Focussed on staffing, Ippe Galama is executive sous chef at the Sheraton Amsterdam Airport hotel
What is it like to work at Amsterdam Airport? You do not know it either? Well! We met Ippe Galama so he could tell us everything. Read here.
Today you work as Executive sous-chef Sheraton Amsterdam Airport Amsterdam. This is an international spot. Any chance to offer Dutch specialties?
Absolutely, as almost all our guests are international travellers we build our menu’s keeping all sorts of Dutch delicacies in mind. From poffertjes for breakfast to stroopwafel desserts and everything in between.
How would you describe the traditional Dutch cuisine?
Traditional Dutch cuisine was mostly based on high energy meals that were needed for hard labour the Dutch farmers used to do. Constructed with mostly meats, cabbage and root vegetables from the farms itself and cooked into different kinds of stew. Later colonial influences from Indonesia and Surinam began to spice up our kitchens. Later those international influences flourished during the 17th and 18th century because of the VOC.
What is your interpretation/ creations for modern Dutch cuisine?
Currently Dutch cuisine is almost completely international in its inspiration and preparation. That said we are becoming more and more aware of our effect on the planet and our communities. Modern Dutch cuisine focusses more on (mostly local) vegetables than meat or fish. I’d say it’s an 80 – 20 split on the plate nowadays.
Amsterdam; the hot spot. What makes Amsterdam from a culinary stand point so attractive?
Trail blazers and adventurers start new food concepts here. They gain fame and success which attracts more people to come to Amsterdam for the food. Which in turn attracts new chefs to come to Amsterdam. By now this vicious circle has made Amsterdam one of the culinary capitals of Europe. You can’t beat eating in a 19th century warehouse overlooking the canals.
Where do you eat in Amsterdam, when you have your days off?
I usually tend to visit some rising stars within the chef community. Restaurant Daalder for example or Jaimie van Heije. These restaurants are definitely at the top of the culinary food chain but aren’t priced as their two- or three Michelin star counterparts.
What are some of the new trends in Amsterdam’s culinary scene?
Veg forward movements are popping up everywhere. Concepts like the Avocado show started here and is being franchised all over the world. That said more start-ups focussing on sustainable and local produce are winning ground rapidly. Sustainable and energy neutral seem to be the focus points of today
You say: “In these harsh times when finding motivated chefs in the hospitality industry is more like hunting for one valuable piece of antiques in a flea market”.
We live in a time where every year a bigger part of our workforce consists of ‘Millennials’. Soon they will be joined by the ‘Generation Z’ as well. What I find in most workplaces is managers or chefs who treat these new team members based on old traditions or values that have since been out dated. Even the ones who think ‘not us, we’re very forward thinking and understanding’ are usually not quite on the ball. Creating your own ‘valuable antiques’ and cherishing them will be the way forward in my opinion.
What should be done by these companies?
If you want this ever growing base of potential workers to come and work for you, you should listen to them and adapt the organisations way of working to accommodate their needs. We do that by creating a link in your kitchen between the older, experienced management and these new age groups. I think there will be ample opportunities here in the near future as new talent (mind you: talent in people-management AS WELL as culinary skills) will be the defining factor.
This sounds like a serious problem, do you see any light at the end of the tunnel?
The winners in this race for staffing, in an ever growing demand for hospitality employees, will be the company that will be able to provide these youngster with what they need to flourish. Flexibility, value, training, appreciation and communication will be key.
The topic of local food, from smaller, specialised.. and personally known producers, is becoming more important. What are some of your local partners from whom you source?
We as a hotel use a variety of different smaller suppliers with high quality and local produce. But so does almost every other hotel in the city. What I think will become more important in the future is the use of products that replace labour and time intensive kitchen tasks. Professionally made base products such as jus de veaux or stocks like Japanese dashi will become more of a standard. It goes without saying these should still be sustainably sourced.
Have you established any amazing cooking techniques or won any awards?
I can’t say I’ve done something ground-breaking about myself. One of the things I’m most proud of is cooking pieces of bread specifically for every course of an 8 course dinner. Where specific flavours and textures matched up perfectly with the dishes. Furthermore I was very honoured to receive the European Award for Culinary excellence last year.
Who inspire you and why?
People who inspire me are people who take the time to, listen and develop others. This can be professionally but also on a personal level. Kitchens are mostly made up out of people with a wildly different array of personalities and back grounds whom all have different needs. I’ve been lucky enough to have encountered a few of these inspiring chefs and managers in my career so far. I try to honour them by doing the same for my teams.
The Sheraton Amsterdam Airport Hotel and Conference Center is the only hotel directly connected to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. Guests enjoy the incredibly practical advantage of being able to walk between the hotel, the various terminals and the other facilities in Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. Enjoy our restaurants at Schiphol Airport
Feel welcome at Sheraton Amsterdam Airport Hotel and Conference Center and start your culinary journey near Schiphol Airport. If you are looking for a small bite, a quick coffee or a late dinner, our restaurants offer options for everyone.
Are you interested in working with me and my Team at the The Sheraton Amsterdam Airport Hotel; or in another Sheraton Hotel or Marriott International? Then lets get in contact: firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.careers.marriott.com/