Categorie: Food & drinks

Le Fournil de Sébastien for the perfect baguette

Once upon a time… there was a traditionally trained baker from France who fell in love with a Dutch woman. Soon after, Sébastien and Susan Roturier decided they wanted to…

Once upon a time… there was a traditionally trained baker from France who fell in love with a Dutch woman. Soon after, Sébastien and Susan Roturier decided they wanted to open the first French boulangerie in the Netherlands but the bank had no faith in their plan and refused them a loan. Still, they somehow managed to set up Le Fournil de Sébastien in 2007. And with instant success! Locals were queuing up from day one and the French bread and pastry were selling like hot cakes…

“That success was nice but the whole period was very tough!” Sébastien says. In the early days, he didn’t have any staff and he was working twenty (!) hours a day. And to make matters worse, the much-feared Dutch culinary critic, the late Johannes van Dam wearing his trademark dark suit and hat, dropped by. Van Dam was the self-proclaimed top culinary journalist in the Netherlands and had the reputation he could make or break a business. 

Van Dam was curious to see how they went about things in this popular bakery. Fortunately, he wrote a glowing review in the Amsterdam newspaper Het Parool and overnight the bakery’s sales jumped by 30 percent. And now, more than ten years later, Sébastien employs one hundred people in his three Le Fournil bakeries in Amsterdam, Amstelveen and Hilversum. 

La douce France

Not that Sébastien really needed that review: the smell of freshly baked bread spreading over the Olympiaplein was already speaking for itself. These days, some customers even drive to Le Fournil from faraway places such as Apeldoorn to buy brioches and pains spéciaux with olives, apricots, figs or garlic. Usually, they also get themselves some macarons and lemon cakes – Le Fournil also sells excellent patisserie products. 

Sébastien: “It is just like in France: children running inside and climbing up the bench, peeking through the windows to see the bakers in action in the kitchen. I’m really happy with those windows as it allows the customers to see our craft but also how much work it actually involves…” 

We look into the kitchen and, yes, we see people being very busy, communicating in French as all the bakers at Le Fournil are recruited from France. 

Baguette as art

According to a recent episode of the Dutch TV programme Keuringsdienst van Waarde (‘Food Unwrapped’), only 1 percent of all Dutch bakeries actually make their croissants themselves. Sébastien: “That’s right: nearly all of these bakeries use semi-finished products and ready-to-bake mixes. But it shouldn’t be that way. To me, making baguettes and croissants is the toughest job there is as we do every step in the baking process ourselves. We only use a handful of basic ingredients: salt, sourdough… and the Tradition Française flour, of course.” 

This special flour is a nigh sacrosanct product imported from France. “The Tradition Française flour has to comply with very strict regulations and must be made without any ‘tricks’ such as bread improvers. This means the quality varies from year to year and we need to adapt to that.” Sébastien takes a baguette in his hand and says: “Look, this bread has a nice brown crust and inside it is soft and airy, totally different from the sponge-like French bread sold in supermarkets.”

“And don’t forget the aroma. To achieve that distinctive smell and taste, the dough needs to rise a long time: between 18 and 24 hours. So from two o’clock in the morning, there’s always someone keeping an eye on it. We don’t use any machines. It’s hard work but this is our craft and I’m really proud of it. Another big difference is that we only use liquid sourdough as that is better for digestion.” 

All-day croissants

“Most Dutch people – especially those living in Amsterdam-Zuid – are well-travelled and know a lot about different tastes,” Sébastien explains. “This is no longer a country of potato eaters. There are lots of delicatessen in town, with an abundance of French and Italian cheeses for sale. I like the fact that croissants are so popular over here. In France, we dip a croissant in our coffee in the morning or we eat them at breakfast on a Sunday, but the Dutch seem to be eating them all day. And I love it when they come back for a baguette in the evening. Thank heavens, more and more people know how wonderful a nice piece of bread tastes with dinner and a good glass of wine.” 

Sébastien firmly but politely declines catering jobs for hotel chains or other large organizations. And he also turned down the offer to become a member of the jury in the popular TV show Heel Holland Bakt (‘The Great Dutch Bakeoff’). “I really don’t want to become a showman or start a franchise. Three bakeries is more than enough. If I were to open a few more, it would be very hard to guarantee the same quality. The only thing I want to do is to raise the bar at Le Fournil and pass on my knowledge to the new generation of bakers. I didn’t invent the wheel, the old masters taught me their tricks of the trade. To me, that cycle should continue in order to keep our craftsmanship alive.”  

 

 

 

Le Fournil de Sébastien
Olympiaplein 119, Amsterdam
Amsterdamseweg 189, Amstelveen

 

Reacties uitgeschakeld voor Le Fournil de Sébastien for the perfect baguette

De Jonge Dikkert is aiming for a Michelin star

At De Jonge Dikkert, you have always been able to enjoy a satisfying lunch or dinner. But as of the start of September the team have really raised the bar….

At De Jonge Dikkert, you have always been able to enjoy a satisfying lunch or dinner. But as of the start of September the team have really raised the bar. Alongside a new head chef and maître d’, the restaurant now offers a wonderful gastronomic experience that is itching to be awarded a Michelin star in the near future.

In the recent past, one would go to De Jonge Dikkert to just have a nice meal. But these days, you can forget about the ‘just’ and ‘nice’. Top chefs Ron Blaauw and Julius Jasper dined there recently and were very enthusiastic, which certainly says a lot. With such a recommendation, you have all the reasons you need to check out the changes at De Jonge Dikkert personally.

Naturally, you can still have two or three courses. But then you are not doing yourself any favors, or the menu any justice. Take some more time and sit for the five or six courses, which is the chef’s menu, and simply the best, because it is only in this way that you can experience the superb refinement of the new menu and all the dimensions of the beautiful dishes.

The reason for all this positive change is the arrival of top chef Marcel Bonda, formerly the sous-chef at Amsterdam’s star restaurant Bord’eau in Hotel De L’Europe. While there, he contributed to the two Michelin stars the Hotel obtained under the inspiring leadership of Richard van Oostenbrugge and, as of 2018, Bas van Kranen. Bonda says that he is more than ready to be the Chef, take responsibility, and that “De Jonge Dikkert is a beautiful restaurant with lots of potential.”

Trade Mark

Bondo underwent classical training but has developed a personal style and loves purity. “It always starts with the quality of the top products,” he says, “next, the taste and preparation are most important, and on top of all that is completing it with imagination, with style.” 

And what he means by that immediately becomes clear when he serves us his “trade mark” seabass. The fish is steamed in kombu and slowly finished off in kelp, which makes all the minerals and salt go into the fish. The broth comes from the bones and the added clam’s water, which gives it a salty character, and is served next to the dish. All the vegetables on the plate, including sea fennel, sea lettuce, broccoli, as well as the clams and samphire, are served with a chickpea sauce. The result is absolutely mouth-watering, exquisite; all the levels of tastes are perfectly balanced.

Next Level

The Chef’s special starter (Cauliflower Beurre Noisette with Pierre Robert, grapefruit and hazelnut), the delicious dessert (Dark Caraibe with caramel, blackberries and pecan and the variety of amuses) make you realise that there are great ambitions at De Jonge Dikkert.

“With the arrival of Marcel, we have entered the Champion’s League,” Eugène van Angelbeek tells me proudly. He is the co-owner of the restaurant alongside Arjen Kräwinkel. “Marcel only works with top products, and now we have homemade bread and butter. He brings in so much passion and drive, which is so enormously inspiring for us all.”

A Lighter Touch

Added to provide additional inspiration, Laurence Reintjes has also joined the restaurant’s service team. The maître/sommelier got his experience at the Conservatorium Hotel, The Dylan and restaurant Vermeer, all situated in Amsterdam.

“I think I add to the refreshed style of the restaurant. The trend nowadays is for less heavy wines, less tannin, more fruity tastes and consideration to different wine-producing countries such as Germany. Also, younger guests prefer organic wines and like to know the origins.” Subsequently, the wine menu is changing to suit that trend and is being modernized.

“In spite of all the alterations, something that has not changed is the authenticity of De Jonge Dikkert,” Van Angelbeek reminds me. This is a restaurant where you are served by thoroughly trained staff who work with passion. The spirit behind this is the maitre d’ Paul Leeseman, who has been working for De Jonge Dikkert for twelve and a half years.

“I know a lot of the regulars and I will accompany them while changes take place in the restaurant,” Leeseman assures me. “Not everyone will immediately understand all of the dishes on the menu, but I will be there to explain.”

The restaurant retains a unique ambience, thanks to its location in an old Dutch mill dating back to 1672. In both the late 1980s and early ‘90s De Jonge Dikkert earned a Michelin star. Based on the new team, they will have a star again very soon.

 

Restaurant De Jonge Dikkert
Amsterdamseweg 104 A Amstelveen
020-6433333
www.jongedikkert.nl
free parking on private parking

Open:

Lunch Monday-Friday, kitchen open from 12.00 till 15.00 Dinner Monday-Sunday, kitchen open from 18.00 till 22.00

 

 

Subscript:

From left to right: Maître/sommelier Laurence Rientjens, Chef-cook Marcel Bonda and Maître Paul Leeseman in front of the old mill, which dates back to 1672.

 

Photography John ten Boer

Reacties uitgeschakeld voor De Jonge Dikkert is aiming for a Michelin star

Yuan’s Hot Pot makes you feel like you are in China!

Those familiar with Chengdu Hot Pot, the Chinese equivalent of fondue, will find everything they could ever wish for at Yuan’s Hot Pot. Prepared with the delicious meat, the most…

Those familiar with Chengdu Hot Pot, the Chinese equivalent of fondue, will find everything they could ever wish for at Yuan’s Hot Pot. Prepared with the delicious meat, the most delicate fish, and best vegetables by yourself at your table. For those who have not had this sort of dining adventure before, let me assure you: it is an absolutely great experience.

Yuan’s Hot Pot makes you feel like you are in China! Although located on the Rijnstraat in Amsterdam, the decor is identical to eateries in China: the wooden tables, wall decorations, sleek and light interior, and the Chinese TV station displayed on the ceiling.

Since expats and Amsterdammers have started to frequent Yuan’s Hot Pot, the owners have initiated a second establishment at Marie Heinekenplein, set to open its doors in November. This news is not surprising at all. Hot Pot is China’s most popular cuisine, and quickly becoming mine. It is the Chinese way of having a fondue. At your table you cook your meat, fish or vegetables in a large hot pot of broth or soup, using chopsticks. 

Wear an apron

In short, Yuan’s Hot Pot serves authentic Chinese food. As the name suggests, there is only Hot Pot on the menu. The helpful waiter will hand you an iPad on which you can browse the menu, make your choice of dishes, and order. Plus, everyone gets an apron rather than the more typical napkin.

To begin, choose a spicy or mild broth. It’s alright if you want both in the same pot, you’ll get a nice 50/50 mix. Next, select the meat. That is easier said than done, because the selection is extensive. There is lamb and pork belly, as well as specialities like duck’s tongue, pork kidney and bovine aorta. What’s more, there’s an incredible selection of beautiful fish such as sole, mussels, shrimp, squid and crab, just to mention a few.

Great variety

There is also chicken and a great variety of vegetables on the menu. There’s all kinds of mushrooms, spinach, winter melon, kelp, and don’t forget the tofu and rice. Eventually, you choose your drinks. Just one click more on the iPad and you have ordered your meal.

In less than a minute your steaming Hot Pot is served, instantly followed by a beautifully arranged dish of meat, brought in by the graceful staff. A small amount of fondue broth is served to the individual bowls for guests to enjoy as a soup, and each person gets a shrimp dumpling as an appetizer, which are cooked in the hot pot in only a few minutes. Thankfully, to keep track of time, we are given a little egg timer.

Soon our table is filled with numerous small dishes – one with coriander, onions, soya oil another with peanuts – and bowls with mushrooms, chicken, sole, lamb and so much more. To complete it all in style we have a pot of aromatic jasmine tea.

In front of the open kitchen, there is a variety of sauces you can help yourself to. In addition, as a little treat, on a recent visit we were given a bowl of deep-fried spring rolls, which, by mistake, we put in the hotpot.

Market-leader

That this establishment is related to a community of 400 restaurants in China, it is not surprising at all to find that this restaurant is extremely well managed. “Yuan’s Hot Pot opened its first restaurant, called Yuan’s Chuan Chuan Xiang in Chinese, in Chengdu in 1996,” manager Sen Sun tells me. “Ever since, Yuan’s has been a market-leader. In 2017, we opened our first restaurant outside China, in Vancouver, Canada, followed by this one in Amsterdam in 2018.”

Proof that this is an excellent spot is the queue of hungry arrivals waiting to be seated. Don’t forget to make a reservation! Chinese and non-Chinese expats, locals, the young and the old, everyone seems to know that Yuan’s is the place to be. Moreover, it is more than suitable for larger groups. This place is a true communal experience in an authentic atmosphere.

We over-ordered for sure, we couldn’t even finish everything. If our serving sounded a bit too meat-heavy for some of you, don’t be scared. At Yuan’s, there is a wide vegan and vegetarian range on the menu, including a separate broth.

For dessert, we had vanilla ice cream and delicious Illy coffee.

 

Yuan’s Hot Pot
Rijnstraat 51
Amsterdam
W www.yuanhotpot.com
E info@yjccx.nl
T 0031626265858

Opening hours
Monday-Sunday: 12:00- 22:30

 

 

   

Reacties uitgeschakeld voor Yuan’s Hot Pot makes you feel like you are in China!

La dolce vita makes the Tuscan sun shine

For those who won’t go to Italy this summer, no worries: Italy can also come your way. With the organic delicacies of La Vialla on your plate or in your…

For those who won’t go to Italy this summer, no worries: Italy can also come your way. With the organic delicacies of La Vialla on your plate or in your glass, the Tuscan sun will start to shine in your own backyard or on your balcony.

We live in beautiful surroundings, with sociable towns and Amsterdam within our reach. However, at times you are in need of a little change. Longing for rolling hills, balmy summer evenings, and strolls through a vineyard followed by a lunch in the shade of a fig tree. Sitting at a long table covered by a chequered tablecloth piled up with delightful bites and delicious wines. That’s when you go to Italy, or Tuscany to be precise. This is how we ended up in La Vialla and it was love at first sight. 

Fattoria La Vialla is a family farm owned by the Lo Franco family. A sustainable and biodynamic farm and winery. It is about an hour’s drive from Florence, in the enchanting Chianti-area. Tuscan specialties like wine, pecorino cheese, antipasti, sauces, pasta, honey, vinegar, cookies and other sweets are produced at La Vialla. There are over a hundred products, all of them are certified organic, in some cases vegetarian and vegan and, above all, molto delizioso, absolutely delicious!

Organic origin

“The origin of La Vialla is just as organic,” explains Ingrid Stoffer, a Dutch lady who moved to Italy for love in 2004. Among other things, she deals with PR at La Vialla. “In the early 70’s a lot of Tuscan farmers moved to the city, leaving behind their homes. During that time Piero and Giuliana Lo Franco came across a beautiful, but dilapidated house near Arezzo, fell in love and bought it.”

“Bit by bit it started to expand, a terrain with olive trees, a few dilapidated farms, some old vineyards, a flock of sheep without a shepherd and villa La Vialla. A vialla is a simple plough, which is part of our logo. They grew their own fruits and vegetables, because they wanted their children to eat healthy. Everything environmentally friendly and chemically untreated. Nowadays organic food is fairly common, but back then quite unheard of in Italy. It all just happened. Piero and Guiliana were way ahead of their time!”

Straight from the farm

Later Piero and Giuliana started to restore the olive groves and vineyards to their former glory and renovated the old farms, which are now being rented out to clients, mainly to the Germans, Dutch and English. The tourists visiting Tuscany were interested in their organic  wares from the start and that is how the sales began, straight from the farm. In the early 90s the first little car, stuffed to the brim with Christmas gifts, drove to friends in Germany and in 1996 ‘the Viallini’ converted to a biodynamic farm following the principals of Rudolf Steiner. 

Ingrid: “Now, 40 years on, 1.400 hectares are being cultivated and we work with, approximately, 160 people. La Vialla farmstead, with a central square, the shop and the wooden-buring oven, is still the heart of the fattoria. During the summer there are many places to visit: the wine cellar, a barriques cellar with wine barrels made of oak, the olive oil mill, the grain mill, the bakery, the sauce kitchen, the cheesery, the dairy and the farm museum.”

“You can join in for a Tuscan lunch. There is a lot of laughter, good conversations and, of course, everything is about delicious food and wines! However, there is also a lot of hard work and pride involved. From working in the fields and preparing the products, to creating  up labels and the contact with our customers, we do it all ourselves. Our products are not available in the shops, everything goes directly to the consumer.”

Wine

Not only has La Vialla been awarded several significant environmental awards, also the wine, an important product of the fattoria, wins countless medals. Ingrid: “There are strict requirements when it comes to organic wine, one of which is a limitation on adding sulphite. The majority of our wines contain even less sulphite than is legally allowed. If you are talking about pride, you are talking about our wines. Everything comes together: tradition, patience, valuable raw materials, expertise, and lots and lots of love!” 

“Of course, I also use the La Vialla products at home! When friends come over I love to fill the table with a variety of antipasti. That way everyone can enjoy the cipollina, red pesto, olives, artichokes, peperonata’s, and pecorino cheese with jams or honey. We usually pair it with a nice Chianti, or a fresh metodo classico spumante, and sometimes we conclude the meal with a traditional vin santo and cantucci cookies. Our two bambini of 1,5 and 3 drink grape juice diluted with water. All of our products suitable for kids are labelled with a child’s symbol. Whether something is vegetarian or vegan is indicated on each product and, recently, we added a gluten-free assortment.”

No middlemen

“As we grow, produce, pack and send everything ourselves, there is no need for middlemen. That way it is all done by us. We can guarantee high quality and low costs. Orders for € 100 and up are shipped free of charge, any orders under this amount we charge €8,60. You can make a selection of products you like or choose one of our magnificent gift packages to send to family and friends.”

It is always a treat to receive a La Vialla shipment at home. If only just because of the colourful booklet that comes with it. This booklet is full of pictures of la dolce vita, the sweet Italian life at La Vialla. The pictures are almost too good to be true. However, it ís true, we were there, remember! We were sitting under the fig tree, at a long table covered by a chequered tablecloth, filled with delightful bites and bottles of wine, and surrounded by wonderful people. La Vialla, ti amo, noi torneremo, we will be back!

 

Fattoria La Vialla
Via di Meliciano 26
52029 Castiglion Fibocchi, Tuscany, Italy
T: 0039-0575-47697
E: fattoria@lavialla.it

 

Website and web shop www.lavialla.it 

We charge € 8,60 shipping costs, unless the order is over € 100

Open for visits from April till October, from Monday till Friday

Tuscan lunch from Tuesday till Friday, on reservation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reacties uitgeschakeld voor La dolce vita makes the Tuscan sun shine

The green ambition of Xavier Giesen

Xavier Giesen and chef Luc Kusters run Bolenius restaurant, which opened its doors in 2010 and has a Michelin star since 2016. Xavier received the GaultMillau Host of the Year…

Xavier Giesen and chef Luc Kusters run Bolenius restaurant, which opened its doors in 2010 and has a Michelin star since 2016. Xavier received the GaultMillau Host of the Year Award 2016. He writes a column, reporting from their kitchen at Zuidas. 

“Is Bolenius a vegetarian restaurant?” – a question we get asked very often. Well, 500 prestigious Dutch chefs elected Bolenius as the best vegetable restaurant in the Netherlands and last year we even entered the global top-15 of vegetable restaurants – which fills our hearts with pride – but when people ask me the ‘veggie question’ I always say: “No, but we’re very good at preparing vegetables.”

Even though our restaurant is part of a skyline of concrete, steel and glass, our green ambition is very strong. Take our showcase vegetable garden covering 120 m2 (1,300 sq. ft), right between all the high-rise buildings. Every day, chef Luc Kusters goes there to harvest most of the vegetables and herbs he uses for his dishes. 

Much appreciated

Luc reserves a very prominent place for vegetables in his cuisine: they’re at least as important as meat and fish, not only regarding the portions but also when it comes to the specific preparations and cooking techniques. The popularity of our restaurant at the Zuidas is an indication of how much our guests appreciate our culinary efforts.

Obviously, we also think about the future. Luc Kusters is now an SVH Master Chef and I’ve become a qualified SVH Master Host. However, these titles bring a commitment with them: passing on our knowledge to the next generation of men and women in white and black. To lend this principle more substance we teamed up with fellow restaurant owners to start our own gastronomic education programme this year. It’s not just a simple training course but a serious education leading to an official SVH diploma.

Unique

During this programme we teach our employees what it takes to offer our guests a unique gastronomic experience.  We show our students the various ways of preparing dishes and explain to them what effect this has on taste and flavours. 

We apply the very same principle to the entire range of drinks we serve, in order to fully understand their particular characteristics so we’ll be able to find the perfect combination of drinks and dishes. This new programme enables our employees to broaden their knowledge and use their new skills in our kitchen and restaurant. 

 

Interested in working at Bolenius restaurant? Then please send an email to info@bolenius-restaurant.nl.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reacties uitgeschakeld voor The green ambition of Xavier Giesen

Close your eyes and Gordal tries to bring you to Spain

At this splendid location integrated into shopping mall Gelderlandplein you find restaurant Gordal. Here you can enjoy authentic Spanish dishes with a modern wink to past-times.


At this splendid location integrated into shopping mall Gelderlandplein you find restaurant Gordal. Here you can enjoy authentic Spanish dishes with a modern wink to past-times.

Reacties uitgeschakeld voor Close your eyes and Gordal tries to bring you to Spain

Shopping Paradise Gelderlandplein

Walk south from the Zuidas for 10 minutes – or take the free shuttle bus – and you’ll find yourself in a world of luxury: the Gelderlandplein is an exclusive…

Walk south from the Zuidas for 10 minutes – or take the free shuttle bus – and you’ll find yourself in a world of luxury: the Gelderlandplein is an exclusive  shopping mall, with more than 90 stores selling all the major brands. And it offers plenty of places to relax, from breakfast cafes to a rooftop terrace.

Reacties uitgeschakeld voor Shopping Paradise Gelderlandplein

Last week for Palazzo

After an absence of five years, Palazzo put up its famous Spiegeltent (‘mirror tent’) next to the Johan Cruijff ArenA. Joris Bijdendijk, one of the most talked-about chefs in the…

After an absence of five years, Palazzo put up its famous Spiegeltent (‘mirror tent’) next to the Johan Cruijff ArenA. Joris Bijdendijk, one of the most talked-about chefs in the Netherlands, cooked his fabulous dishes for his guests.  But the 3th of March it will end, so be quick…

Reacties uitgeschakeld voor Last week for Palazzo

The Power of Relaxation

A mere 15-minute drive from all the concrete, glass and steel at the Zuidas lies a quiet haven at the Vinkeveense Plassen called ‘Zwier’, an inspiring 10-acre place where city-dwellers…

A mere 15-minute drive from all the concrete, glass and steel at the Zuidas lies a quiet haven at the Vinkeveense Plassen called ‘Zwier’, an inspiring 10-acre place where city-dwellers with a hectic life can unwind and recharge their batteries.

Reacties uitgeschakeld voor The Power of Relaxation

Unheard hospitality at Auberge Jean& Marie

They serve a steak tartare so good that Michelin-star chefs from other restaurants come here to eat it, that’s the kind of establishment Auberge Jean & Marie is. With classic…

They serve a steak tartare so good that Michelin-star chefs from other restaurants come here to eat it, that’s the kind of establishment Auberge Jean & Marie is. With classic dishes from the 70s and 80s on the menu and hospitality that’s almost unheard of in Amsterdam.

Reacties uitgeschakeld voor Unheard hospitality at Auberge Jean& Marie

Typ hieronder je zoekterm en druk op Enter om te zoeken