If you have ever dreamed of being a great cook, it seems like Club Cuisine in Amsterdam may be the perfect place to start.
Amsterdo interviewed Chef Bart Samsom, who conducts cooking workshops where you can gather together to learn about cooking and simple basic techniques. He is interested in getting people back in the kitchen. In today’s fast food culture, he feels that preparing your own food has become “second hand” as pre-made food is so easily obtainable and cheap. He wants to teach people how to create and serve food that is delicious and fun to prepare. “The main satisfaction I get is to transpose my knowledge of cooking to the clients and get people excited about cooking again.”
Bart started his cooking career while studying Clinical Psychology. He worked in several restaurants in Amsterdam. Getting experience in different kitchens and cuisines was an essential part of his education. His first job was at Café Poco Loco on the Nieuw Market in Amsterdam and he would work at different restaurants, changing locations annually to increase his spectrum of knowledge. After graduating in 1995 as a Clinical Psychologist, he decided to focus solely on being a full-time chef.
“Fortunately, there were a couple of really good chefs that I had that were really open. They were young kids starting out in the cooking field. So, I found my way, sort of, as a self-made chef into the business. What I really liked, was that it gives you the creativity that you find in working with food, creating a dish, presenting it to the people and seeing people enjoying the food. That gave me energy to continue.”
Club Cuisines conducts custom private weekly workshops for large groups (40-60) where you can choose from cuisines such as, Mediterranean (Bart’s favorite), Italian, Dutch, Asian and American. Team building is possible and can be structured according to your needs, e.g. by having a competition and/or being critiqued by Chef Bart, just like on Masterchef!
The workshop usually entails the preparation of 4 courses, sometimes 6 depending on what you are making, e.g. pasta is prepared from scratch as is the sauce, so two recipes for one course. The group is then split up into teams and each team prepares and presents their course to the rest of the group. Everyone participates and enjoys eating each course. Comments and discussion follow and make for an entertaining evening. Wine/Beer, soft drinks, coffee & tea are provided a la carte or as an all-inclusive package, see pricing below.
Smaller groups (10 or less) or individuals interested in taking a workshop are accommodated on the first Monday and Tuesday of the month. Workshops on Mondays are always Italian and on Tuesdays, there is an “improv” class where your creativity is inspired. Chef Bart says, “I just get fresh ingredients from the market or what is available at that moment. I let people decide what they want to make. They give me an indication or I give them a thread of what we can do, we try to make a 3 or 4 course meal. I would have a fairly wide range of vegetables, and of course basics, like onions, garlic, parsley and herbs, then I have some fish and meats. What I usually do is make a fish, meat and vegetarian dish and a dessert. We are not using any menus or recipes. We are just going to use our own creativity and give people more insight on how to combine certain produce, certain vegetables, and they also automatically get more insight on technique , e.g. on how to filet a fish, or cut up a chicken, make a marinade, etc. Very simple procedures, but necessary knowledge, to learn about the basics of cooking. ”
Besides always being on the lookout for great restaurants, Chef Bart is currently looking for a space in the center of Amsterdam where he can create his own signature cooking studio. In the meantime, the workshops are conducted in various venues in Amsterdam.
Chef Bart Samsom
1012 CR Amsterdam
60 EU per person, exclusive 6 % tax, plus:
15 EU per person, unlimited drinks or purchase drinks a la carte.
*Larger groups are eligible for a discount to be arranged with Bart Samsom directly.
**The chef will also provide recipes upon request and is available for questions after the workshop.