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LIFESTYLE - INTERVIEW

Interview with Piet Sanders, Co-Owner of BAK restaurant from Amsterdam

Piet, Benny, and Alessandro restored a warehouse in Amsterdam and established the BAK restaurant, where they served the dishes they created using local ingredients. I talked with Piet Sanders about BAK restaurant.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Benny, Alessandro and Piet

Benny, Alessandro and Piet

LIFESTYLE - INTERVIEW

by Meryem Aksoy

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In our globalizing world, sometimes the most valuable things have local characteristics. Local trends also play an important role in the culinary world. Nowadays, in a new restaurant in the founders' own country or region, the chef creates a menu of local tastes. And even in a foreign country, the chef who wants to offer the flavors of his own culture also prefers to use local ingredients of the area where the restaurant is located. All these preferences are always on the benefit of the customer because they always have the opportunity to taste different flavors made from fresh ingredients. Piet, Benny, and Alessandro take this process a step further in the BAK restaurant they own. They use both local and fresh ingredients and change their menus every day. In this way, customers can taste the dishes prepared with seasonal vegetables and they can continue with a different taste every day. BAK restaurant, created by redesigning a warehouse, welcomes its guests with a smiling team and new dishes every day. I talked with Piet Sanders, Co-Owner of BAK restaurant, about the concept of BAK restaurant.

Before talking about BAK Restaurant, could you tell us about yourself?

My name is Piet together with Benny and Alessandro we have this restaurant.

BAK restaurant - Photo by Chantal Arnts

BAK restaurant - Photo by Chantal Arnts

BAK Restaurant is located on the third floor of Het Veem, a former warehouse. Please tell us about your location, building, and design details.

Veem is actually another word that means warehouse in Dutch. It's a really cool place with really wide corridors. It was used to store wood and tobacco.

Could you tell us about BAK Restaurant and the overall concept?

We work with a set menu, this way we can let all of our guests taste of the best products that are in season. We work with (very) local products only. And since 2017 we stopped working with cattle for meat. So we only use wild meat and fish.

Chef Benny - BAK restaurant - Photo by Chantal Arnts

Chef Benny - BAK restaurant - Photo by Chantal Arnts

Could you tell us about the Chef?

His name is Benny, he is the co-owner of BAK, he's my friend, he is a legend.

What is the importance of local producers and suppliers for you?

I think it is important to taste products in the region where and when they grow best. I don't think it makes sense fly in unripe banana's from Brazil when we have really nice asparagus here in the Netherlands. If everything is local it means it doesn't have to travel long before it reaches the restaurant so this way is always really fresh.

BAK restaurant - Photo by Chantal Arnts

BAK restaurant - Photo by Chantal Arnts

What can your guests find at BAK Restaurant?

Hopefully, a nice and vibrant place, where you can experience the Dutch cuisine on a very high level, without feeling unwelcome and without wearing a tux.

How could you define the gastronomic diversity of Amsterdam? What are the most popular and traditional dishes and drinks in Dutch cuisine?

I am not really sure what a traditional Amsterdam dish is. As staff food we like to eat pickled herring, it would be nice to serve in the restaurant, but it is not delicate enough. For drinks, I have to say genever!

BAK restaurant - Photo by Chantal Arnts

BAK restaurant - Photo by Chantal Arnts

You do not offer la carte menu. Could you tell us about your set menus?

We have a set menu, so everybody gets the full experience.

How many different wines do you offer to your guests? Could you tell us about your cellar and wines?

With the menu we offer a pairing, this is normally 4 glasses but this can easily be expanded. We also have a crazy big wine list with over 500 different bottles. Last year we won a price for it.

BAK restaurant - Photo by Chantal Arnts

BAK restaurant - Photo by Chantal Arnts

How often do you change up your set menu? What are you paying attention to while selecting new drinks and dishes? How do you manage this hard process?

The menu changes from day to day, depending on the season and our small suppliers. Every month we try to switch the complete menu.

Which dishes and drinks are your guest's favorite?

We had a dish with eggplant and buttermilk which was very popular. We excellence in orange wines. My favourite is Dario Princic.

BAK restaurant - Photo by Chantal Arnts

BAK restaurant - Photo by Chantal Arnts

Amsterdam has lots of restaurants. How does BAK Restaurant differentiate itself from other restaurants in Amsterdam?

By working with the best products, offering an inspiring menu, having really friendly a wise staff and being in an old warehouse :)

How do you describe Amsterdam in one sentence?

A multicultural capital with the cosiness of a small village.

BAK restaurant - Photo by Chantal Arnts

BAK restaurant - Photo by Chantal Arnts

What do you think about the importance of social media for restaurants? How does it feel to see your dishes on Instagram?

I think it is important, but it's also weird. We don't offer free dinners for a post on Instagram. But it is always very nice to see/read positive feedback from guests that visited our restaurant.

How can our readers follow BAK Restaurant?

On Instagram @bakrestaurant

Thank you Piet for your time.

For more information, please click here to visit the website of BAK restaurant