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Bjorn Massop is chef at restaurant Lokaal. Bjorn already dreamt of becoming a chef when he was little. As soon as he completed culinary school, he got his first job at Het Jachthuis in Hoog Soeren, where the foundation of his style of cooking was laid. Bjorn participated in several international competitions and won the Jeune Talents Auguste Escoffier Award Benelux, as well as second place at the 2009 Jeune Talents Auguste Escoffier World Trophy. In 2017, Bjorn moved back to the Achterhoek region and became co-owner of Villa Ruimzicht. We asked him about his culinary inspiration, his favourite ingredient, and much more.
Bjorn, how would you describe your cooking style?
I would describe the cooking style at restaurant Lokaal as uncomplicated, with French-trained techniques inspired by Dutch cuisine. We often use products from the immediate vicinity in our dishes, we love working with locally sourced ingredients.
What's your favourite dish to make?
My favorite dish to make is pickled trout with white asparagus and poached oysters in young gin sauce with sorrel.
What is your favourite ingredient to work with?
My favorite ingredient to work with is beef. I find it fascinating that an animal is so versatile and can appeal to an entire society, from young to old, from simple to luxurious; from tough and hip to soft and elegant.
Who is one of your top suppliers or producers?
I work directly with the farmers. Through these close collaborations, we can think ahead from the moment a seed goes into the ground and determine the quality we want to attain in our kitchen.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your culinary career?
The biggest challenge I've had in my career was the switch from working in reputable companies with a good name to working at my own restaurant at Hotel Villa Ruimzicht, which was not yet known for its high-quality food. I had to literally write our culinary reputation from scratch, like a blank page.
This allows you to let your own region and its terroir speak on the plate
Which gastronomic trend are you excited about the most?
To be quite honest, I'm not very concerned with trends in the kitchen. If I have to name a trend, I think it's good to see that more and more chefs are proud of the producers in their immediate environment. In my opinion, this allows you to let your own region and its terroir speak on the plate.
If you could only eat one dish for the rest of your life, what would that be?
Stew endive from my wife Alysha!
Thank you, Bjorn.
Book your table at restaurant Lokaal
Try top chef Bjorn Massop’s unparalleled Dutch cuisine for yourself at restaurant Lokaal in Doetinchem, the Netherlands. You can make your lunch or dinner reservation through our website.