Jonnie Boer (1965) is the head chef at the three-star restaurant De Librije in Zwolle. He runs the restaurant with his wife Thérèse (1971). Jonnie and Thérèse have two children. Jonnie was born in Giethoorn. At the age of twenty-four, he became head chef at De Librije, which he purchased together with his wife Thérèse a few years later. The first Michelin star followed in 1993 and the second in 1999, making him the youngest two-star chef in the Netherlands. In 2004, De Librije became only the second restaurant in the Netherlands to be awarded three stars. In 2005, Jonnie was made a Knight in the Order of Orange Nassau. Since 2005 De Librije sells its own products in Librije’s Winkel. In 2006 Jonnie started Food on Tour, De Librije’s catering company. In 2008, Jonnie and Thérèse opened a hotel (Librije’s Hotel) with restaurant (Librije’s Zusje) and also cookery and wine school (Librije’s Atelier) in what was formerly the Zwolle prison. The radical rebuilding programme was featured in a docu-soap, ‘Pure Passie’, broadcasted on RTL4. In November 2008, Jonnie Boer and his young team were also awarded a Michelin star for the restaurant Librije’s Zusje. This was a flying start for the restaurant, which had been open for only six months. In November 2011 Librije’s Zusje had been awarded with two Michelin stars. In 2010 the restaurant De Librije appeared for the first time in the list of ‘50 best restaurants in the world’. It is ranked 37th. Also in 2011 De Librije appeared in the list and in 2012 it is ranked 33rh.
For example, I add marinated beetroot to one of my best-known dishes, a combination of goose foie gras, North Sea crab and black olives. But beets are also good plain, as pure as possible, with not too many other flavors — just bit of goat cheese.
I love beets! I liked them as a child and I still like to eat them today. They’re good in all kinds of dishes, from starters to desserts. Beetroot is also delicious in cocktails and as the centerpiece of vegetarian dishes. Raw, cooked — you can do almost anything with it. I always have beets on my menu.
I grow them myself. I raise six or seven different varieties, new and heirloom, trying different seeds and selecting the best ones.