Welcome to Jazztronomy
Welcome to the world of inspiration and improvisation. Welcome to a place where we combine the arts of jazz and gastronomy. Let’s begin with a little story.
On the 2nd of March and the 22nd of April, 1959, when Miles Davis and his friends went into the studio to record some jazz, they didn’t yet realize that they were about to record what is now called one of the best jazz albums in the world. Remarkably, none of the performance was prepared in advance. Without having a clue what they were going to record, Davis gave the band members some sketches of scales and melody lines to improvise on. From here it all flowed naturally and the piece of art was created.
Exactly this is what Jazztronomy is about. Creating a place for inspiration and encourage one another for improvisation. Instead of Jazz, we will focus on the art happening inside the kitchen. It doesn’t matter how good or bad your chef skills are, as long as you can feel relaxed and ready for some fun in the kitchen. See the recipes as a source of inspiration. Ideally, close this web page afterwards, turn on your favorite music, and swing together a delicious meal. If there’s one ingredient most important to good cooking, it must be music. As you might understand by now, for me it will be a nice Jazz album. But really, turn on whatever you like most. From now, enjoy, feel confident and improvise as much as you like.
Jazz cooking is all about feeling free in the kitchen. Seeing every breakfast, lunch or dinner as a new opportunity to use your creativity and imagination encourages you to think and to learn. Just like an experiment. Sometimes the result of this experiment might fail, but it’s okay; you’ve learned from it and next time you know what to do! The only requirement is having the courage to just try!
When we look for recipes we hardly ever use the quantities indicated, so when we first started thinking about Jazztronomy we wanted to write recipes without. Now, it might be quite useful to have some sort of indication. Although, the ingredients and their quantities that work for me, might not be as perfect for you! So play around with them, see the recipes as a means of inspiration, and from there, go your own way!
With most recipes we will try to built up the recipe from a certain ‘basis’. From this basis, we would more than encourage you to start improvising and maybe even create your own recipe!
Seasonality and reducing waste
In the highly globalized times we live in it is possible to get your hands on all the products you wish for, all year around! Modern society has changed the way we cook from “what products do I have available and what can I cook with them?” to “what do I want to cook today and what products do I need for that?”. As a consequence, we lost a certain sense of seasonality.
Another aspect of modern society is that we all have fridges now, that we apparently love to stock up! Sadly, this also results in large amounts of waste, as many products are often left behind at the bottom of the fridge.
We think it would be super valuable to become more aware of the beautiful products offered by every different season and to rethink our way of cooking by looking at what we have available close to us. We are not saying that we never visit a super market, but start from seeing what you have available close to you! For example your house or a local farmers market. Use the Jazztronomy recipes as a ‘basis’ to get inspired. See what you have close to you. Change ingredients up. And improvise!
Hey, this is Max! Since the very first years of my life I was fascinated by food and its preperations. My parents taught me how to cook as a little boy. From making nice birthday cakes to rolling out fresh pasta, I loved it. After going to secondary school I went to uni to study for a bachelors degree. But something was missing. I wasn’t doing the thing that I love. I wasn’t following my passion. So I decided to apply for a job as a chef, despite the difficulty of not having a culinary certificate. One of the restaurants I applied for offered me a trial period. Without doubt I decided to do it. I rocked up to work the first day, the manager told me how to put on my chef’s outfit, and magically it only took me a few hours to realize that this was the place where I am supposed to be; inside the kitchen.
I still love being a home-cook! Having your very own space, just the way you like it. Especially here, the kitchen is a place where things can get messy. That also counts for me, as you might sometimes notice from the pics on this website. During my first job in a professional kitchen the head chef always said: “a clean kitchen is a happy kitchen”. I do totally agree with that, but it’s not always very realistic in my case… Kitchens are not built to always stay clean. Sometimes you need some mess. Because who knows which incredible things might arise… from that mess! Embrace that thought and get ready to rumble!
Compared to Max, cooking and it’s required skills where definitely not part of my child days. While as a kid I was always very busy with sports and just being outside the love and passion for food has come with time and it took me some serious mistakes to feel a bit more confident inside the kitchen. From over boiling pasta, to cut mistakes I even short circuited the oven… Looking back now, the first year on my own was hell of a learning experience for sure! After I moved from Breda to Utrecht cooking rapidly became one of my biggest hobbies and the opportunity to work in a professional kitchen has only reinforced this.
What I love about cooking is the atmosphere it creates. Sharing a meal with your family or friends brings humbleness and appreciation among everyone. Food connects, brings people together and also teaches us about other cultures. In our fully scheduled Monday to Friday rhythm cooking slows down time and offers us a daily moment of reflection.
As the third kid on the block, I can perfectly find myself in the words written by Max & Lucas. While I was living in Breda, together with Lucas. We both took our first steps in the kitchen, with ups and downs. As fresh students, it was the first time in our lives we had to provide for our own meals entirely by ourselves. Thinking back, we were actually learning how to prepare food, not how to cook. But already than we were experimenting quite a lot! But those recipes, are likely to never make it to this website. What changed cooking for me, was living together with Max. When I moved to Nijmegen for my masters, me and Max started cooking together a few nights a week. Putting on some good music, craking open some drinks, the kitchen became a space for endless creativity. Sometimes Lucas joined and the picture was complete. For me, cooking offers the possibility to constantly develop & reinvent and to connect with people and nature through sense and atmosphere. Besides cooking itself, I love combining food with all different kinds of craft beers. As with food, the possibilities with beer are limitless, which make them, in my opinion, the perfect marriage.
Something that everyone – who puts effort into cooking – has in common is the main goal of making people happy. But most importantly, to be able to do this, you need to be happy yourself. So, create a nice kitchen space, turn on your favourite music, get inspired, find out what you have available, start improvise, feel confident, and then… close this page. Enjoy the cooking!
Big love, Max, Lucas & Daan