A typical day. At work. Heathrow to Gatwick Potentially bored, most likely busy.  Doesn’t matter, the question is always the same.  “What the hell am I going to make for dinner?”.  The question penetrates my brain and flows into my blood, red hot, trying to think of another god dam thing to make for dinner that’s easy enough to make after work, ideally in one pot so my boyfriend won’t bitch and moan about the kitchen looking like the aftermath of a stage 3 hurricane, and something that won’t take over an hour to make so we’re not face down in our plates.  Oh and did I mention I like it healthy? And fresh?  Well where the hell would I find something like that after 6pm in Amsterdam?  We got no Whole Foods here.  (bastards! come to Amsterdam!) We got Marqt, which is good for some overpriced organic foods and meats but if you buy everything you need for a meal there you’ll most likely leave feeling ass raped.

So what’s an Amsterdammer left with post 6pm when the fresh markets close at 4pm, butchers at 6pm, and vegetable stores (if you’re lucky) at 7p.  Not a whole helluva a lot.  Basically it’s Albert Heijn, with its god damn baby blue sign shining from every nook and cranny of Amsterdam.  It’s convenient, it’s cheap, and it’s completely uninspiring.  Sure you can pick something up from the many take away traiteurs, but in the 3 years I’ve lived here I think I’ve taken away maybe 5 times. At the most.  The more likely scene is me going into one, seeing mostly unoriginal creations, not knowing what the hell I want to eat anyway, and then feeling like an asshole when I walk out (and secretly thinking I could make it better and even cheaper!). So what do we have?  Not much.

Enter Bilder & De Clercq.  It comes into the ring swinging, boldly answering the question that gnaws at me day in and day out.  The store is  a living 3D cookbook. It’s amazing. Instead of spending countless hours cruising food porn sites, I can just walk into Bilder & De Clercq and dinner is laid out simply, attractively, and the best part is all the ingredients are measured out for two people.  Holy shit, where has this place been all my life? And god bless these two Dutch ex-media guys that jumped head first with enough fire under their asses into the black abyss of the Amsterdam gourmet food scene to open a completely new concept in grocers.

So here’s the low down.  Go. To. This. Place. NOW.  It’s light, its bright, it’s inviting from the second you walk in.  The baby blue on the walls here is like the sound of waves of the ocean, rather than the AH blue that makes you want to vomit. Huge posters of mouthwatering food hang from the ceiling.  The hunger pangs in your stomach heighten.  Walk around the open plan store. Each poster represents a meal, whether it’s an appetizer, main course or dessert.  Fourteen original recipes each day, three rotate out each week.  Vote on your favourites. The recipes are more Ottolenghi than Meat and Potatoes.  Hurrah! A  grocer with actual chefs that think of inspired dishes. God forbid anyone does anything different than boil the shit out of a vegetable. But not these chefs. Did I mention all the food is mostly organic and all locally sourced?  Like it’s traceable to the name of the pig in your sausage.  He’s Jerry.  That’s how well they are connected to the food that goes into each station.

Now, stop drooling.  Approach a poster. Underneath each poster is all the ingredients laid out for you as if you were brain taxi transfers london dead, and a recipe card.  It’s like fuckin’ cooking for dummies.  Step by step. You gotta be an idiot not be able to make these quick healthy meals.  Seriously, it takes all the thinking out of what’s for dinner. And did I mention these god dam genius’s suggest a wine paring for alcoholics like me?! Absolute brilliance.  Now take your shit to the checkout.  The meal is one set price, per person for two people. And they don’t close until 21:00 so people who actually have a job can shop there, make a meal, and be in bed before 23:00.  And the best part – There’s no food waste!  Sustainable.  Good. Food and escorte in Bucuresti

Take that shit home. Cook it up, dinner in 30.  BOOM. You’re done.
You’re Welcome.

Taxi Gatwick To London
The Clercqstraat 44
1052 NG Amsterdam
M-F 08:00-21:00
wkend: 10:00-20:00
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The year was 1985.  It brought together an athlete, a brain, a princess, a criminal, and a basket case in a classic John Hughes movie in which we all identified.  They may have never talked to each other wandering the halls of an eighties high school, but shoved together in a Saturday detention they broke down the walls of stereotyping. Fast forward 28 years (yes its been 28yrs can you believe it?!) to a Saturday night with some guest dressed up and some guests dressed down in pajamas.  And instead of detention, we came together over food.  We are amateur chefs, jam makers, film producers, event planners, city planners, lawyers, mothers, and fathers.  We all have roles  in which we identify, but once we walked into the Breakfast Club Ghetto-gether, we stripped ourselves of those roles because the only thing that matters at the Ghetto-gether is the food.  What you made, why you made it and the story you tell about it.

This Breakfast Club Ghetto-gether exploited our disobedient side of eating breakfast for dinner, our sweet side of jam and coconut based desserts and homemade desserts, and our not-so-hidden desire for all the carbs one can eat.  It’s the first Ghetto-gether where there barely a vegetable in sight,  where healthy food was off the table, except for save Roddericks Spinach Hummous, and some very berry Smoothies.  So bring out the eggs, the cheese, the french toasts, and the desserts.  It’s the beginnings of a club I’d want to be a part of. Deaf Faith

Rodderick's Spinach Hummous

This Ghetto-gether challenge was actually a tough one for me.  I’m not a huge breakfast eater, even on the weekends. During the week its yogurt and a banana.  Weekends I’m lucky if Stefan makes me an egg with cheese on an AH bun. I’ve never really made pancakes, waffles, and I can easily completely ruin an omelet.  I’m not a fan of poached, sunny side up, or hollandaise. What could I possibly make that is breakfast themed, can be pre-made and then just heated up?  I thought about frittatas, egg casseroles, and egg and cheese sandwiches, but it all felt that the eggs would eventually be limp and runny.  So I decided on a  twist of one of my favorite cocktail snacks in the world – Pigs in a Blanket.  I love those plump little pork sausages, wrapped in light flaky phyllo dough, bursting with flavor with the first bite.  They were so easy to make in SF where delicious cooked cocktail sausages could be found in any grocery store.  I’ve made them at every party I’ve ever hosted…wine and cheeses….oscar parties…photo parties….you name it I made it.  So why not take one of my favorite things and add an IHOP spin to it and do it two ways.  I found some lovely duck sausages and for half of them rolled them in croissant dough and the other half wrapped in a mini pancake.  And to wash down all that meaty goodness was a very berry smoothie I blended with fresh fruit, honey, and yogurt and lime.

So what about everyone else?  Well at this Ghetto-gether we had some newcomers who really threw down some mad skills.  Monica and Ceasear did a Mexican Inspired Chilequile Tostadas with Chipotle Eggs, hailing from Ceasars Mexican background.

Then Kate from Kate’s Slow Jam made home made marmelade chocolate chip ice cream (without an ice cream maker no less!) and a too die for marmelade bread pudding that kept us going back for seconds even though we were completely stuffed and Escorts Romania.

Dave, our amazing host, made two outstanding dishes, some breakfast burritos with a bit of kick in his home made salsa, creamy quacamole since there is a lacking of breakfast burritos at brunches in Amsterdam and a decadently stuffed french toast with ricotta and strawberries on a pumpkin spiced bread, reminding us of dishes that should be included more in the limited Amsterdam brunch scene.

And then there were those who have been to many Ghetto-gethers but continue to build on previous challenges like Cathy who made her own donuts (building on make a dish you’ve never made before) or Amanda from Nozilla cupcakes who fermented her own yogurt for her coconut parfaits (playing off make a dish using whole foods only).

With slippers on our feet, The Breakfast Club playing on the teli and an 80s soundtrack filling our ears, we sipped on mimosas, spiked our smoothies and made bloody mary’s all the while stuffing ourselves with some of the best breakfast food Amsterdam has ever tasted.  So yeah this is one club I’m proud to be a part of.

Below is a slide show of everyone’s dishes and recipes!

Kate’s Marmalade and Bread Pudding

Kate’s Marmalade and Chocolate Chip Ice Cream



Roderick_Hummus recipe

Ducks in a Blanket, Breakfast Style:

•    1 kg mini duck sausage
•    2 cups pancake mix
•    1 1/2 cups milk
•    powdered sugar for garnish
•    maple syrup for dipping

•    Heat oven to 350°.
•    Fry sausages in pan until done.
•    Meanwhile, make pancake mix using 2 cups of pancake mix and 1 1/2 cups of milk. You want the pancake to be thinner than normal. They are easier to wrap around the sausage when they are thinner.
•    Heat a non-stick griddle.
•    Pour a scant 1/4 cup of batter onto the griddle. Make 12 pancakes or however many sausage you have.
•    Cook pancakes until golden brown.
•    Remove to a wire rack to cool.
•    Wrap a pancake around a sausage and place seam side down in a greased baking dish.
•    Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes at 350° or just until heated through.
•    Remove from oven and sprinkle with powdered sugar.
•    Serve with syrup.


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