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Episode #62
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To start the Euro tour off, The Hippy Gourmet flew into Zurich, Switzerland via Swiss International Airlines. It was an amazingly smooth flight all the way from Los Angeles, arriving twelve hours later we were rested and ready start our adventures.

Zurich is a bustling city founded back in the thirteenth century, its origins date back to a Roman trading post. Zurich is a naturally beautiful place, surrounded by the snow capped Alps that feed Lake Zurich and its flowing tributaries.

While in Zurich, we were fortunate enough to visit with Walter Alfare at Gate Gourmet and get a backstage glimpse of the gourmet services catering to the top airlines, including Swiss of course.

Join us as we wet our appetites being shown some of the culinary treats offered in first and business class dining on Swiss International long haul flights. Then go behind the scenes with us as we see what goes into feeding all those hungry air travelers!

 
 
Episode #63
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In Amsterdam at Restaurant De Kas!

In Amsterdam, the Hippy Gourmet is clearly in his element! Everything in Holland just makes sense, from the light rail, to the wind and solar powered landscape, to the overall relaxed and accepting nature of the Dutch people.

In this episode we tool around Amsterdam, learning our way around the canals and discovering one of the worlds first planned cities! What better way to the full Holland experience than to go directly to the source of organic and delicious recipes and spend some time with our friends at Restaurant De Kas.

De Kas actually translates into greenhouse, and literally this restaurant is located directly in the middle of a greenhouse. Although it may feel like De Kas is situated in the countryside somewhere, it’s actually in center of Amsterdam.

The serene lily ponds and tall grass hosts a variety of wildlife, surrounding this one-of-a-kind gourmet restaurant in a pristine beauty that instantly relaxes the spirit. Inside, the restaurant serves a multi-course meal, either for lunch or dinner, including of course all the organic ingredients grown right there in their own greenhouse.

We interview owner Gert Jan as walks us through the greenhouse and gardens while telling us about his inspiration and epiphany for founding De Kas Restaurant. Later we visit with Walter on the larger farm just north of Amsterdam where he shows us how all the organic vegetables and berries are grown and harvested.

Then we are truly privileged to have chef Martijn prepare one of the house vegetarian specialties, the most amazing Beet Root Tart! Combined with the Organic Lemon Thyme, Greens and edible Flowers from their gardens, this is an incredible delicious, yet very simple recipe!

Make sure you make your reservations early, because such an incredible dining experience in Amsterdam has quite a long wait…but well worth it!

 
 
Episode #64
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Irene Hoeve
Traveling around Holland is an amazingly beautiful thing to do, even if you’re just going 30-minutes into the countryside! Taking one of the number of friendly and courteous taxi cab rides, we found ourselves at the Irene Hoeve, Cheese Factory and Dutch Shoe Maker.
Becky showed us how the real Dutch cheese is made, while Cosmo instructed us on the history of the wooden shoes in Holland, while constructing a few pairs for our cameras.

Katwouder Molen
Later that day we discovered a working windmill called Katwouder Molen, managed by Mr. Boulengier, learning all about the power of the wind and how it’s used to manage water levels for crops and canals. Far out stuff man! Alternative energy, invented back when all there was were alternatives!

NH Barbizon Palace
Staying in Amsterdam, there are a myriad of choices for lodging that fit every budget. On our first few days in this great city we were so fortunate to experience the warm hospitality and utter professionalism of the NH Barbizon Palace Hotel.

Being centrally located across from Central Station, this hotel property is unlike any other in the world. Having the Queen’s blessing to combine seventeen buildings together, (some of which date back to the 16th century), this ultra elegant, yet completely laid-back environment is right in the heart of it all!

 
Episode #65
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Touring the Canals of Amsterdam by Boat!

Having friends around the world is always a good thing, but having friends who have friends with boats in Amsterdam, well that’s just the greatest thing ever! Having the good fortune to board the canal boat “Basisrust,” which translates into “basic rest,” we began an all day boat cruise around Amsterdam.

Seeing a majestic city such as Amsterdam on a canal boat provides a level of perspective that can’t be beat. Join us as we glide by the storied streets and bridges, crisscrossing the matrix of ancient waterways that make up this awe inspiring city!

In Amsterdam, many people live on houseboats that line each canal. Some smaller houseboats are still very mobile and shuffle around regularly, whereas others, like barges are more permanent homes, each with their own interesting construction and colorful expression.

With Marcel and Ronald as our hosts on Basisrust, it was easy for us to set up a BBQ and start grilling Hippy Gourmet style! That’s right, in the middle of Amsterdam, cruising along on a canal boat The Hippy Gourmet is hard at work making lunch for the nice group of friends assembled. There’s even room enough for the puppy, Joos!

Grilling Veggies, Veggie Burgers and Patties, along with some nice fresh Salmon and Chicken breasts, this pleasure cruise soon turned into a pleasure feast! Stopping along the way to point out hidden treasures of historic note, this tour of Amsterdam by boat was something different than anything else.

 
 
Episode #67
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Train ride to the Hague with a visit to Restaurant Djawa (Java).

Just an hour or so by fast train from Amsterdam Central Station, we find ourselves in Den Hague, the city known for housing the international Peace Palace, where world justice has its voice.

The Hague is also blessed with some incredible dining, including the first visit to Djawa, or Java in English which is an Indonesian restaurant. Located in a quaint part of the Hague, in a closed pedestrian walkway, Restaurant Djawa is hosted by Owner Ulpho van der Zalm who was gracious and warm in receiving our crew to his family-style restaurant.

Inside, Restaurant Djawa is adorned with Indonesian art and sculptures and has a close and personal charm that is unmistakable. Outside, diners are greeted by café style table settings for summer time dining.

Ulpho was kind enough to invite us into his kitchen to watch as the chefs prepared the savory, sweet and sometimes spicy delicacies. With so many dishes to choose from, starting with the Tapas-style appetizers and going all the way through to the variety of Vegetarian, Seafood and indoor barbequed Chicken, there is a perfect match for anyone in your party.

The amazing thing about Restaurant Djawa is that even with twelve to fifteen dishes filling the table- each and every one had its own distinctive aroma, garnish and taste! So when in The Hague, you definitely need to make reservations and check out Restaurant Djawa!

Also in this episode, a tour of The Hague’s museum district, including a visit to the Escher Museum! Strolling the streets and alley ways of The Hague is a cultural experience unfolding with every foot step. Sculptures large and small, sidewalk art attractions and galleries of all shapes and sizes line each street there.

Staying in The Hague is simple. The Crowne Plaza Hotel is centrally located to both the main city center and also very close to the beach at the North Sea via a quick and reliable tram system. The Crowne Plaza is a tranquil spot that offers a wide array of amenities, including deluxe accommodations, a full breakfast buffet and sauna/fitness rooms.

 
 
Episode #68
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In The Hague with a visit to the North Sea and then dinner at the Restaurant It Rains Fishes!

Just a quick tram ride from the Crowne Plaza Hotel in The Hague, we stepped off into a west coast beach paradise…the west coast of Holland that is! The Hague boasts one of the widest, cleanest and finest sand beaches in the world.

Lining the beach and sea are a plethora of restaurants, bars and nightclubs, each without any border from the other, so people can traverse the entire length of the beach from a variety of boardwalk opportunities. Something about taking in all of the great sea air and doing all the people watching makes for a great appetite.

At the Restaurant It Rains Fishes, hosts/chefs Sander and Erik take us on a culinary expedition into some of the most flavorful fish recipes ever explored! From the appetizer tray of Satay Sticks and Tuna Tar Tar, to the Salt Encrusted White Fish that required a hammer and chisel to break into the delicious and succulent steamed fish inside…It Rains Fishes has it all!

The kitchen staff are young and eager to learn their trade from the master chefs Sander and Erik, who have been good friends and fishing partners since their childhood. The personality and liveliness of the restaurant is matched by its upscale, yet laid-back ambiance. Whether dining outside in the bleached wood and clam shell back yard setting, or inside in the modern and clean black and silver décor, the delicious gourmet faire is all excellent! Our chef hats off to Sander and Erik at It Rains Fishes!

Later that night, after our wonderful meal Erik and Sander called us a taxi to take us back to our hotel. Only, it wasn’t a regular taxi, it was a Karoke Taxi! This cab driver shows up with a trunk space unable to carry our film equipment and lighting gear, because it’s filled with DVD players and equipment necessary for powering the Karoke interior of this taxi (a Mercedes Sedan size at that). So after piling in and having to put all our equipment on our laps in the back seat, and after singing along with Frank Sinatra for a couple of encore song presentations, dressing up in wigs, hats and masks, we finally made our way back to the Crowne Plaza Hotel where we said goodbye to Karoke taxi cab….what a trip man!

 
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