At Restaurant de Kas – Part II

September 28th, 2012

In August, our head chef Simone Rossouw went on a month long international worksession for Babel, where she worked at the well-known Restaurant de Kas in Amsterdam. Simone kept a diary of her impressions and experiences to share here on our blog. Read the first installment here:


Gert Jan Hageman – a previously awarded Michelin Chef, now owner – is the full time grower of produce for the restaurant, and he showed me their in-house restaurant garden, as well as the farm in the Beemster region. I saw perfect Salanova, and this year’s strawberry harvest grown in tunnels, in just the same manner as I see on farms in Stellenbosch.

At the restaurant, a lot of care is put into the show garden on the property, as this is where the concept of De Kas started and was perfected. When entering you can smell the ripe tomatoes and compare the varieties all neatly planted in rows and carefully labelled for the guests to see and taste. Perfect companion planting, temperature and working to get the soil conditions correct. The variety is large and is inspected daily, as the restaurant is situated in Park Frankendael making pest control a constant issue.

The tomatoes were perfect, harvested at optimal growth, served with fresh lemon zest, salt and pepper at room temperature with basil, cucumber and fava beans from their farm garden, and drizzled with a little curry oil and yoghurt dressing.

The show garden of de Kas also has many of little gems, like the fruit they call Kornoelje (Cornus Mas in Latin). These are preserved like you would do the last part of preserving olives, which explains why some of the chefs called it the Netherlands Olive.

At the restaurant, we had fun tasting homemade apple beer in the downstairs cellar. As the evening came round, it was great to see the guests arrive to a restaurant with no music, making their own as the rooms fill up with guests. The chef’s table proved a favourite, and was booked full every evening, with passionate cooks and chefs travelling the globe to get inspiration before the start of the new season.

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