We seem to be heading to an opening up of the soft lock down we have here in The Netherlands. Also, Italy and Spain are cautiously opening up and there are positive signs there. Maybe we can salvage something of this very unusual year. Sad and tough times might be behind us, but different times are still ahead of us. For children and adults of all ages this has been the strangest few months in living history.
One of the few growth areas for a lot of people will be their waistlines. Alcohol sales are booming as people seek a distraction to being at home all the time. But, it cannot only be blamed on booze. There has been an explosion of people using their free time to cook all manner of exotic dishes, cakes, pies, etc and then share the photos online for all to see. I know I have. People want to use their time productively, trying new recipes and being more creative in the kitchen. It also helps to use up all the extra time we had lately. What did you make? Post a photo in the Facebook feed – Food Glorious Food!
As we couldn’t go to Winkel 43 or Cafe Papeneiland for Dutch apple tart, we found a recipe and made it at home. Self-praise is no praise, but it was really delicious! Enough self-praising, what about self-raising, or lack of it? Clearly the near total lack of flour in supermarkets was the most obvious sign of the cooking revolution. Finding flour in a supermarket started to feel like a small to medium sized win in the postcode lottery.
And then the big sign happened. That tell-tale sign that my interest in home cooking had reached new heights…..I bought a pasta rolling machine. I am still waiting to use it as all the ’00’ flour is sold out! Cooking has been a lot of fun. I do miss eating out though. One person I know who is in her element for making food is Vicky Hampton, aka the Amsterdam Foodie. She knows more about great food and restaurants than anyone I know. So I asked her a few questions to find out more and she kindly answered my questions about Food Glorious Food
1. Hi Vicky. You have been living in Amsterdam for almost 15 years now. In that time you have eaten at a very large number of restaurants. What was your most memorable dinner?
Oh, that is really difficult to answer. So many places and you want me to choose one? I write a food and restaurant review website, amsterdamfoodie.nl, and I have eaten in well over 800 restaurants during my time in Amsterdam. On the recommendations page of the site, you can see lots and lots of places I will definitely return to one day.
2. You created the Amsterdam Foodie. Please tell us more about how that started.
I arrived here for good in 2006 and started writing restaurant reviews for friends and posting them on Myspace (I know….). At the time, the food scene in Amsterdam was not what it is now. I really wanted it to serve me as a reminder of all the places I went to eat, good or bad. My brother registered the name and gave me the URL as a Christmas present, and amsterdamfoodie.nl was born. Then it grew and grew and the rest, as they say, is history.
3. Vicky Hampton’s Working Lunch – Please tell us more about your cookbook.
Anyone who eats lunch in a work canteen knows that the options are not always great. It’s lots of bread with ham and cheese. I would bring in ingredients and start making my own lunches. I really wanted it to be more exciting as a mealtime, so I started compiling all the dishes I was making. Colleagues saw I was having a more satisfying lunch experience and wanted the recipes. So I decided to put it all together in a book format and that is how it happened. The book is available in the With Love From Amsterdam online gift shop.
4. What other work activities do you have?
In addition to my work with food, I freelance as a professional copywriter, editor and translator. I love the written word. I’ve worked with a wide range of industries and sectors, and I get immense satisfaction in crafting text for them. It is a pleasure for me to write. You can see examples of my work on vickyhampton.com.
5. When not working, what keeps you busy?
I’m lucky that my work is also my passion. No restaurants visits for me at the moment, but nowadays I cook a lot at home. My husband is American and we love to make low and slow cooked BBQ dishes in our smoker. I run a lot and look forward to skiing and travelling again in the future.
Thank you Vicky Hampton for your time and insights for Food Glorious Food. We look forward to this situation easing in the best way, so that restaurants can open and welcome customers again. And of course, so that we can read lots more of your great reviews!
Find her book in our online Amsterdam gift shop: With Love From Amsterdam
Here are just some of the great places at which we love to eat in Amsterdam