A Q&A with the chief of pure happiness:
The Food Booker’s Bob Metiary!
It’s time for a new adventure! This year, you can reserve a spot at Amsterdam Open Air’s first ever pop-up restaurant! Cannibale Royale will be welcoming you, complete with table linen, waiters, good wine, extraordinary service and of course, the best steaks in the city. Alongside Cannibale Royale’s pop-up restaurant, we have selected loads of other mouth-watering food stands to fill up your bellies and have you beging for more. With so much deliciousness this year at AOA, it’s time for a little Q&A with the good-vibes-mastermind behind our food program: Bob Metiary, from The Food Bookers.
Hi Bob, wow! A real pop-up restaurant with seated dining. That’s something we never did before at AOA, right?
Yes, that’s true! It’s will be the first time AOA will have a real restaurant. We’re happy to take this new adventure with Cannibale Royale. They are a local hero in Amsterdam and know how to prepare quality food. I’m a fan myself! This is how it works: you can reserve your spot, beforehand online. There’s meat and veggie options. The restaurant will be situated in the music tent on the first field next to the entrance. When you arrive there, the host will welcome you and escort you to your table. Then you get to sit back with a nice glass of wine and enjoy a three-course menu. Perfect for having a feast with a group of friends, or a romantic dinner for two. Everything is possible, just like a real restaurant. Also, what I like about the concept is that Cannibale Royale is famous for their amazing steaks. This way, we also pay attention to eating meat, to really enjoy and appreciate the food that you’re having. Accompany it with a good glass of wine. That is something that’s super important and also my greatest personal hobby: to enjoy food!
Of course the pop-up restaurant has limited capacity, what other mouth-watering food stands did you select for AOA this year? And is there a red line this year, concerning the food program?
The visitors are most important when I start booking food stands for the festival. We always check what visitors loved in previous years. We make sure that there is always a huge connection between AOA and the city of Amsterdam. So there will be a lot of leading local craftsmen serving delicious food, such as: Burgermeester, Broodje Met, Brandt & Levie, Vleesch Noch Visch, Hot Mamma Hot, Daan’s Deli and of course Cannibale Royale, all local heroes! Oh, and,the brand new label Pita Queen. Their flavours are mind-blowing! Their food really surprised me. They serve all sorts of homemade pitas. For example pita with shrimps, pitas with avocado and goats cheese, pita Piri Piri. It’s something special and really worth trying!
And, what’s in there for the veggie amongst us?
Offering good vegetarian food is really important, although, I’m not a big fan of making your festival exclusively vegetarian. I find that then you would exclude a big group of people. But as I said, offering vegetarian food and meat substitutes has become a main principle in Amsterdam and that’s a good thing. Vleesch Noch Visch for example, they make a pita gyros, with fake meat that really tastes like meat. If someone was to tell you that you are eating meat, you’d believe it straight away! And besides that there are so many delicious veggie options at the festival, but that will still be a little secret until we announce the whole food program on Wednesday May 24th!
Yeah, we’re so curious! Finally, what other special things are happening at AOA this year?
Wauw… Ehm, Loads! I could talk about it for hours. I always try to innovate the whole food experience. This year for example, information about what and where to eat will be way more accessible than in previous years. At every food court there will be menus on the table and big signing to show you what all the amazing food stands have to offer. Also, these menus will show also info about allergens.
And the best part? The food courts will have service teams! They will keep your table clean and to create the ultimate chill vibe, they will be taking your drinks orders. It’s all about the extra service this year, to create small chill islands in the midst of all festival craziness. Just sit back, turn your head towards the sun and enjoy the most delicious, fresh, special, organic, healthy (or not so healthy), super tasty food prepared by the best. That’s what I love about my job. When everything falls into place at the festival and when I see amazing chefs make people happy with their heavenly food!
DON’T BE A STRANGER