Luuk / / Sous-chef Daalder Atelier

The most important ingredient of Daalder Culinary? Our people. So we let them do the talking. In this case: we let them tell you about what makes their job the best there is. Meet Luuk, Sous-Chef at Daalder Atelier.

Hey Luuk. Can you tell us more about your role?
I am Sous-Chef at Daalder Atelier. I took on that role recently, actually

JBecause first, you worked at Daalder, right?
In fact, I used to work at Edel even before Dennis and Frans took over. My role there was primarily focused on operating the fryer, and I was fondly known as Chef Fryer. I used to have long hair back then, and every night when I finished work, it would be covered in grease. At the time, I thought I was busy with my 32-hour workweek, but when Frans and Dennis took over, I truly experienced the meaning of hard work. It was during that transition that I discovered my passion for cooking.

How did that happen?
For a long time, I was unsure about what I wanted to be “when I grew up”, but I found the answer very quickly I met them. The fact that you work with a team towards that ultimate goal of perfection; that’s so cool. That dedication within the whole team! I particularly liked the moment I moved to Daalder Atelier and started cooking here behind this bar. I think it’s so cool to interact with our guests while cooking. Although initially, it was a bit nerve-wracking, with everyone observing my every move.

How do you work as a team?
We don’t have a clear separation between the service and kitchen teams at Daalder Atelier. We are one team working together. It’s cool that everyone helps each other. I think that is also my strength: combining cooking with service or even being a host. We do everything together as a team.

As a Sous-Chef, what are your responsibilities?
I work alongside the Head Chef in the kitchen. My role primarily involves executing the ideas and concepts created by Dennis. If there is something wrong, I communicate that to our team. But I also focus on keeping our food costs low and ensuring that everything is organised and tidy. I learned that from working with Dennis: every little detail has to be right down to the teeniest element. Daalder Atelier has a tiny kitchen. So if things aren’t in order all the time, it will drive you mad in such a small space.

What makes your job so fulfilling?
I can make someone’s day. That’s why I do what I do! Working here, you can go home feeling fulfilled every day. Every day you feel like you have performed. We work hard and long hours, but when all our guests have a great experience, all the hard work is worth it. That’s when I get into bed feeling good and get up the following day still feeling that same fulfilment.

Four years ago, you were still Chef Fryer at Edel. And now you are here. It’s a difference between night and day!
Yes, suddenly, I found myself working alongside some of the best chefs in the country. I’ve learned so much, not just in terms of cooking but also organizationally. Dennis often says: ‘Many chefs are always in a rush. They seem busy, working their ass off, because they do everything at once. But often, it’s better to take a step back and do it in an organised manner. You’ll end up being three times faster’.

What’s it like working with Dennis?
Very chill. He isn’t the type of chef who shouts and creates a tense environment. He taught me the importance of remaining calm, no matter how busy things get. Guests can sense the atmosphere. I notice that myself when I go out eating somewhere. When a team gets uneasy during service, I, as a guest, get tense as well. I see service almost as a kind of Nintendo game I want to finish. Throughout the evening, I progress through each level. It is somewhat of a dance through the night. That might be why music always gives me a boost during work.

What do you hope to achieve in the future?Of course, our ultimate goal is to earn the first Michelin star here at Daalder Atelier. We got one with Daalder when it was still situated here before we moved to Postjesweg. Then, who knows, someday, that second or a third star? We are ambitious. It may be a bit cliché, but our team feels like family to me. Many chefs hop from one job to another, but I have no desire to do that. Why would I leave a place where I feel comfortable and can continue learning? For me, working towards that level of gastronomy with a team is far more rewarding than finding a job at a three-star restaurant, where you can only add some flowerers to a dish. This feels much more satisfying!


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Daalder Culinair

Postjesweg 1

1057 DT Amsterdam



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