Wild Wild East

Denise Kortlever, dinsdag 3 september 2013

Even though Holland is a small and densely populated country, we have a relatively high game population count thanks to careful wildlife management. Forests and fields are inhabited with large numbers of hares, boars, pheasants and deer. The eastern part of our country is especially known for its good quality game meat. The reason is that on the sandy soils of ‘the Veluwe’ nature reserve, animals really have to forage their food. All that exercise is very beneficial for their meat quality and makes it nice and tender. Wild game is often seen as honest and probably the ultimate form of sustainable free-range meat.

During the official hunting season (from mid-October until Christmas) many restaurants in the east of the Netherlands offer special game menus. However, wild game can be enjoyed all year round, with wild boar available from July to February, and roe deer from May to September.

Hotel Gastronomique ‘De Echoput’ is located near Apeldoorn, in the middle of the largest Dutch wildlife area on the Veluwe and thus surrounded by deer and wild boars. The restaurant (*) is widely known for its food and wine pairings and has a longstanding tradition of serving game meat. They reopened in 2007 with an innovative modern design (based on the work of Guggenheim architect Frank Lloyd Wright) and were quickly awarded ‘best new luxury restaurant of the world’ (2008). The Echoput’s impressive gastronomic wild menu varies with the seasons and has a predominantly local focus.

Still, there are many other places to enjoy great game in the east of Holland. In the small town of Zelhem, for instance, you will find restaurant Wolfersveen, located right in the middle of a hunting ground. Here, wild game and freshly picked mushrooms are brought straight to the restaurant kitchen and guests can often spot the animals themselves. In the autumnal hunting season, restaurant De Steenen Tafel in Arnhem and De Gouden Karper in Hummelo are also really worth a visit.

Hotel Gastronomique De Echoput, Amersfoortseweg 86, Hoog Soeren
De Steenen Tafel, Weg achter het bosch 1, Arnhem
De Gouden Karper, Dorpsstraat 9, Hummelo
Wolfersveen, Ruurloseweg 38, Zelhem