Grief. Words fail in the death of pastry chef, Prestige ambassador, but above all friend Maurits van der Vooren. During many inspiring collaborations we got to know him as a warm, modest, passionate, sincere, honest and exceptionally talented craftsman to whom we never turned in vain. It was a great privilege to be able to count Maurits as part of our team, and we are proud that he wanted to work for us.
At the end of January we spoke to Maurits for the last time about our shoot in July the year before. Classics from the pastry shop were central to this latest collaboration. Maurits completely in his element, a masterpiece in the making. This interview has appeared in our Prestige magazine.
How are you doing at the moment?
I am now in the hospital for treatment. That is quite tough and I need all the energy to recover from it. That takes some getting used to because I am used to always being full of energy and ideas.
This energy and ideas have brought Prestige a lot in recent years. What do you think are the best collaborations that came about?
I really thought it was fantastic to be a guest of strawberry grower Jan van Elzen. He works with so much love on his product. Another nice thing was that I could give him something back. He was very busy with his drive-in in Corona time, but I advised him to keep working with homemade waffles with strawberries. People drove extra miles to get those beautiful strawberries on a really tasty fresh waffle. In addition, I enjoy working with Bart de Gans every time. Also a pastry chef, but from the pastry shop, while I am a restaurant man.
What do you and Bart teach each other?
Cooks sometimes work off the cuff. But Bart is not satisfied with that. He is much more precise with the weighing, which means that he works extremely refined. That makes my pastry much more stable and consistent. Bart learns to innovate from me. In a restaurant kitchen you look for new ways to surprise your guests. For example, I use carrot or beet in the pastry or add a little sushi vinegar. It is so much fun and educational to spar about the basics and about innovative trends and surprising developments. That is why I look back with pleasure on the shoot we did for this magazine in which we made classics from the pastry shop such as tompouce, pavlova and charlotte russe. Bart then knows exactly how to get that dough perfectly and I add a twist with my creativity and the fruit of Prestige.
How do you look back on your time as a Prestige Ambassador?
It feels good because it is the best quality. Prestige fruit smiles at you, it shines and it always tastes fantastic. You can stand behind it without any doubts and know that you will receive quality the moment you order it. That message is starting to get through. I now see colleagues who see working with Prestige as proof of the quality of their kitchen. It’s like working with Louis Vuitton: a brand where you know that even the smallest detail is of the highest possible quality.
We wish Stephanie, Julia, Beau, family and friends all the best and a lot of strength in these difficult times.