my kitchen team because I don't do this alone.
Cook a meal for a group of picky eaters or a group of food bloggers?
I believe that every guest who comes to dine with us because of our Michelin star arrives critically. They don't just come casually; they seek the full experience, enjoying every flavor on their plate. So, I prefer to cook for picky eaters. I deal with this on a daily basis, and it truly resonates with me. I handle it well. It's precisely the motivation to give my very best every day and ensure that all guests leave satisfied.
Food you can't stand?
If I had to choose, I’d pick canned sardines. I really don't like it. Otherwise, I almost appreciate everything, but the smell of an open can of sardines doesn't appeal to me.
Are there any trends that you find interesting at the moment?
Always maintain a curious attitude, even towards fellow chefs. It's not about copying each other, but you can add your own twists to certain trends. I believe it's important for chefs to inspire and motivate one another. Every chef has their own style, and that always comes through in their dishes.
Finally, which chef inspires you the most at the moment?
Rasmus Kofoed of restaurant Geranium in Copenhagen is still doing amazing things. He has such charisma, and his restaurant radiates tranquility, which I find extremely appealing. I have admired him for about 15 years, and he continues to inspire me.