A meal in the Edenesque garden of De Kas is a revelation in sustainable dining. Housed within walls of pristine glass that provide a panoramic showcase of the restful environment, the restaurant’s philosophy of reducing wastage through the best farm-to-plate offerings is clearly evident. While close to the city, De Kas is a deep breath away from the high-energy indulgences typical of the more well-known and expected Amsterdam tourism offerings. The space is simple and restful and prioritises homegrown comfort through elevated everyday ingredients.
When looking for a natural-feeling outdoor restaurant in Europe, De Kas fully embraces an uncomplicated connection to our environment; a little tamed, entirely synergistic, and ultimately stunning. Featured in 2022 on Condé Nast Traveller’s prettiest outdoor restaurants in Europe list, De Kas is hosted in a series of greenhouses that date back to the 1920s. The main restaurant, a former municipal greenhouse, had been meticulously reconstructed with original elements by the former owner, Michelin-star restaurant owner and chef Gert Jan Hageman, who had actively sought sustainable solutions to the inarguably high wastage within the hospital industry.
Today, De Kas’ indoor gardens are carefully cultivated to provide most of the Mediterranean menu’s herbs and vegetables, with the expansive menu also drawing from their garden 20km from the city in the UNESCO World Heritage-listed small town of Beemster. Not that much needs to be sourced outside of De Kas’ own produce, with over 300 herbs and vegetables grown for the restaurant through their own greenhouse and open-air gardens today.
Co-founded by chefs Jos Timmer and Wim de Beer, De Kas’ gourmet and fine-dining crafted dishes honour the deep reverence the founders have for the environment, local ingredients, and the diversity of flavour that comes from vibrant seasonal changes in the Netherlands.
For Chef Timmer and Chef de Beer, the focus on a sustainable kitchen was key when they took over ownership of De Kas in 2018. Having excelled in Michelin-star kitchens throughout much of their careers and together earning a Michelin star together at Rijks in Amsterdam, De Kas came to represent a future that incorporates all the best of hospitality’s organic and zero-waste strategies with an exceptional and creative gourmet menu.
Seasons play a key role in the creative flare on display in the kitchen. There are daily fixed menus based entirely on the seasonal harvest from De Kas’s own gardens or local organic farming partners. The menu is a joy to experience when basking in the warmth of the summer sun in the gardens or tucked comfortably behind the floor-to-ceiling windows in the barn-style venue during winter.
Flavours are intricate and dynamic, without being heavy and overwhelming, especially to those unaccustomed to the wide variety of vegetables and herbs infused into the menu.
Ingredients are carefully selected and picked at the farms and gardens daily to be incorporated into the menu during the lunch and dinner service.
Exquisite options on the seasonal menu have included grilled catfish with sides of young pickle, borlotti, and green beans; delicately roasted white asparagus with kumquat and chervil flowers; fried Tapioca with basil-celery mayo; and favoured marinated Dutch blackberry Chevre Mousse.