The current shutdown is forcing entrepreneurs to think creatively again. As a result, inviting the chef into the house is becoming more and more natural. Albert and Iris, owners of a restaurant in Owthorne, take over the management of the kitchen in people’s homes for an evening out. “This way we can continue to carry out our passion, and people still have a nice evening.”
The idea arose a year ago during the previous shutdown. “Our friends invited us to cook at home,” says Iris Culkmire. “We liked it so much that we persevered.” She and her husband, Albert Halls, own the Hertog Jan Op’t Water restaurant in Uithoorn.
“We want to sell an experience, as we always do”
Now that there’s a new shutdown, the two have resurrected the old ‘home cooking concept’. Iris: “It takes some getting used to, like this weird kitchen. One kitchen is bigger than our entire restaurant, and the other is so small that we have to improvise a lot.”
“Improvisation keeps us creative and it’s fun too. We were once in a few square feet of the kitchen cooking for a family of seven. Space was limited, so we had to use crates to use as an extra work surface. But they gave us a gas stove or oven or An induction dish and every cook is happy.”
Upon entering, they set the table with their crockery and set the wine cold. “People often look when they come in, because they want to help and want to explain how everything works. Then I give them two glasses of wine, and then they can relax a bit,” Iris says with a laugh. “And if they relax, we can relax, too.”
Whether it’s profitable, Iris has a clear answer to that. “No, absolutely not. We usually have thirty guests, and now we cook for four to five people. But this is how we continue to carry out our passion: cooking and seeing people enjoy themselves.”
Iris and Albert did not like to deliver or make boxes for pickup. “We want to sell the experience, as we always do,” Iris says. “You can’t have that with fast food. That wasn’t what we started our restaurant for.”
What is your method of keeping your head above water?
Do you also have a creative way to bypass this lockdown? NH Nieuws is looking for inspiring people and solutions. Do you know yourself in it? Then send an email to [email protected]
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