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


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Five special libraries to inspire OBA NEXT

In 2025, the new public library at Zuidas, ‘OBA Next’, will open its doors. Dedicated to the future of knowledge and information, this branch of the Amsterdam Public Library should…

In 2025, the new public library at Zuidas, ‘OBA Next’, will open its doors. Dedicated to the future of knowledge and information, this branch of the Amsterdam Public Library should above all become the cultural and social heart of the Zuidas area. In Europe alone, there are at least five special libraries that could be an inspiration for OBA NEXT. 


Oodi, Helsinki’s new Central Library, was completed in 2018 and stands out because of its futuristic architecture: from some angles the building looks like a wave, whereas from another perspective it resembles a ship. The impressive three-storey structure is made of glass and wood; it is not only a masterpiece of Finnish architecture but also a ‘green’ and sustainable building. 


The new City Library at Mailänder Platz in Stuttgart opened in 2011 and was designed by Korean architect Eun Young Yi. The structure consists of nine levels spread out over four storeys. Its dominating feature is the modern and minimalist interior, as well as the white colour permeating the building. The symmetric entrance and spiral staircase, measuring 20,200 sq. m² (around 220,000 sq. ft), offer views on the building’s interior from all angles.


Vienna’s beautiful National Library is a well-known landmark with its baroque style and majestic rooms. A stone’s throw away from the Danube, the university campus houses this futuristic building, the library of the University of Economics and Business. It dates back to 1898 and was renovated by Zaha Hadid Architects after it was partially destroyed in an arson attack in 2005. 


Copenhagen Royal Library, also known as the ‘Black Diamond’, is a real neo-modern jewel, located in the historic centre with views of the Øresund strait. It was built in 1999 as an extension to the old library and is one of the city’s most important buildings. The outside of this black cube offers a bewildering spectacle of angled lines, shiny black granite and glass surfaces, while the inside has charming curvy lines, open spaces and escalators. The large terrace can house an audience of up to 600 people for concerts or theatre plays.


The Warsaw University Library is located in the heart of the city and was built in 1816. The new library is a modern and colourful building containing a terrace with four different gardens. The façade is surrounded by engraved stone blocks with texts in different languages, including Plato in ancient Greek and a text in old Polish. The outside of the building  is fitted with patinated copper and green ivy climbing up the walls between the windows.

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Pedro Celli’s morning routine

Pedro Celli (30) hails from the Brazilian city of Campinas, close to Sao Paulo, but has been living in the Netherlands ever since he was 13. He studied International Business…

Pedro Celli (30) hails from the Brazilian city of Campinas, close to Sao Paulo, but has been living in the Netherlands ever since he was 13. He studied International Business at Groningen University and works as an account executive for ZOOM, a company connecting communication and technology. He starts every working day with a work-out at 7 am.

“It’s only since I’ve been working at Zuidas that I have the feeling I am actually working. It is a totally different atmosphere compared to inner city Amsterdam. Zuidas has become a major financial district so you realize that this is the place where business is done and where things happen.”

“Since I’ve been working at Zuidas I get up early, at 6 am. Then it’s straight to the gym at Club Sportive for a yoga, boxing or HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) class. A quick shower and then I’m off to work.  I get myself a cup of coffee and some breakfast and start reading my emails. That’s when my working day starts.”

“I like this routine a lot better than going to the gym in the evening, which I used to do a few times a week. Those sessions were much longer and a lot tougher. Now I enter the office full of energy instead of feeling knackered. Another advantage of doing my workout in the morning is that my girlfriend can go to her gym in the evening so I can look after our little kitten.”


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Challenge yourself, release your inner dandy 

Martijn van Herwijnen is co-owner of bespoke suits store Sarto Undici. In his column, he offers tips and discusses the latest trends in men’s fashion. Dandy or Denim? Once upon…

Martijn van Herwijnen is co-owner of bespoke suits store Sarto Undici. In his column, he offers tips and discusses the latest trends in men’s fashion.

Dandy or Denim? Once upon a time, things were so easy: a dark-grey or blue suit, worn with a blue or red tie. This used to be a winning combination, but not anymore. 

When I’m walking around the Zuidas, I see three stereotypes. First, the classic three-piece suit, preferably grey, worn by men of a certain age with important jobs.

Then there is the ‘dandy’, wearing a nice jacket, chinos, matching shirt and the right accessories: a colourful pocket square, nice watch, leather briefcase. He’s a man of taste who likes to look good.

But there’s also a third category and their numbers are growing: men who used to wear a normal suit but switched to jeans and a white or blue shirt they previously wore with their now-discarded suit. Maybe I’m wrong but my guess is that this type of man considers ‘dandy’ an offensive word. 

To me, as co-owner of bespoke suits store Sarto Undici, the word dandy has no bad connotation at all. Originally, it signified a man who cared about his appearance but did not take himself too seriously. 

The way we dress keeps changing and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. What is bad, however, is not caring how you look, wearing your suit like a bus driver: too long, too big, too wide, lacking colour and imagination. Or simply going for the trusted jeans and jacket combo, the so-called “modern uniform”. With a bit of effort we can all look so much better and more stylish. Isn’t it pretty easy to look a lot better?


My tip for all men is straightforward: challenge yourself, throw out the jeans and release your inner dandy. 


Martijn van Herwijnen

Sarto Undici

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Zuidas Nightwatch guarantees safety

The residential towers at Zuidas are real eye-catchers, housing wonderful apartments with large balconies and terraces. Great places to live but as Zuidas is pretty quiet in the evenings, it…

The residential towers at Zuidas are real eye-catchers, housing wonderful apartments with large balconies and terraces. Great places to live but as Zuidas is pretty quiet in the evenings, it is a challenge to guarantee safety on the streets for local residents. Cue the newly-established Zuidas Nighwatch.

It is Monday morning and there is a real buzz around Intermezzo, one of the stunning buildings here at Zuidas. We meet Emile Rietveld (35), first resident of this stately building and chairman of Intermezzo’s Property Owners Association.

We talk to Emile to discuss a new initiative he started: giving people living at Zuidas area the same feeling of security one could expect in a village or a suburb. “Due to the high-rise buildings and the fact that Zuidas is pretty quiet in the evenings, that’s a bit of a challenge”, he honestly admits. 

Rich pickings…

It is no secret that thieves like to hang around Zuidas. And that’s pretty logical, Emile says. “One way or another, the area offers rich pickings. A lot of famous Dutchmen and other successful people live here. They have money, expensive stuff. Plus there is much less social control and that creates a fertile stomping ground for malicious people. But we do our best to fight that!”, Emile hastens to add. 

So he came up with Avenue Services – The Zuidas Nighwatch. “In other countries, having a professional neighbourhood watch is quite common. With the international appeal of  Zuidas it was only a matter of time until a collective monitoring system would be introduced here as well.”

“It starts with discouraging people who have wrong intentions. We do that by being visibly present, also in the evenings and at night, and talking to people on the street, asking them what is going on – these are things thieves and burglars don’t like. This is what happens automatically in other neighbourhoods with a higher level of social control and more people on the streets at night. We don’t have that here so we’ll need to create such an atmosphere.” 

Concierge Plus

Emile’s security professionals will be moving around the area on a… Segway. “I’d like to call what we offer a Concierge Plus service. A concierge in a building has a relationship of trust with the residents; he knows them and helps them or visitors to and from their car or the train station, for example.” 

He continues: “The space around Intermezzo and the nearby area is actually too small to monitor by car. By patrolling on a Segway, we are agile, relatively fast (around 12 miles per hour) and we stand a little bit taller. We will be doing our rounds from 10 pm to 6 am. These night guards, myself included, will be keeping an eye out in this area”, he explains.

He has already completed a few test rounds. “It struck me that not all the entrance doors to the buildings are locked. Well, that’s just asking for trouble. When we run into suspicious-looking fellows or people who have no reason to be here at night, we’ll approach them. If they have bad intentions they usually disappear out of sight very quickly.”

Professional social control

This new security initiative has been met with enthusiasm by local business owners and the residents of Intermezzo and the surrounding buildings. “These people and their property deserve to be well-protected. Thankfully there is money to realize this kind of professional social control. This service is a collective supported by the local business owners and residents. They all benefit from this system”, Emile says. 

He has so much confidence in this new way of creating a safe environment that he has said goodbye to his old career in order to launch Avenue Services. “I used to work in the aviation and telecommunications industries as a consultant on risk assessment and incident investigation. I have a lot of knowledge of risk control and safety, plus I have a good network.”

Good social skills

At the moment he is busy building his team. “We are carefully selecting people to carry out these shifts. As we are not a traditional security company, professional training in security is not a hard requirement. What we do expect, however, is a good eye for suspect behaviour, good social skills and a willingness to approach people. You could say we are a human level of crime prevention, alongside monitoring cameras and other – invisible – security measures.” 

Emile emphasizes that his ‘Segway riders’ will not intervene in case of any wrongdoings. “No, they will immediately contact the police. The municipality and the police are fully behind this concept. Our cooperation with the police has already proven successful as we recently managed to help the police to arrest three burglars in Zuidas area.”



photo Katja Mali

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Efficient Hotel Partner: carefree outsourcing

In the digital age the world is at our feet. Yet we all know how long it can take the find the perfect hotel. And once we’ve managed to get…

In the digital age the world is at our feet. Yet we all know how long it can take the find the perfect hotel. And once we’ve managed to get that ‘dream spot’ we soon find out it’s either fully booked or – even worse – it’s nowhere near as perfect as the pictures on the website suggested. Together with her team, owner Marianne Kuiper of Efficient Hotel Partner provides a good old-fashioned travel service.

In Amstelveen’s Oude Dorp area we meet Marianne and her 5-strong team in the stylish office that has been the home of Efficient Hotel Partner (EHP) for 21 years now. “Yeah, we’ve finally grown up”, Marianne laughs. “Many people celebrate being 20 or 25 years in a certain business, but we liked the idea of celebrating the age of maturity for EHP.”

First things first: what does Efficient Hotel Partner do exactly? “We arrange suitable accommodation for our clients”, she explains. “Whenever companies are looking for a venue to hold a training course, meeting, brainstorm session or a congress – with or without overnight stay – we help them find the location that’s perfect for their needs. Every one of us here is specialized in a certain field so we really complement each other.”

Carefree outsourcing

“Jacco Verschoor, the only man in our team, is a travel industry veteran and Jennifer Lam, who has worked for large hotel chains in Australia, is our expert in complex bookings. Mieke van Middelkoop is the creative mind and Mirna van Driel is our source of information and financial expert. As for me, I worked for the Bilderberg Group for 15 years. Together we operate in a fast, effective and, as our name suggests, efficient manner. Above all, we really love our jobs and our clients can feel that. Our reward? A happy client. And a happy client is someone who will definitely use our service again.”

In this day and age everything can be arranged from our comfy chair using online platforms such as Booking.com and Trivago. So why should companies contact Efficient Hotel Partner? “When a secretary is asked to book a nice venue for a brainstorm session – with or without overnight stay – for a group of 20 to 200 people, she’ll start looking on Google. She probably has a few ideas and her colleagues will chime in as well. She’ll start emailing to see if the venue is available at the requested date, then she’ll ask for a few prices and presents the plan to her boss. Maybe the programme needs to contain a fun outing, like a guided bicycle ride, a boat tour, or sheep-shearing. Again she’ll start looking around, asking for prices. It’s a hell of a task and very time-consuming.”

Your Personal Assistant

What does EHP have to offer, other than what people can find out themselves? “Good old-fashioned service, personal contact. A voice listening to you at the other end of the line, someone asking you what you need and acting upon this information. We’ve noticed that people really want this. After a period of economic crisis and online bookings, there’s a growing demand for personal service. No phone menu, no ‘do it yourself’. You could say we are a kind of personal assistant to our clients.”

“From the very first day we’ve managed to build a solid reputation; we know the Netherlands inside out and we’ve visited virtually all hotels and meeting venues. We’ve built a great client base and we’re very proud of that. Our secret? We love our clients and that feeling is mutual. That’s our trademark and the reason why large companies like Nationale-Nederlanden and Henkel, but also DJ Martin Garrix, like to do business with us. ”

Sharp and creative

So many companies, so many employees, so many requirements. How do you manage to meet all their different needs? “People experience fragmentation; they have to deal with myriads of suppliers and suffer from choice overload. We structure the booking process, making it easier for them. And we ask our clients lots of questions: What is your budget? What do you prefer: city, countryside, or the coast? Should the accommodation be easily accessible by public transport; is parking space required? Are there any foreign guests that need to be picked up from Schiphol Airport? Once we know the ins and outs of their request we start our search and soon after we send them proposals for a few venues. Plus we do all the invoicing so the client only has to deal with one supplier: us.” 

The interview for this magazine was conducted in a beautifully decorated room, the Music Meeting Lounge, at a separate location but under the same roof as EHP. This is Marianne’s youngest brainchild. “I really missed having guests around me so I came up with the idea of having our own meeting venue. A location in Amstelveen’s Oude Dorp, at walking distance from De Poel and the Amsterdamse Bos, where hospitality is written in capital letters.” 

This year the Music Meeting Lounge was hailed as the best small-scale meeting venue in the province of Noord-Holland. A very nice award to receive. “Not bad, given that our Meeting Lounge only opened 18 months ago!”

Efficient Hotel Partner
Badlaan 1 bis

T 020 345 2322
W www.efficienthotelpartner.nl


Picture: Marianne Kuiper wears a red coat

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Cobra Art Gallery for Fashion On The Wall

There is so much to see in the Cobra Art Gallery at Van Baerlestraat 8: from photos printed on plexiglass to controversial sculptures with a nod to fashion and pop…

There is so much to see in the Cobra Art Gallery at Van Baerlestraat 8: from photos printed on plexiglass to controversial sculptures with a nod to fashion and pop art. The artworks at display are all unique or made in limited editions. They are sold according to the ‘art-à-porter’ principle: art delivered from the gallery directly to the customer.

A life-size portrait of David Bowie with a penetrating gaze, shot by the internationally renowned and award-winning photographer Markus Klinko. A little bit further along, a nun tempts the visitor with her seductive eye makeup. Slowly the picture changes, however: underneath her robe she’s wearing a sexy garter belt. In this image, art photographer Cécile Plaisance uses a lenticular printing technique in order to suggest movement. The same method is applied to a picture of a model wearing a Hèrmes burka with a bikini underneath. 

Another wall contains a monumental work by James Chiew. Famous celebrities and global stars, including James Dean, Audrey Hepburn, Jimi Hendrix, Princess Diana and Nelson Mandela, are gathered around a long table. But there is a twist: they never could have met in real life… This is an image that keeps drawing one’s attention and its large size makes it all the more impressive. 

Extraordinary fire extinguisher

“Many artworks in our collection touch upon pop art, fashion, glamour and celebrities. In other words: fashion on the wall”, Leon Jonkman, gallery manager of the Cobra Gallery on Van Baerlestraat, explains. Apart from their iconic photographic artworks printed on plexiglass, Cobra Art is selling sculptures as well, such as the extraordinary fire extinguishers, made by James Chiew: they are adorned with a logo of Ferrari, Chanel or another brand and they even work! 

Or the cartoonish bulldogs by Christophe Comerro; with their glossy finish they seem to be made of china. Then there are the striking arty handbags by Debra Franses Bean that are filled with stacks of banknotes, shiny pistols, gold watches, lipstick shells and perfume bottles. These bags weigh around thirty pounds each. “No, you’re not really supposed to carry them with you”, Jonkman laughs. “These things are objects: it takes the artist takes around three months to make a single bag.” 

Special materials

Combining works from the Cobra Art collection with furniture and objects enables their customers to get a good idea of how these things would look in their own home, the gallery manager says. Practically everything is for sale, from the chandelier to the carpet. “We see art as an integral part of an interior setting.” 

The works sold at Cobra Art are always unique or made in limited editions. The use of special materials, such as liquid gloss with metal paint and resin, leads to stunning effects. Most works can be printed in four different sizes, quite handy if the picture in question needs to fit in an alcove or on a specific wall. And all the images displayed in colour are also available in black and white. Twice a year, in January and September, Cobra Art presents their new collection in Paris during the Maison & Objet Interior Design Fair, each time dedicated to a new theme.


Cobra Art Company is a family business that was established over 30 years ago and has grown from an art dealer into an international brand. Owners Mike and Jeannette van Rijswijk are still actively engaged in the company: together they travel the world to carefully curate the Cobra Art Collection. 

“We choose photographers and artists based on originality, creativity and innovation”, Jeannette van Rijswijk says. “And obviously there should be a good match with the Cobra Art style. We organize our own photo shoots with the photographers we have selected.” 

The company’s main office is located in the town of Veenendaal (province of Utrecht). Here, visitors can walk through an inspiring art gallery measuring 1,100 sq. (nearly 12,000 sq. ft) with over 500 different artworks. The gallery contains fully furnished studios, each with their own unique interior that perfectly highlights the work of art on display. 

Young and trendy

It is a place where art lovers head to when they’re looking for inspiration or simply want to discover new works. “Our target audience is trendy and young, on average between 25 and 55, mostly double earners”, according to Van Rijswijk. “People who love nice interiors, watches, cars, fashion and good restaurants.” The showroom is not only frequented by consumers but is also popular among interior designers and project developers. The Cobra Art project team is available to work with them on interior design or restyling projects. 

Boutique hotel TwentySeven in Amsterdam is fully furnished with artworks from Cobra Art, just like a number of luxury hotels in cities such as Dubai. Jonkman: “Next year we’ll start working together with the Art’otel in Amsterdam, located opposite Central Station. These things make our work so interesting: our art is represented in more than 28 countries, from hotels to luxury interior design stores.”


Opening an exclusive brand store in Amsterdam had long been a wish of the owners. The Museum Quarter, where arts and fashion meet, is an ideal location – especially with the proximity of Zuidas. Due to their many years of experience in the trade, Mike and Jeannette van Rijswijk know how to perfectly cater to the needs of the market and their target audience; one could say they simply sense what their customers want. Using their expertise, they’ve built their high-end Masterpiece Collection in close collaboration with leading international artists and photographers. 

What will the future bring for Cobra Art Company? “We’re already exporting worldwide. At the moment, there are Cobra Art Galleries in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Düsseldorf and London. And soon we’ll open stores in Paris, Tel Aviv and Moscow, but we would like to add even more”, Van Rijswijk says. “Eventually, it is our ambition to open Cobra Art Galleries in all large international cities.”


Cobra Art Amsterdam
Van Baerlestraat 8
T 020 2153 110
W www.cobraart.nl


Jeannette en Mike van Rijswijk are the owners of Cobra Art

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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
free parking on private parking


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




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

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Old Gijsbreght tradition revived

At the same place where the Gijsbreght van Aemstel premiered 382 years ago, the piece is again performed by Theater Kwast. This will restore a fine tradition to its former…

At the same place where the Gijsbreght van Aemstel premiered 382 years ago, the piece is again performed by Theater Kwast.

This will restore a fine tradition to its former glory. Between 1641 and 1968, Joost van den Vondel’s play about the mythical lord of Amsterdam, who tries to protect his city from Kennemers and Waterlanders on Christmas Eve, was performed in the municipal theatre around New Year’s Day. A record that no West End production can match.

Theater Kwast will return with the Gijsbreght for the third year in a row from 3 to 5 January 2020. Not in the Stadsschouwburg on the Leidseplein, but in hotel The Dylan on the Keizersgracht, which was built on the spot where the play premiered on 3 January 1638.

On 3 January, the first Amsterdam Theatre on the Keizersgracht opened its doors. Rembrandt van Rijn was there and in quick sketches he recorded a few scenes for posterity. Sketches that Theater Kwast would later use to recreate the original costumes.

Since the beginning of the 18th century, a Gijsbreght performance has always been followed by the playful epilogue The Wedding of Kloris and Roosje, a kind of mini opera that was full of crazy traditions. This afterglow is also performed again. In 2020 Ivo de Wijs and Pieter Niewint will sign for the Nieuwsjaarswensch in which 2019 will be put through the wringer.

The performance will be played from 3 to 5 January 2020. Tickets for € 32,50 can be ordered via https://store.dylanamsterdam.com/nl/gijsbreght/ or www.dylanamsterdam.com


With the picture:
The old theatre on the Keizersgracht 384 in Amsterdam, seen from the stage, circa 1658.


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‘We are not going to live anywhere else’

Having been born and raised in India, at the age of twenty four Simmer Madan choose to study and work in London. There she met her husband, and started combining…

Having been born and raised in India, at the age of twenty four Simmer Madan choose to study and work in London. There she met her husband, and started combining life in London with a job in Denmark. However, for three years now she has been living in The Netherlands, “we stay here and nowhere else,” she tells me. 

For the first time in nine years, she went back to London this September. “I was shocked! It was so much more crowded. People kept pouring out of the underground. In London, it took me twenty minutes to get from work to the underground. Here I am home in twenty minutes.” 

Simmer can hardly find anything negative to say about living in The Netherlands. Apart from “the language, that’s hard. What does help is reading product advertisements and ads about houses-for-sale in newspapers. That way, you learn ordinary words. I shop at Bol.com, so now I know what douchegel is.”

She gained a lot from the government’s integration course, which she had to take because of her marriage to a naturalized Dutchman. “As a result, when I started to use public transport, I knew how to use the OV-chip card. As well as that you learn how to shop at Albert Heijn, very convenient.”

Open minded

In Simmer’s experience, the UK promotes a somewhat hierarchical relationship between people, while people in The Netherlands are more open-minded. “It is easier to approach people here, plus the fact that people think in terms of solutions.”

After completing a BA in Psychology, she studied an MBA in Business and Finance. She now works as a project manager with a company in financial services in the Atrium building at Zuidas.

“The Zuidas neighbourhood is just a marvellous work environment. People are friendly, and people often know each other, which offers lots of opportunities. The atmosphere is super-competitive however, there are more people than jobs. It is booming.”

Life is very relaxed in Amstelveen, where Simmer lives with her husband. “We wanted a house with a garden, but that did not work out in Amsterdam. And very important: we needed a room that both my parents and parents-in-law from India could stay in when they visit us. Furthermore, we are only 12 minutes from Schiphol Airport, there are many restaurants around us, and we have our friends nearby. So, we are not going to live anywhere else than here.”

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