Naresh Ramdjas

With over 2600 participating designers, Dutch Design Week (DDW) in Eindhoven is the largest design festival in Northern Europe. Every year, Dutch Design Daily, Innovation Origins and Katja Lucas, programme manager DDW, pick nine designers who they consider this year’s hidden gems. In this article you can read all about Hidden Gem #3: Naresh Ramdjas.

Naresh Ramdjas is a food stylist, chef, designer and alumnus of the Design Academy Eindhoven. During DDW he hosted 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.

Naresh Ramdjas
Innovation Origins

Some may still remember him from Nareshtaurant, his graduation project that he presented at DDW 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 was at the newest location of DDW where the Graduation Show (G18) of Design Academy Eindhoven also took place.

Pop-up: Naresh X Envisions

This year, the pop-up restaurants of Naresh were a collaboration with the Eindhoven based collective Envisions. Upstairs in the Campina complex there were long tables where you could dine extensively. From the mezzanine, you had a beautiful view of Wood in progress, the colourful collection that Envisions presented at DDW 2018. With his dishes, Naresh tells stories that fit the setting and so this year the menu included the ‘vibe of Eindhoven’. The city’s logo was 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 could find a café where you could 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 worked together with local entrepreneurs, such as the Bean Brothers. The sausages came from the Amsterdam Brandt&Levie. The café was right next to the Graduation Show of Design Academy Eindhoven, which this year moved from ‘De Witte Dame’ to the Campina grounds. The chef was 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 visited the place in the run-up to DDW. The complex was rapidly furnished, and a temporary kitchen was built on the ground floor.

The culinary entrepreneur was excited about 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.’

This article has been made possible by Innovation Origins. During DDW18, Dutch Design Daily, Innovation Origins and Katja Lucas, programme manager DDW, organised the Hidden Gem bike route by which you could discover and meet the selected designers.