Daniel is a talented chef with big dreams and a passion for helping startup companies get off the ground. But you might know him better as the organizer of several Gidsy activities like his Festa di Antipasti dinner, and “Three courses of slow food & wine”.
Read on to learn more about Daniel…
Hi Daniel! Can you tell me a little about yourself?
I work as a consultant for startups. I help them to attract financing to pursue their dreams and realize their plans. I have a passion for pursuing new things and opportunities, and like to lose myself in the process. Somehow I always return to my greatest passion, which is cooking. I like the fact that there is so much to explore, so many preparations and flavor combinations. I use classical techniques and a limited amount of ingredients, for I believe you must be able to distinguish every single ingredient. Everything needs to be added with a purpose, an individual role.
Are you originally from Amsterdam, or have you moved there?
Actually I am from the South, but there comes a time in any young Dutchman’s life that he wants to make the move to Amsterdam.
When did your passion for cooking begin? And what was it like studying under Italian Chef Paolo Tomassi?
My passion started quite early. At six years old I was baking cakes. Together with the house cat, I could sit and watch the cake rise in the oven for over an hour. When I was 14, I started cooking three course menus on Sundays, every time with different techniques and recipes. The book, Le Cordon Bleu’s Complete Cooking Technique was a great help to me in those years. At 17, I was sous-chef on Friday nights in a busy restaurant in the city center.
In 2003 I started working for the famous chef Paolo Tomassi. I had admired the restaurant and the reviews for quite some time, and one day I just walked in to ask him if I could join the ranks. Soon I was working Monday-Wednesday and Saturday, while still studying hotel management. Paolo has taught me a lot about classical Tuscan cuisine. His strength lies in making new combinations with local (Dutch) ingredients that still live and breathe the Tuscan/Italian philosophy. In that small kitchen it was just me and him serving 75 people with three to seven course menus. I have been very lucky to work next to him and prepare dishes together as a team.
Do you have a favorite dish you like to prepare?
Actually, I don’t have one favorite dish, since it is rare that I prepare the same dish twice. I really like the taste of turnips and celeriac with a piece of game and a rich sauce. The earthy and subtle sweet taste of turnips combine excellently.
How did you first find out about Gidsy?
I was scouting start-ups for work and then found out Gidsy was about to launch the next day in Amsterdam. I also read that you were able to create a listing in advance, which I did right away. I organized a dinner at my house which was sold out within 5 hours. The launch could not have been better!
Why is it important that Gidsy is in Amsterdam?
Gidsy is very important because it gives local entrepreneurial people an easy way to organize things without worrying about payments, etc. For visitors, it is a good way to really experience the local life and to meet like minded people.
What are you currently reading?
Adapt by Tim Harford.