The Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven is the largest design festival in Northern Europe. Every year we pick nine designers that we think are this year’s hidden gems. You can read their stories here. Today: Naresh Ramdjas and the Campina Dinners

Naresh Ramdjas is a food stylist, chef, designer and alumnus of the Design Academy Eindhoven. During DDW he will host two temporary restaurants on the Campina site, a new location of DDW. A conversation about red gurnard, good sausages and why DDW people are the most enjoyable audience.

Some may still remember him from Nareshtaurant, his graduation project which he presented at DDW in 2014. Since then he has been back every year. Sometimes with a high-end food concept, as was the case last year on the VDMA site. Other times in a more accessible and cosy setting, like the year before at NulZes. This time he is at the newest location of DDW, where the Graduation Show will also take place.

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    The pop-up restaurants of Naresh this year are in collaboration with the Eindhoven designer collective Envisions. Upstairs in the Campina complex will be long tables where you can dine extensively and where you have to reserve a seat in advance. From the mezzanine, you have a beautiful view of Wood in progress, the colourful collection that Envisions presents this year at DDW. With his dishes, Naresh tells stories that fit the setting and so this year the menu includes the ‘vibe of Eindhoven’. The city’s logo is served as a bite of red gurnard, parsnip cream and vegetable textures. Naresh tells infectiously about the ingredients he has chosen. For him, the red gurnard is one of the most undervalued fish. Often seen as bycatch, ‘while it’s actually very tasty’.






    ‘Downstairs you will find a café where you can walk in all day for food and drinks, a quick lunch or a delicious dinner in an urban setting’, says Naresh. For the products, he works together with local entrepreneurs, such as the Bean Brothers. The sausages come from the Amsterdam Brandt&Levie. The café is right next to the Graduation Show, which this year will move from the Emmasingel to the Campina grounds. The chef is delighted with his place in the IJsfabriek. ‘It’s an old industrial building, a very cool building. You can’t imagine from the outside how big it actually is.’ Naresh regularly visits the place in the run-up to DDW. The complex is rapidly being furnished and a temporary kitchen is being built on the ground floor. ‘We still have to think of a solution of how to get the food upstairs’, he says cheerfully. It will be either via the staircase-to-be-built or a with a construction with aerial platforms.

    The culinary entrepreneur sounds excited and relaxed at the same time. He’s looking forward to receiving his guests. ‘People from all over Europe come to Eindhoven that week to discover new things. A diverse audience, open to experimentation. DDW people are just the best of all.’

    Location: IJsfabriek at Campina terrain

    The DDW Hidden Gems are published in collaboration with Dutch Design Daily and curator Katja Lucas of DDW. Would you like to visit the hidden gems yourself? Every day Brandstore Eindhoven/VVV organises a bike tour to the selected designers. For more info check the website or use this link to book a ticket.

    Special offer for IO readers: the first 25 people receive a 10 euro discount on their ticket. Use the action code ‘Gems18’.

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    Author profile picture Renske Mehra is a writer. She makes understandable and interesting stories about difficult subjects.