Right at the time when corona started, Irene was looking for a place to start her own vegan caterer business. She had to abandon the original plans, but by chance got the opportunity to start out from an already existing kitchen. The beginning of Peach Plantbased Kitchen, operating since November 2020 out of the kitchen of Robin Food. She’s running it with two others.
Before this she was working in disability care and part-time studying, which she gave up to pursue her dream of setting up her own kitchen.
Irene grew up as a vegetarian but was eating practically vegan already. The meals she creates for Peach are fully vegan, as well as whole foods, meaning she avoids using processed foods. “I always start from vegetables,” she tells. Using seasonal vegetables, preferably local, and sometimes even picked in the wild! Read more
Balkenbrij is an old Dutch dish traditionally made from the less popular parts of animals, in particular blood of pigs. Yeah that sounds gross I know! But the flavour also comes from typical spices used for this dish, as well as buckwheat flour. Recipes vary also per region, some add bacon for example, but for this recipe I just stick to the version I had in my youth, but then veganised of course. Read more
Vegan Fresco opened February 2021 after a successful crowdfunding campaign. With according to them 4% of the Dutch eating vegan/plant-based and 55% being flexitarian, owner James Fresco suggested it was about time for a specialised vegan supermarket.
Being the first vegan supermarket in the Netherlands/Amsterdam got them quite some attention, from the world of retail (veganism is hot) and obviously from vegans as well. Read more
The most famous Dutch winter dish is without a doubt stamppot. Consisting of mashed potatoes with another type of vegetable mixed in, classic combinations are with kale, endive, sauerkraut, Brussels sprouts or carrot. Stamppot is very much comfortfood and uncomplicated to prepare, it’s possible to prepare it in just one pot. Perfect for these dark winter evenings!
The version with carrot is usually just called hutspot, and I love this one for the slightly sweeter taste and the colour. Just like other stamppot, it is traditionally eaten with a smoked sausage, which is nowadays easy to find vegan as well! Read more
Of course corona heavily influenced life in Amsterdam the last year, for vegan stuff as well. Restaurants have been closed for the most part of the year, almost no street activism or events, little casual socialising. Yet still new vegan restaurants opened, a lot of new vegan products in the supermarket, lots of new vegan cookbooks. Happy Cow currently lists 406 vegan/vegan-friendly restaurants in town, of which 50 are fully vegan. The interest in veganism just continues!
And rightly so, for yet another reason to go vegan (it’s a win-win situation really) is that this corona thing directly stems from the practise of humans eating other animals. Without the animal industry there’s less risk of future pandemics. In the Netherlands the mink industry (for fur) also helped to spread the virus, as mink can also be contagious with corona. Of the 128 mink farms in the Netherlands eventually at 70 farms mink got corona.
But yeah, let’s continue with the positive news. Read more
SUE started 6 years ago when Kim Palm (middle name Sue) was experimenting with making sweets but without refined sugar. At a housewarming she brought some of those. One of the attendees had a lunchroom and liked it so much that he asked if she could make it also for his place. And that’s really how it all started! From then on she sold her sweets, which she called ‘bites’, to more and more lunchrooms nationwide. Eventually she and her partner opened up two of their own places in Rotterdam, a bakery store and a lunchroom/restaurant.
At the Amsterdam location they sell of course their signature ‘Bites’: square shaped pastry, in about 20 different flavours like Banoffee and Tiramisu! Then they have huge cookies in flavours such as Lemon Almond and Maple Pecan. Also bananabread, chocolate-date truffle balls, granola bars and more! All in all a huge choice. Read more
After finishing an education in biodynamic agriculture, Derrick Neleman began working at a Spanish vineyard. With this experience he started his own wine import business in the Netherlands in 2001. Then in 2014 he established his own organic vineyard close to Valencia, Spain: Bodegas Neleman. Enabling him to both produce and distribute the wine.
The store in Amsterdam opened August 2020. Here you can find the full assortment of Neleman wines, like the Just Fucking Good Wine, their Bike Wines and their Signature series. Naturally, all their wines are Spanish, they offer white, red, rosé as well as sparkling wine. All of them are vegan. Read more
Many Surinamese restaurants in Amsterdam are vegan-friendly, you can find dishes like vegan roti, petjil, bara, bakabana, broodje tempeh and more. But newly opened take-away restaurant Mixed Flavour really has a significant amount of it, half of their menu is vegan! They were already doing some take-away and delivery for a while, but last month they opened at shopping centre Amsterdamse Poort (Zuid-Oost). They will be there until spring as this is a temporary location. Read more
There are a lot of places in Amsterdam these days where you can find some vegan pastry (even in the supermarket) but not too many with plenty choice! Petit by Sam is a small pastry shop where not everything is vegan but still a lot! And what makes this place unique is that they choose for healthier ingredients instead of your white sugar / white flour cakes. Read more
From Vegan Student Association Amsterdam comes this podcast series discussing ‘topics within veganism that could be interpreted in different ways or are seen differently by vegans’. In every episode the three hosts discuss a different topic in an intelligent and nuanced way, like should you be 100% vegan, how to think about ex-vegans or the topic of relationships and veganism. So far five episodes are online, approximately one new episode every month. Because of corona, the podcast is being recorded over Zoom.
All episodes are in English. You can find Grey Area on Spotify, check out the latest episode below!