Me and the BF visit the Neighbourfood Market quite often and we even organised a first edition in Utrecht, so we are big fan of the concept and the amazing food thats sold there. Thats how we met Luuk Vosters too. Luuk sells these amazing pinchos and the one we seriously fell in love with is the pincho with a Chistorra sausage. Today we talk to Luuk and find out more about his passion for food.
Profession, Catering Basque pintxos and drinks, also selling my pintxos at Sunday markets throughout the city. A new ´to be launched´ product is me giving workshops: ´Learn how to make your favorite pintxo´.
Website pintxo.nl /fb PintXo ams/ twitter PINTXOnl
When and why did you start Pintxo?
01-2011, because of my love for the pintxo- experience that I got to know while living in the North of Spain for almost four years!
Why so passionate about food?
I have lived in the North of Spain and there I experienced that eating has so much more importance and is a social part of life and a big reason for getting together. People always talk about food, fresh vegetables, about their mothers kitchen garden and recipes. Basically the most important thing is the quality of the food. Parsley in Spain has a lot more taste then the ones we buy here! All of this made me so enthusiastic and I love “the outdoor culture´ that the Basque people have! I guess this is where my passion got me started. Going out to have some pintxos is the best entertainment you can get! You choose various bars and have the best pintxos the bar is popular for, taste the best ristotto, carrilleras (cheeks) or pulpo (squid). All of this is ofcourse combined with a perfect vino tinto or a spectacular Txakoli. The experience is complete, and of course with good company the best.
Who learned you how to cook?
By just doing it, I learned a lot from doing mini-internships in pintxo bars in the old part of San Sebastian, I continued to try new things and also asked my Basque friends for suggestions. They are super proud that I made the Bask pintxos part of my living, so they are always willing to help! The latest suggestion was the pintxo made with morcilla (a type of black pudding) with a home made peppers marmelade and green grilled peppers on top! Awesome!
Where do you get your inspiration from to cook?
As mentioned above, from my friends, the internet, try outs, even transforming existing dishes to pintxos! Being creative, thinking about good products and combine them in to a pintxos!
The Northern Spanish one, but, I also love burritos and sushi too!
Vegetarian Burrito with a lot of cilantro!
‘Recetas de la tele’, from Carlos Arguiñano. Why? Because the author is so much fun and he is a cook that respects the purity of perfect ingredients. Here in Holland I notice we need to use a lot of spices to actually get a dish to taste a certain way. In the Basque country ingredients already have so much flavor, so why spice them up? You would ruin its flavors completely.
What 3 ingredients would we always find in your kitchen?
Since the pintxo kitchen is so divers, I could not downgrade my kitchen to just three ingredients.
Most memorable moment in the kitchen?
Nice question! San Juan is an important ´dia de fiesta de la la ciudad´. A friend organized a party and asked me to come and serve pintxos for 150 people! Come on, a Dutch guy just started dedicating his professional life to making pintxos being asked to do something like this, I just had to. The pressure was on and I prepared everything myself in a Txoko (which is a Basque gastronomic society mainly for men where they meet up to cook, play cards and sing and talk). Gladly my friend helped me prepare everything and we served the food together. Everybody got super exited as I gave my Pintxos a European twist. Pulling this one off together with my friends in Donosti, is one of the nicest experiences I can think of. Another one is cooking at the sunday markets, there are always friends visiting from abroad, so its a lot of fun doing that together. Also the fact that customers keep coming back for my pintxos is a very big compliment.
Dish you master?
Without thinking about it too much, today I would serve a perfect burrito as I mentioned above! Beans, rice, melted cheese, salad, a good hot sauce, cream cheese and a lot of cilantro and ofcourse guacamole! If I would be serving a culinary dish, it would be my cod-bechamel stuffed grilled red peppers, carrilleraras and my perfect crema catalana!
What pintxo are you most proud of? What wine would go best with that?
My favorite pintxos is the one with morcillo (blood sausage/ black pudding) with a red pepper marmelade and the best wine to serve with it (Sorry to say but that is the wine that’s for sale at the supermarket around the corner) a Campo viejo/ Crianza tempranillo. Works like a charm!
There are like five that I would never NOT make, but to name one, is the ´Txaka´: crab salad served with shrimps. I think its because it looks good and it tastes nice and fresh because I use some grated ginger in it. I love to pour the Txakoli, the fresh and crackling white wine with it, summerish and a typical wine from the Basque country!
Well, within Amsterdam I am often disappointed by the bad service in a lot of restaurants. If I go out to eat, I prefer to go to ´de Goudfazant´, ‘Moder’, ‘Rijsel’ or ‘Wilde Zwijnen’. Last weekend I was at Pllek and the dish I had was very good, the services just acceptable 😉 I am not trying to make a big fuss about the service in Amsterdam, so my best suggestion would be; always order a bottle of wine, so your never short on a drink! 😉 Other cool places are, if not to busy, Brouwerij het IJ, Badhuis, Hesp, Harlem!!
Food you had today?
Good breakfast! My special breakfast is: slightly baked tomato, two baked eggs, half a avocado and good hot sauce, freshly squeezed orange juice and a big breakfast café con leche! A day couldn´t start better!
Recipe of the dish you master The variety of the pintxos together…
We know you are at the Sunday Market every month, but where can we find you and buy your products? Foodmarkets in Amsterdam, mostly on Sundays. First and third Sunday Westerpark, second at Amstelpark and fourth Sunday at Park Frankendael. On my website I have a list of markets when and where. Please have a look at www.pintxo.nl
Recipe for the Crab salad pintxo ~ 80 pieces
You can pair this with a beautiful white Txakoli wine!
500 gram surimi – cubes
500 gram crab legs
1 bunch of parsley (half goes through the mixture, half is sprinkled on top)
1 ginger (size of 2 pickles) grated
lemon zest of 1 lemon
300 gr cream cheese
200 gram mayonaise
1,5 kg medium shrimps (fresh shrimps, cooked with shell on)
Pepper & Salt
Peel the shrimp, rinse well and drain on paper towel. Be sure to use a good quality shrimp to get that nice orange color.
Roughly chop up the surimi and crab legs.
In a bowl, mix ginger, lemon zest, cream cheese and mayo, ground pepper and half of the parsley mixture.
Whisk till you get a nice smooth mixture ( you can use a hand mixer)
Add in the “crab” taste and season with salt and pepper.
Be gentle with the mayo as you don’t want it to dominate in flavor.
Use a nice piece of bread, cut it up in to thick slices, add some of the crab mixture on top, sprinkle a little parsley and place the shrimp on top.
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