Geert Burema runs Merkelbach Restaurant, which is situated in the historic Huize Frankendael building and takes its name from the famous Dutch architect Ben Merkelback who previously lived there. The building is situated next to Frankendael Park in Amsterdam's Watergraafsmeer quarter.
Since 2004, Geert has been able to offer a menu at Merkelbach that truly represents his approach to food. He has worked in dozens of Amsterdam's restaurants, but Merkelbach was his first opportunity to open his own place. The kitchen uses only seasonal vegetables, meat from local farms and the freshest fish. Geert knows where all the ingredients come from, knows many producers that supply him personally and has been great friends with many of the of the Dutch Presidia producers for some time. He loves the Dutch countryside and in a few months he will also start cultivating vegetables and raising a few animals on a three-hectare plot one hour outside Amsterdam - a passion he has been able to fulfill thanks to help in the kitchen from young chef Jerry Gontscharoff.
Geert loves to be surrounded by young people, and many who work with him go on to open their own businesses. Merkelbach has also been the headquarters for the Dutch Slow Food Youth Network, who run an educational vegetable garden in the adjacent park. Geert, who feels a little like the father of the Slow Food youth, regularly hosts their events.
Why is Geert joining the Alliance? It was a natural next step. He has been a member of Slow Food since it was launched in the1980s, is an active supporter of youth projects and is curious to travel and discover new products and producers. In 2012 he participated in the Alliance meeting in Italy, and on his way home discovered the Ligurian hinterland and fell in love with their Pigna beans. Today he cooks these beans regularly, together with many Presidia products from the Netherlands (such as Kempen lamb, Wadden Sea fish and Chaam chicken) and around the world (Trasimeno beans, Roccaverano Robiola, Rimbás black pepper, Mananara vanilla). Merkelback restaurant is open every day from 8.30am and offers a vast selection of pastries, cakes and coffee for breakfast. At lunch and dinner you can choose from a menu of unusual dishes as well as traditional Dutch recipes, characterized by the Geert's creative touch.
1097 BS Amsterdam
Tel. +31 204233930,
Open everyday from 8.30am to 11pm (until 6pm on Sundays and Mondays).