Undoubtedly you’ve heard of Vinkeles and probably have even enjoyed the marvelous dishes, the unique atmosphere and perfect service of the Michelin and Gault Millau awarded restaurant at The Dylan. But do you also know where the name of this hotspot of chef Dennis Kuipers comes from?
To answer that question we must go back in time. To the 18th century to be precise, a time when the place where The Dylan is located now, was the site of a renowned theatre. In the heyday of Amsterdam the so-called Duytsche Academy attracted many international guests of name and fame, like the Russian Tsar, King of Poland and the Prince of Orange, as well as the well-to-do Dutchmen residing at the capital’s canals. One of these local celebrities was Reinier Vinkeles, a painter and engraver.
After having traveled the world, for inspiration and to perfect his style and technique, Vinkeles settled in Amsterdam in the mid 1700s. As a painter and as director of the Amsterdam Art School (De Stads Teken Academie). The favorite of the city’s upperclass mostly produced commissioned work – etches of building, people and celebrations. One of the very few occasions Vinkeles made ‘free work’ was days after having visited the theater on the Keizersgracht.
The engraving of the entrance of the musical building unfortunately proved to be one of the very last of the famous building – one stormy night in 1772 the Duytsche Academie burned down to the ground. The site made place for an orphanage years later. The current restaurant Vinkeles is housed in the old bakery of that institution, building upon the name and spirit of the old master who gave us a glance of times gone by at the Keizersgracht.