For most young Dutch boys, if given the choice between playing football or spending time in the kitchen, the answer is simple! "Ditch the dishes".
But this was not the case for me from an early age I shelved my football aspirations and soaked up all the smells, flavours and tastes of my Mothers kitchen.
My path was chosen; my future clear, my love for food was apparent from the early age of seven, and it was at this young age I served my first apprenticeship in my Mother's kitchen.
Where did I get my inspiration? Well that would be my Mother. A superb cook with an ability to make a delicious meal from the simplest of ingredients I grew up helping her prepare so many different dishes originating from all different cultures so it is no surprise I soon developed a curiosity for all kinds of foods and combinations. If I was not busy helping my Mum in her kitchen, then I would be pestering my neighbours to find out if the food they were preparing was as tasty as the smell suggested.
With this growing passion as soon as I could I took the next step on my journey and commenced a catering course at college and after five enlightening years I qualified as a Chef which then afforded me the opportunity to gain valuable experience with some of the best Chefs in my home town. It was then I decided to explore different kitchens, cultures and of course foods so I took the next step and gained experience in France and London working with the highly acclaimed Alistair Little.
I was then fortunate enough to secure employment with the famous Castle Leslie so my journey took me to Ireland. During my time with the Castle I was extremely privileged to work with a truly talented team of Chefs. The Castle made headlines when Sir Paul McCartney married Heather Mills (Do not know if that is a reference now!). Over the years many a famous face frequented the Castle. Visitors included Rolling Stones Mick Jagger, British Astronomer Patrick Moore, Prince Pierre of Monaco, members of the Churchill Family and many many more.
Therefore, it is no surprise when an opportunity presented itself to become Head Chef for a highly successful outside catering company I reluctantly left the Castle to take the next step on my journey.
This was a different but most enjoyable experience, which afforded me the chance to gain valuable experience planning, organising and catering for very large Corporate Events such as the North West 200, the FIA WRC in Sligo and Fermanagh, various International horse shows and high society weddings. But its has to be said one of my greatest achievements was the opportunity to cook for Her Royal Majesty The Queen of England during her visit to Armagh in March 2008.
So now, you have travelled my road and walked briefly in my shoes. Where does my journey take me now?
Well its time for me to welcome you to my own table as an honoured guest. In Holland we love to entertain and now at my Restaurant The Boathouse you can taste all the dishes, which represent my passionate journey, so why not come dine with me.