Discover Benelux, Issue 21, September 2015

Page 62

2_DiscoverBenelux_Issue21_Sep_2015_Q9_Scan Magazine 1 28/08/2015 20:46 Page 62

Discover Benelux | Eat, Drink & Sleep in the Nine Streets | Pompadour

Keeping artisanal recipes alive When visiting the Nine Streets in Amsterdam, there is one place one simply cannot resist passing by. Chocolaterie Pompadour is one of the best artisan patisseries and chocolateries in the country, and has a private tearoom where homemade cakes and chocolates are served. TEXT: BERTHE VAN DEN HURK | PHOTOS: RUUD VAN DE GRAAF, TELEVIEW

“Everything starts with excellent raw materials,” says Bram Ouwehand, co-owner of Chocolaterie Pompadour. “All our products are pure and honest. Our bakery practically doesn’t use semis. We bake biscuits in at least 15 variations, and all without the powders that are designed to save our work.” Only the very best ingredients are good enough for the Pompadour bakery. The puff pastry for the croissants is treated as long as it takes for an optimal and perfect result. And the chocolate Pompadour uses in their products, is Valrhona chocolate from France. This is, according to Pompadour, the very best chocolate and only used by top chefs and patissiers. This approach has been successful for as long as Pompadou has existed, which is 52 years.

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Bram Ouwehand, his partner Escu Gabriels and their staff travel all over Europe to participate in workshops and lectures. Ouwehand: “We often take courses in France, Belgium and Germany. We learn a lot from the great chefs; surprising combinations or a different way of processing products. Recipes are always evolving.” The knowledge they gain is not something they want to keep secret. According to Ouwehand it is important to share the knowledge. Gabriels passes on his gained knowledge as a teacher at a bakery college in Bruges, Belgium. Ouwehand: “Many beautiful elements and recipes are almost extinct because of the large industrial bakers. This artesian profession is becoming more and more

exclusive, which is obviously very unfortunate. We use many old-fashioned recipes, but give it our own signature.” The tearoom is nothing less than spectacular, exactly how a tearoom should look like. The panelling was made for the town hall of Mortsel in 1795. Now, 175 years later, it is being re-used in Amsterdam, at the tearoom of Chocolaterie Pompadour. The financiers, made of Spanish almonds, and beurre noisettes, are served with each cup of coffee. There are many special pastries available, like blanc manger, miserable, javanais. Each and every one of them are highly tasteworthy.