I’ve been captivated by “eating designer” Marije Vogelzang since I first read about a dinner she prepared using only all-white ingredients a few years ago. Based in the Netherlands, Marije’s experimental eating/design studio turns out clever, high-concept concoctions unlike anything anyone else is doing anywhere. Like the now-famous party she threw for Droog that involved baking a tablecloth of bread that dinner guests had to tear apart and eat in order to find their dinnerware. For a different party, she hung a tablecloth from the ceiling with holes cut out for guests’ heads in the fabric. She once made guns out of sugar, and lately, she’s been cooking root vegetables inside clay sculptures that must be broken for the food inside.
When I visited her Proef café in Rotterdam a couple years ago, I was struck by the dreamscape interiors—ripped, mismatched wallpaper, industrial dangling pendant lights and crude wooden tables and chairs—in juxtaposition to the extremely simple, all-local café fare. That tiny location has since closed, but she just opened a new, bigger and equally amazing-looking restaurant and bar in Amsterdam, also named Proef (pictured below). The interiors have that same child-like enchantment-as-décor thing going on. And there are chickens, an organic veggie garden and picnics in the park. I’m ready to go back.