Creator of the beloved Dutch dish ‘kapsalon’ dies aged 47

The creator of the mouth-wateringly delicious Dutch dish kapsalon has passed away at the age of 47. Although many of us don’t know his face or his story, everyone knows and loves his iconic creation. 

After a long night out, we’ve all made a pit stop at the snack bar around the corner. There, the kapsalon proudly sits on most menus, having taken its place as a Dutch food staple.

Ever wondered why the deliciously greasy meal consisting of fries, meat, veggies, cheese, and sauces thrown together on a plate, is called a ‘hair salon’ in Dutch? 

Well, it’s all thanks to Rotterdamer Nataniël ‘Tati’ Gomes, according to the NOS

How kapsalon won hearts all over the Netherlands

In the early 2000s, barbershop owner Gomes, regularly ordered the same thing at his nearby snack shop — the dish yet to be known as kapsalon. The ingredients? Layers of fries, shoarma meat, tomato, lettuce, tons of cheese, sambal, and garlic sauce. 

Instead of repeating the long list of desired ingredients every single time, since it wasn’t the iconic dish known by Dutchies that it is today, the creation was named after Gomes: kapsalon.

And, ever since, kapsalon has been a staple Dutch food. 

Kapsalon superfans can still visit the shawarma place that first introduced the hit dish to the Netherlands. El Aviva in Rotterdam is still a regular store selling food which celebrated the kapsalon’s 20th anniversary this year. 

Grieving the loss of Nataniël Gomes

While we don’t yet know the cause of Gomes’ death, his friends and family have taken to social media to express their sadness about his passing. 

Translation: “Dinner: kapsalon. In honour of 🫡”

Dutch comedian Jandino Asporaat wrote on Instagram: “You still had so many dreams. You are so loved, I hope you know that.”

“Journalists from New York, China, and Russia came to interview you. But you remained calm and modest as you always were.” 

In honour of Gomes and his delicious addition to Dutch life, pop by the nearest shoarma shop and eat kapsalon to your heart’s desire.

What’s your favourite staple Dutch food? Tell us in the comments below!

Feature Image:Depositphotos
Naomi Lamaury
Naomi Lamaury
Naomi came to the Netherlands four years ago for her studies with two suitcases and without ever having been to the country or knowing much about it. Now, you can find her eating ‘bitterballen’ and fighting against the Dutch wind on her bike every day like a local. Naomi enjoys writing about what is going on around her alongside a warm cup of coffee.

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