With a nod to island living, Justin Niesen his cuisine is inspired by the best of the Caribbean and revisits heirloom Caribbean recipes: XXXX and on a sweeter note, XXXX Caribbean … in all its forms!
Justin gained his experience at De Machinist, Las Palmas, Fresh Food Friends in the Markthal and Fellini, among others. In 2016 he was a finalist in the TV program MasterChef Netherlands. A year later he was voted best newcomer by De Buik van Rotterdam. With Mondi, Justin also wants the rest of the Netherlands to discover Caribbean cuisine.
“As a Corendon employee from the very beginning, I know better than anyone that we earn our money by the grace of beautiful hotels & resorts where many guests stay every year. We see it as our duty to support social or cultural initiatives in our own immediate environment, as well as to collaborate on a larger, international scale. That is not only important for society, but also relevant for the continuity of our own company.”
“I’ve said this many times before, but the day Mariska called me was the same day I woke up and decided that what I was doing at the moment was no longer bringing me joy… but her phone call did. Her call illuminated my path and brought me to a place that is close to my roots. A place where food, culture, soul, dance and music are intertwined as one. A place that feels like an escape from the busy Mokum city life filled with deadlines, bikes and ‘belastingsdienst’. Mariska and Justin both have given me the trust and freedom necessary to allow the concept to blossom and execute a very particular vision that is unheard of in Amsterdam. Everyday I thank them for this opportunity and I cannot wait to continue to grow the Mondi – I hope to be able to aid in opening several around the world in the near future, and dance and dine with you all”.
In his younger years he lived in the US and studied at the University of Arizona before working for 5 Diamonds Hotel & Resort Fairmont. He later came back to The Netherlands and worked in diverse industries before becoming F&B manager in 2016. Since this moment he’s made clear that he would not change this function for anything else as he “loves his job, and loves Mondi”.
“I’ve been searching for a place like Mondi for a long time. Here everyone shares the same vision and is dedicated to the mission. This truly creates a family environment where everybody is there for each other. I also get the feeling that people genuinely care about me as a person, as well as about my personal and professional growth. There is a true sense of spirit, cooperation and shared goals all revolving around helping our guests – something which I have not found in other cooperations. Lastly, Mondi just has an amazing atmosphere. You can really see and feel that everybody like “at home” making it the perfect place to be!”
Luigi on his future plans for Mondi:
“I would like to create a structure and a strong basis. I’d also like to bring the service to the next level while simultaneously keeping the atmosphere. Of course, I’d love to bring more people together, from all different cultures, and let them feel why Mondi is in fact… the place to be. From the location, to the staff, to the story of the concept – I am honoured to expand this project and vision to all future Mondi restaurants to come.