25 years of creativity and hospitality
Jonnie and Thérèse Boer, too, have created a fantastic new world of well-being with the relocation of their restaurant the Librije. In 1986, Jonnie started working as a chef at Librije, which at that time belonged to Ed Meijers. At 24, he became the head chef there. Shortly later, Thérèse joined the restaurant as a sommelière. Something must have “sparked” between them, as the saying goes. Today, they make a unique, sensational team. No matter where and how, Jonnie and Thérèse are always mentioned in the same breath. In 1992, they bought the restaurant together – a former Dominican library, situated on a picturesque canal in the small Dutch town of Zwolle.
In 2008, they boldly opened Librije’s Hotel in a lovingly renovated former women’s prison. There, they started up their second restaurant, Librije’s Zusje (“Librije’s little sister”), which was soon awarded two Michelin stars. The Librije itself has long held three stars. But two restaurants with this kind of fighting weight, and both offering typical Boer cuisine, are too much for so small and remote a town. So Zusje recently moved into the Amsterdam luxury hotel Waldorf Astoria, where Jonnie and Thérèse provide the catering. The old Librije was closed and the new is located in the spacious atrium of the hotel, under an imposing glass roof. You sit with a view of the sky and can experience sun, night, clouds, rain and snow – almost close enough to touch. Naturally, such a step also brings economic advantages, as it has reduced the restaurant’s own kitchen and service staff by half.
On the other hand, new jobs have been created in Amsterdam – only they’re not on the Librije’s payroll.
Basically, the change of location has been good. For everyone. Whereas procedures and motivation had got into a bit of a rut at the old place, you can feel the fresh wind of a start-up blowing here. Everyone’s motivated, smiling – a fantastic atmosphere. This sense of excitement infects the guests too. And Jonnie? He’s bursting with energy – he’s never cooked better, and his typical style has never been clearer or more incisive. Meanwhile, the chef’s sense of closeness to nature can be found in many of his creations. In one corner stand sprouting vegetables, and between them a jar of tadpoles: … (more in magazine)