There is something to be said for a story of success that exudes modesty and humility. The kind of success that is purely a reward for innovation, determination and incredible work ethic. Located in the true heart of Amsterdam Restaurant Vinkeles is that story. We speak with Dennis Kuipers, Executive Chef of Vinkeles to hear more about this pioneering restaurant.
- Modern French cuisine in the heart of The Netherlands, how did the concept for Vinkeles come to the fore?
- Through collaboration, mostly. Our Chef de Cuisine, Jurgen van der Zalm, leads the daily operation in our culinary team and is the creative factor in our style of cooking. The collaboration between us as chefs, two generations in one kitchen, brings the best of two worlds together: Jurgen’s playful and international inspiration, together with my classical background, creates something unique which guests appreciate so much at Restaurant Vinkeles.
- Where did your love for food originate from?
- I always wanted to be a chef, ever since I can remember. The love of food really comes from my childhood. My parents raised me with great, fresh meals. And we have always taken our time to appreciate dining together, I think that’s where it all started.
- From a personal perspective, what do you feel are the reasons for success at Vinkeles?
Doing what we’re good at, working with the best produce, no concessions.
Our guests are only expecting the best of the best, and it is exactly that we offer.
The style of ‘simplicity’ matches with our personality, staying true to yourself without unnecessary finery.
- Could you tell us a bit more about the decor of this beautiful restaurant?
- The Dylan is located on the premises of what once was the very first theatre of Amsterdam. Up until 1772, the location of what now is Restaurant Vinkeles was the main stage of the theatre. After a large fire which destroyed the theatre, the land was sold to the church, whom governed an august charitable foundation from here. A bakery was constructed in 1787 to feed those in need, which was used until 1811. Restaurant Vinkeles is located in this former bakery, a very unique and historic décor.
- What do you believe makes Vinkeles a must-visit destination for diners?
- Vinkeles offers a one-of-a-kind experience, informal and personal, with the very best produce of the season. Our preparation respects and reflects the quality of each individual product.
- Who do you look up to in the industry?
- In the more traditional, classical gastronomy, Marco Pierre White and Alain Ducasse are legendary examples. Moreover, I am very impressed by the individuality, quality and conceptional differences of London gastronomy. Also, Frantzén in Stockholm really inspires me.
- What goes into creating a successful menu?
- Buying the right product. For me, procurement is essentially the biggest role of a Chef. He or she always needs to be on a quest to find the best produce. Through in-depth knowledge, but also through developing relationships with trusted suppliers and industry professionals. To surprise and delight guests with unique produce which they cannot find themselves, is exactly the reason why guests choose to dine at a restaurant like ours.
- What does the future hold for Vinkeles?
- We like to be a destination for enthusiasts. For those who are open to experience our way of offering service, our way of thinking. We strive for excellence and take great pride in what we do best: enchanting our guests with our creative menus and offering them a truly memorable experience. We will continue evolving, on our never-ending quest to bring out the pureness and character of each individual ingredient.