Marente van der Valk is a London/Maastricht based chef, designer and food stylist. She graduated in 2012 from a MA Design and Environment at Goldsmiths University of London, and has since then been focusing on projects and events with an emphasis on environmental awareness, community mindedness and the social importance of food and the act of cooking and eating together. Her work is often a multi-sensory experience where a love for bringing people together results in a wealth of flavours and colours and a feel-good atmosphere.
Marente’s professional career started in sustainable Product Design and, but a love for food and cooking persuaded her to explore the culinary world. For the past 7 years Marente has worked in London where she has found an inspiring community who aim to connect people through food and the most brilliant ingredients available to a chef. The food Marente creates reflects the eclectic diversity of the sheer range of people she has worked and collaborated with, from The Guardian’s food styling team to migrant women from culinary social enterprise – Mazi Mas.
Currently, Marente is six months into a year-long culinary residency at the Jan van Eyck Academy’s Food Lab in Maastricht. The Food Lab has been created to offer a multidisciplinary platform to chefs and artists with an interest in food in order to explore new techniques, sciences and a more conceptual approach to food and eating. Founding the Food lab at JvE and advising it on a day-to-day basis has enabled her to collaborate with other artists and chefs on a more conceptual level. This artistic dialogue offers new approaches and angles to her cooking processes – using organic, seasonal produce straight from local farmers, exploring new approaches to traditional outdoor cooking methods and by growing an edible medicinal garden to create new recipes with. By focusing on the wealth of the edible plant world and the use of the whole vegetable where possible, as well as considering meat to be a treat, she strives to have a minimal impact on the environment.