Oud Sluis is hardly in the Netherlands. To get there from Brussels you take an hour train ride to Brugges, and then it's a 20 minute taxi rile taxi to the restaurant. In a part of the Netherlands called Zeeland, it is so near Belgium that the road sort of zig zags between the two countries. The restaurant sits in a quaint square in what can only be described as a cute Dutch town, giving the appearance of a world class restaurant as soon as you walk in the door. The restaurant is a small affair, something like 30-35 seats between two dining rooms. We were seated in the larger of the two rooms, which was full, but the smaller room sat empty for lunch that day.
They handed us the menus and they started to explain how the meal worked. I cut the captain off and I asked for an audience with the chef, Sergio Hermann. The captain told me that he doesn't like to come into the dining room, but I was welcome to go see him in the kitchen. I picked myself up and walked over to the kitchen where I took him by surprise. He looked up at me and I reached out to shake his hand and said, "J.P. Perez told me to say hello for him". Hermann looked at me for a second or two to size me up, then he smiled and said "How do you know J.P.?" I went on to tell them that J.P. and I had a six hour lunch at Hof Van Cleve a day earlier. He laughed and we agreed to chat after the meal. Sure enough, a few minutes later our captain appeared and said "you have mentioned a very famous name in this region and Chef Hermann would like to prepare a special tasting menu for you." Well I don't mind if I do, thank you very much.