• Interdit

     

    Interdit: the Cowboys of the Kitchen

    Interdit, which means forbidden in French, is a most unusual culinary concept, designed and implemented by four young creative people from Amsterdam: Brian, Jaymz, Tiddo and Niels. They are “the Cowboys of the Kitchen”, and their concept can be described as a culinary, rebel, semi-illegal, travelling cultural restaurant.

                The Interdit concept is as follows: first of all the founders jointly decide on a location where the event will be taking place. They specifically look for places that are less obvious and have something mysterious about them. An empty disco that needs to be renovated, an old church that is not being used, an old warehouse that is waiting to be transformed into an apartment building or, most recently, the arcade under the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.

    Interdit does ask permission from the owner to use the place, but not from the police or other formal organisations. Interdit staff knows how to turn these places from nothing into something in no time. By using unpretentious, temporary locations, Interdit avoids expensive regular costs and stays focused on what they are good at: hospitality, atmosphere, and good food.

                The restaurant is only open for a set number of days and at a specific location (from one weekend to at most ten days), disappearing afterwards, only to resurface somewhere else after a couple of months. That’s how the Interdit concept stays fresh and challenging for both the initiators and the guests. Each new location offers new perspectives and possibilities. Just a week in advance the founders notify all their contacts and business relations via e-mail and text messages, and within a few days they are fully booked.

    Guests sit at large tables, bring their friends and enjoy each other’s company, even with strangers. They enjoy a good meal and some entertainment. The atmosphere is open and dynamic; there is room to stand up and recite a poem at the dinner table should one want to do so. The processes are efficiently organised, and the food, the core essential, is pure and exciting, or as they call it, “chauvinistic-regional-European-style”.

    The menu is created each day, depending on what is freshly available. Basic organic products are used in light dishes—classic ingredients in innovative combinations. They steer clear of the usual and instead present a 6-course dinner, which commences for all the guests at the same time, usually 8 pm, and takes up the whole evening. The service is not formal but rather friendly and highly authentic. Within a few days the experience ends at that particular location. The entrepreneurs start looking for new adventurous locations to create a fresh Interdit experience and to build a larger pool of Interdit customers who enjoy the excitement. Interdit is convinced that the Amsterdam public is ready for a new impulse. An initiative that stands for pure values and especially for quality, without getting lost in complicated ideas and gimmicks. Simple, honest, temporary—but definitely innovative and exciting.

                Interdit is definitely in the experience business: they create an informal and friendly atmosphere together with their guests and friends—something that is so often lacking in professional restaurants. They bring an informal organisation to a high professional standard. Their motive, as they say, is to offer pleasure in an unusual way. They are not bound to economic motives. Their challenge is somewhat like that of ID&T (see below) by not becoming part of the “formal world” while maintaining a spirit of originality and creativity.