TEDxDelft 2015 | Yuri Verbeek | Finding inspiration in the ordinary


For Yuri Verbeek, head chef and owner of culinary studio De Kokkerie, inspiration for even the most simple dishes can come from everywhere. “Though I work with food like lobster and caviar, let us start tonight with döner kebab,” he says. By modifying the ingedrients and using the imagination, this simple snack can be turned into a dish with added bling.”

But is not just the ingredients that can be used in creative ways. Common household items like perfume bottles can be used to hold garnishing or using a watering can to distribute sauce. Also, the reverse is also possible. “Using the skin to wrap around a basic cone frame, all you need is to add a light bulb and you have created a lamp,” Verbeek explains, as he demonstrates how exactly this can be done.

Another of his creative projects was handed to him by a famous Dutch designer, who asked him to create a haute couture dress out of vegetable materials. Verbeek was asked to think of a complementary dish that would pair well with the dress. Using the dress as the basis for his creation, he came up with a small snack that incorporated some of the garment’s design elements. In this case, a flower to decorate the snack.

“To conclude, I want to use something we usually start our meals with: bread and butter,” Verbeek says. “I call it Campfire.” Using truffle butter and combining it with rye and cress, the basis or, to be more precise, the ground has been prepared. The bread, by placing it in a certain way reminds of a stack of logs. All it needs is some sugar that crackles, set it alight, and there you have it: a campfire on a plate.