Chef Jose Luis Hinostroza – Netherlands

Holland, Netherlands

Name: Chef Jose Luis Hinostroza Age: 24 Nationality: American Country of Residence: Netherlands
1. Your Restaurant/Business:
I am currently working as Sous Chef for a 2 Michelin star Restaurant called De Kromme Watergang.
2. About Your Kitchen:
The Kitchen at De Kromme Watergang has a very pure style, Chef Edwin Vinke likes for flavors to speak for themselves and not to cloud them with anything. We are a seafood-oriented restaurant located in front of the Dutch coast line, in the area of Zeeland, right beside a river’s creek, hence the name of the Restaurant De Kromme Watergang translated to English means “The Rivers Creek” Using seawater in the restaurant is an everyday task, most of our shellfish gets cooked in seawater and we use a lot of different varieties of seaweed to cook and flavor our fish dishes. The dairy utilized at the restaurant is from a small local farm about 5 minutes from the restaurant. The restaurant also owns a 1-acre garden where we get 80% of our vegetable and herb needs.
3. Your Favorite Chef Works Item:
Milan Premium Cotton Chef Coat: Very comfortable material and fits very well to my body, not so baggy as most chef coats.
4. First Job:
Dishwasher/Pantry at Kings Fish House
5. Your Favorite Cookbook:
Alinea by Grant Achatz

6. Your Awards:
I currently don’t have any awards.
7. Your Cooking Inspiration:
Personally I don’t feel there is a start and end point for inspiration. For me inspiration is something that can come from everywhere, there’s no one thing that I turn to for inspiration. I feel, that for an individual to be inspired, he has to be living it everyday and extract inspiration from everywhere, local customs, traditions, nature, surroundings, events, people. I feel the world is much more fun when you are open and looking to be inspired.
8. Your Speciality Dish:
A Mussels and Bread Course – the soul of the dish is basically taking the moment when you are almost done with your mussel order and start to dip your toasted bread into the remaining juices. Dipping bread into juices is nothing new to any culture but I had never hear of anyone trying to distill that moment and apply it into a dish, so I am very eager to see if I can execute the dish to a Chef Jury and see the reaction.
9. Favorite Dish To Eat:
To ask a chef to pick their favorite dish to eat is like asking a musician to pick their favorite song to hear, there’s just too many of them. Like in music I feel favorites change according to your mood, if you are happy, sad, angry, frustrated, etc. The weather has a lot to say as well, my favorite dish will change if it’s a rainy winter night or a warm summer afternoon.
10. Weirdest Thing You Ever Ate:
Lutefisk. Directly translated it means Lye Fish. Of Scandinavian origin, the fish has a jelly consistency to it, and goes through a process to get to this point – the final product is a concentrated fish flavored jello. Its one of those things that you have to try in order to understand it completely.
11. Favorite Ice Cream Flavor:
Foie Gras with caramel, chocolate and smoked toasted peanut crumble.
12. Favorite Drink:
Champurado, basically a tea made from spices, most commonly cinnamon, star anise, and vanilla, sweetened with piloncillo (unrefined sugar cane) and then thickened using corn flour or masa. Chocolate can also be added, it’s served hot and has the texture of a eggnog. In Mexican culture we usually have it during holiday celebrations or during day of the dead, but can also be consumed with breakfast in most parts of Mexico.

13. Favorite Wine:
Champagne, Ulisse Colin
14. Who Would You Most Like To Cook For:
Rene Redzepi without a doubt, as he has been one of the chefs that has changed the way I perceive food, so I would love to get some constructive criticism from him.
15. Who Would You Least Like To Cook For:
Anyone with the mind set of ‘food for fuel’. Anyone that has no real appreciation for food. It doesn’t have to be fine dining, actually most of my favorite dishes I eat are very humble simple dishes, just treated with a good amount of respect.

16. Favorite Things To Do When Not Cooking:
I always like to be involved in one way or another with food, if I am not cooking I like to visit local producers, cheese, beer brewers, organic farms, fish mongers, butchers, anything that is connected to what I place on the menus is something that vastly interests me. I like to know how the product was treated before I even get my hands on it at the restaurant.
17. Your Latest Project:
My latest project is competing for the St. Pellegrino Young Chef of the Year 2015, representing the Benelux Area (Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg). I have been doing practice runs for the past months, and I am quite happy where my dish is at the moment, but of course, everyday I am slightly altering the recipes, to see how the dish can be enhanced.
18. Favorite City and Why:
If I had to pick it would have to be Chicago. Being from San Diego I have to say that I was spoiled regarding seasonality. For me Chicago was a perfect city to represent the seasons, almost like clock work every 3 months you can see how the city transforms in color, temperature, and smell – it’s beautiful. In addition, their food and music scene makes the perfect city to live in.
19. Your Greatest Indulgence:
Carbohydrates! Bread, pasta, rice, potatoes have always been my weakness, and an excuse to stuff myself.
20. Your All Time Best Culinary Tip:
When I read books and hear stories of famous chefs, they where always starting when they where 14 or at some ridiculous young age. So naturally, after starting my first culinary job I had the feeling I was already behind everyone else but I believe that feeling has motivated me to push harder, to work faster and to study longer.

Photo Credit: Frans van der Lee

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