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August 8, 2014

Talk to: chef Onno


Onno Klein Langenhorst (46) started out as a young dishwasher at café ‘t Deurtje. Hands in the water, he found out he wanted to be a chef, controlling the pans instead of cleaning them. After some sidetracks, Onno is now chef at the renewed Canvas, creating a completely new menu, from breakfast to lunch and diner.

You’ve just started working here. What did you do before?
I recently worked at The Harbour and De Veiling in Utrecht, and contributed to the build up of restaurant Moerdijk in Amsterdam. I studied Management in between jobs, but wanted to go back to my passion: cooking. I wasn’t particular fond of teachers and school anyway. In total, I’ve been working in the kitchen for about 26 years, high level cooking in star restaurants. Now it’s time for a new challenge.

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Canvas has a fully new menu now, what’s the idea behind it?  
I’ve got Carte Blanche to create a menu that would fit my style of cooking and also fitted the Canvas concept. International, simple and pure ingredients are key words. That’s why every dish is named after the main ingredient. For example: burrata, green asparagus or onglet. It’s basic, you get what you see. Of course, there are some surprises in the techniques we use. An egg yolk that’s cooked at 65 degrees, a seed flax cookie or chips made of spelt flour. Ingredients are always based on the seasons, I like to keep it natural and let the taste speak for itself.

Next to diner, what’s on for lunch?  
Our evening menu is also available during the day. That way, people are able to enjoy a warm lunch, instead of eating just a cheese sandwich. Good food, a long lunch and a good glass of wine, that’s definitely possible here. We do have sandwiches, so people get to choose. But if you’re on your day off, nothing beats an extensive lunch, I think.

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What about your future plans?  
There are ideas for a rooftop vegetable garden, but it’s complicated to arrange. Furthermore, I want to work with local farmers, cheese makers and use locals products. There is a lot Amsterdam has to offer. And ultimately, it would be great to work with products that get waisted most of the time, like crooked cucumbers or crazy shaped tomatoes. It’s a shame it all disappears in the trashcan. In the end it is all about taste.

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Getting hungry? Have a look at Canvas’ menu.

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