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Testing 1, 2, 3 heavenly recipes of the upcoming Hemels cookbook

It’s a dirty job, but someone’s got to do it. Last Saturday, I was invited to test three recipes of an upcoming Dutch cookbook called Hemels – which translates as Heavenly in English. I already knew one of its authors – in fact, I consider Alexandra Hereijgers of one of my best friends – and had the pleasure of meeting her partner in crime Ria Geraets-Heijen of for the first time. Also present were six of the best-known food bloggers in the Netherlands. I’m not exactly a food expert compared to the company I was in, but I know a good dish when I taste it and so I did my best to give my most useful feedback after each course. Of course, everything tasted great and I’m sure Hemels will be a great success once it’s released.

Now, as you can see the location was pretty heavenly as well. Rotterdam is a city that is known for its highrise buildings and so the thirty-second floor of the new 100Hoog building provided the perfect setting. The weather, unfortunately, was all over the place. Lots of rain, some mist and some sudden flashes of sunlight. In other words: Dutch summer. Oh well.

Hemels 00

You don’t have to break the bank to create a cool effect – just look at the clouds that Alexandra and Ria made using bubble wrap.

The first course was a very light pea soup – yum!

Hemels 02

 The new Markthal building is almost finished and will house the Netherlands’ first food hall. In order to build it, they had to tear down my old primary school (oh well) and then move it to the next building. See the rooftop playground on the left?

I loved the second course – sushi in a glass, I’d say – although I’m sure the others thought of a fancier name than I did.

Hemels 03

Play Misty for Me, Rotterdam!

Hemels 04

OMG – look at that outdoor wallpaper on that rooftop terrace. Definitely something you don’t see every day (thankfully).


Hemels 05

With its striking metallic facade, the Red Apple is one of my favorite buildings in Rotterdam. It’s also the home of Galerie Vivid.


Hemels 06

The new De Rotterdam building across the river was the home of last year’s Object Rotterdam exhibition.

Hemels 10

 Never, EVER touch your food before all the food stylists and bloggers get a chance to take a picture!

Hemels 07 

Dessert was served on a tablescape of styrofoam blocks – again, a great idea that doesn’t break the bank.

Hemels 08 

Looking good, feeling great!  Here she is, my good friend Alexandra of and

Hemels 09

Sunlight at last!


Hemels 01

By the end of the afternoon, the sun started to shine and I took this final picture.


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