De Kromme Watergang wins QL Hering Berlin Gardener's Award 2018

Restaurant De Kromme Watergang is the winner of the QL Hering Berlin Gardener’s Award 2018. Chef Edwin Vinke was presented with the award on 29 June 2018 together with his partner Blanche Vinke, her father and gardener Louis van Eetveldt and maître-sommelier Mike Doorns. QL Hotels & Restaurant presented Edwin, Blanche, Louis and Mike with a commemorative plate specially made and hand-painted in gold by Wiebke Lehmann of Hering Berlin, the manufacturer of contemporary porcelain.

The prize is awarded every year to talented gardeners and their teams, who contribute in partnership with their chef to the quality and distinctive flavours of the restaurant’s dishes.

"Mike Doorns (Maître-Sommelier), Edwin Vinke (Chef), Blanche Vinke (Host), Louis van Eetveldt (Gardener, father of Blanche) of De Kromme Watergang. Photo: Pieter D'Hoop-PDSIGN

De Kromme Watergang
De Kromme Watergang’s garden is next to the restaurant and just in front of the dike beyond which the Scheldt estuary flows into the North Sea. ‘Our garden started as a social project. That was the original idea, but now it’s one of the mainstays of our cuisine. The fertile ground of the 10,000-square-metre garden is in a micro-climate that is special to Zeeuws-Vlaanderen [the southern part of the province of Zeeland, ed.]. It’s because of this phenomenon that the sea air imparts its salty taste to the vegetables we grow in our garden,’

Edwin Vinke says. ‘Where the garden is now used to be sea. Over the years, the land has been raised with ten metres of clay. Below that there’s still just a seabed, a layer of sand. The soil here is also extremely clean. That’s because the land reclamation here was very late, which means we’re on very fertile clay soil. Everything grows here too. My seeds come from all over the world – from Japan we get horseradish and soybeans and from Peru we get huacatay, a variety of mint.’

A special feature of the restaurant-garden relationship is that Vinke’s gardener is none other than his father-in-law. Louis van Eetveldt is the father of Edwin’s wife Blanche Vinke, the hostess at the restaurant. Louis was a fish supplier for many years, and after he retired he developed a passion for gardening. He learnt his horticultural skills from some of his good friends who now work alongside him in the garden.

"Gardener Louis van Eetveldt inspects the garden of De Kromme Watergang

Hering Berlin 
As a porcelain manufacturer, QL’s partner Hering Berlin stands for a unique culinary experience in combination with relaxed hospitality. Designer Stefanie Hering works with the pure beauty of ‘white gold’. With stunning collections such as ‘Ocean’, ‘Essence’ and ‘Piqueur’, Hering Berlin offers the perfect complement to any table. Hering Berlin’s contemporary porcelain is among the very finest in the world.

"The QL Hering Berlin Gardener's Award 2018, by Hering Berlin