This year the iconic Bridges alters its course to stay on track with what is happening in the always-moving culinary world. Within the volatility of this unique Amsterdam location, Executive Chef Andrès Delpeut gives us an insight into his passion and inspiration.
In the heart of the city, in between the oldest canals of Amsterdam and the historical university area, Bridges, part of Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam, holds a long history. From convent, Admiralty of the navy to City Hall, the location becomes a renowned place of hospitality in 1992 when The Grand opens its doors. The interesting architecture captures solemn Dutch classicism to expressionist style of the ‘Amsterdam School’, giving away secret spaces and cozy areas with well thought of details in atmosphere and culinary creations.
Executive Chef Andrès Delpeut
‘My culinary aspiration started at a young age with my two passionate aunts who cooked for larger groups, and who showed me next to their fine food also the importance of management and organization. I was trained by two very respected Dutch chefs and received my first Michelin star at the age of twenty-six. This puts pressure on any young chef, but it only motivated me more to pursuit my passion. Through the ‘Alliance Gastronomique’ I became friends with Ron Blaauw, an iconic Amsterdam chef who has marked the city’s culinary future and we share a dedication to train and inspire the new generation of Amsterdam chefs and hospitality professionals.’
‘My passion for Bridges is the versatility of the location; we have varied concepts to enjoy a special moment and this brings a lot of diversity in my kitchen. You can go for just a drink and some bites, make a choice from the fun and worldly menu at Bridges BarBistro, or have an even more refined dining experience at Michelin-star restaurant Bridges Dining. With the Chef’s Table located in the heart of the kitchen we offer you a special dining experience with a unique interaction between the guests and the kitchen team. In the Private Dining room, with an exclusive cocktail station, a cigar display and a selection of exclusive whiskies you can enjoy a 4, 5 or 6 course menu for up to twelve people. And when weather permits, we will also serve in the inner courtyard garden, that is a heaven of peace and silence.’
Amsterdam is a busy capital, but also very much a village to its inhabitants. I love the humor and big mouth mentality of the original ‘Amsterdammer’. Next to my trusted suppliers I have a few traditional local shops, that complement my creations, like my butcher. He has a sausage machine in his cellar and I bring him leftover meat trimmings that we turn into delicious ‘merguez’ sausages. Work becomes passion when you talk to entrepreneurs who put everything into their job and way of life.’
‘The sommelier has now taken a much more interesting part of the trade. There is a whole new generation of young professionals who, thanks to their generation, have traveled the world and choose to study and work in the wine business. Therefore food and wine pairing has become an inspirational addition by creating new dishes that bring surprising taste sensations. Our internationally much praised Wine Director Lotte Wolf, has a passion for exciting wines with an organic story. She grows her own wine in Swartland, South Africa, bringing an important addition in know-how and professional interaction into our choices of wines and inspiration to the team.’
Bridges BarBistro concept
‘At Bridges BarBistro and the adjacent garden you can enjoy an all-day menu with worldly influences. We call it ‘indulgence without rules or borders’; forget the classical order and choose what you like. We are in the big city and the traditional times of when one normally would eat or drink have changed. We created a menu with a large variation of playful and accessibly priced small dishes, with a lot of taste and worldly ingredients; from famous Dutch bitterballs to oysters and from tom kha kai to Dover sole.’
Michelin restaurant Bridges Dining is all about classic, creative dishes with international influences and a unique twist; unexpected combinations that work. At Bridges Dining we offer an extensive à la carte menu and a special Menu du Chef of 4, 5 or 6 courses; perfect for a relaxing afternoon or evening of wining & dining. The brand new Chef’s Table is a new feature that we offer in Bridges Dining. The Chef’s Table is located in the heart of the kitchen, literally next to the stove, where you can have a unique dining experience. You are on top of the dishes the kitchen team prepares and you have the chance to interact with them. A truly unique experience’.
With the Bridges concept we want to improve the accessibility of fine food with a low threshold and the possibility to choose according to your culinary preference.
The pastry section is also a very important part of our kitchen; the only thing we don’t make ourselves is bread. It is a dream I cherish, though time and space consuming and we are very happy with our bread delivery ‘by Menno’, a passionate bread maker who learned the trade in Paris. He is one of the best traditional bread makers of our country.’
Café de Flore
‘Travelling and visiting mythical places is a must to trigger your creativity. When visiting Paris, one of my favourite classics for breakfast is Café de Flore. Here you still find a stronghold of quality and ambiance with often the same ‘garçons’, who exactly know how to treat their guests. They are quick and favour the customer at all times in their own special way, with tongue in cheek and a sometimes cynic but always fun attitude. Like Café de Flore, we have a wide range of visitors and to apprehend “the mood of the guest” is a talent we applaud. Also in the kitchen I find the knowledge of basic classic French techniques very important. To make unexpected combinations you need to know the basics of for instance a good broth or sauce.’
With the redesign of Bridges by Scottish architect Jim Hamilton, you will detect an interesting use of the different spaces and the value of materials and colors. In Bridges BarBistro colourful “Cobra art” is placed on the ceiling and the bright green seating mixed with classic marble tables, brings an ambiance of conviviality that overlooks the beautiful inner garden. Bridges Dining, in tones of black and gold with comfortable seating and interesting art, has a stunning view on the canal. The large marble bar in between the spaces invites you for a drink while waiting for your table or just a moment of relaxation.
The decorative sculptural brass screens in the restaurant create a soft backdrop between Bridges BarBistro and Bridges Dining. The soft, intertwining leave pattern, was inspired by the negative patterns of the spaces in between the natural foliage in the garden. Guests dining in Bridges Dining, are effectively staring through the trees into Bridges BarBistro and out to the garden beyond. And in reverse, guests of Bridges BarBistro get to look through the golden leaves, to a fine dining room sheltered within the trees. The fresco of intricate screens, adds a justified layer of glamour, creating a golden tree lined walkway, on route to the restaurant.
Every first Friday of the month, Bridges BarBistro organizes the ‘Oyster Hour’ to cheers to the weekend with a nice glass of wine, beer or a tasty cocktail and free oysters between 6 pm and 7 pm.
Oudezijds Voorburgwal 197