Nataniël ‘Tati’ Gomes, the hairdresser and musician from Rotterdam who invented the popular snack bar meal kapsalon, has died aged 47.
Many of his friends took to social media to express their grief at his death, the cause of which is still unknown, local broadcaster Rijnmond reported.
Gomes’s business was almost next door to snack bar El Aviva where he put together his own combination of loaded fries and doner kebab in 2003.
The resulting snack, a combination of fries, doner kebab, tomato, cucumber, garlic sauce, sambal and melted cheese, was quickly dubbed the kapsalon, after its inventor’s occupation and went on to international renown.
The snack, whose 1800 calories could at a pinch provide the average adult with enough energy for the day, quickly became popular, including in Germany and Belgium, and even reached such distant but Netherlands-related shores as Indonesia and Suriname.
Varieties include fish instead of kebab, for instance, or feature a different sauce or cheese. In Suriname, saté sauce has ousted garlic sauce and at Jakarta restaurant Smaklek the fries have been replaced with rice for what it calls ‘Dutch comfort food’.
“The kapsalon has been good for business,” Gomes told the broadcaster at the time.
“I’m getting customers from all over the world who want a haircut here. They come to thank me and then they are off to have a kapsalon. It’s a snack that belongs to us all,” he said.
Praising Gomes’s modesty, his friend and comedian Jandino Asporaat said on Instagram he “was never fazed” when “journalists from New York, China, Russia came to interview you. Your place felt like being among family.”
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