There’s a food revolution underway and I, for one, am a big supporter.
Over the past few years I’ve witnessed the colourful explosion of London’s food scene. Interesting new restaurants and cafes have popped up along my small road in East London – the delicious smells from food stalls at the Sunday market always tempt me to indulge my hangover with Tempura Prawns and Haggis and Cheddar Toasties (don’t knock it ‘til you’ve tried it)!
And it’s not just my street; celebrations of food have sprung up all over the city, including events like Taste of London and The Urban Food Fest. I even jumped aboard the foodie train with a good friend of mine, running a monthly supper club in our respective homes.
If you search #foodporn on Instagram you’ll unearth a staggering 11.9 million images of food. From the sublime to the ridiculous, the sheer volume of food-related imagery proves the ever increasing interest in what’s on our plates and in our stomachs.
No longer is food just fuel for our bodies, it’s now inextricably bound up with our social lives. Self-proclaimed ‘foodies’ are planning their free time around what and where they’re going to eat next or which new recipe they’re going to trial. Food is officially cool.
Restaurants continue to flourish, but many of us are now on the lookout for new food experiences that will excite our taste buds and entertain our other senses along the way too.
When ‘fast-food’ just meant MacDonald’s and KFC, any discerning foodie would steer well clear, but now Food Trucks are offering a fast food experience that’s more in line with the ideals of the modern foodie – championing independent producers and offering interesting and innovative dishes in a cool and relaxed setting.
Enter Amsterdam’s newest food festival – Amsterdam Kookt. This is a food festival that’s been on my radar for a few weeks now, and I’m hoping to get over to The Dam to check it out.
It’s being held at NDSM Werf, a short ferry ride from the back of Centraal Station. Lonely Planet has highlighted the area’s ‘post-apocalyptic’ feel; it’s essentially a derelict shipyard that now regularly plays host to a whole load of independent events.
A cool gritty and industrial setting – tick. What else? Food, of course! And by the looks of it, there’ll be a whole lot of it to choose from, including Vietnamese, chocobananas, Dutch weed burgers, wood fired pizzas and loads more.
To promote the event, the organisers had King Kai’s Brute Broodjes come down to give prospective punters a taste of their gourmet sandwiches. Pictures of those sarnies look pretty darn delicious – if the rest of the food trucks are up to that standard I’ll be happy.
Food envy usually hits me hard, so you’ll probably find me clutching at least three dishes simultaneously for fear of missing out on something good.
At events like this I always take the opportunity to try something a bit different and chat to the food truck owners about their produce and the ideas behind their dishes – there’s usually an interesting story to be told! If you want to get closer to the culinary action there’ll also be various workshops and cooking demos from top chefs and foodies – perfect if you want to improve your talents in the kitchen!
For me, a festival just isn’t a festival without some live music, and the organisers of Amsterdam Kookt clearly feel the same way. Alongside the many food trucks, there’ll be a main tent where some of the bigger music acts will play between 4pm and 11pm. I’ve just had a listen to The Handsome Poets, one of the main acts who’ll be hitting the stage. Their distinct brand of feel-good indie pop should have everyone dancing in no time.
There’ll also be different spots throughout the grounds where street musicians and bands can showcase their talents. It’s great to go and check out these lesser known acts – who knows who you might stumble upon.
At the end of each evening you’ll find the resident Kookt DJs spinning some classic 80’s and 90’s tunes so you can get your groove on and work off all the calories you’ve probably consumed!
If you’re looking for some other diversions there’s plenty more to be had. Your delicious grub can be washed down with a tipple or two in the Beer Garden or Wine Piazza. There’s also vintage fashion stalls, photo booths and karaoke … show them what you’re made of folks!
For me it wouldn’t be hard to spend the whole weekend down at NDSM Werf, eating my way through the various food trucks (hopefully) in the glorious Amsterdam sunshine. That said, I’ll probably just make it a one day outing for the sake of my waistline.
Entry into the event is free, so you can save all your pennies and splurge on feeding yourself. Hurray!
Amsterdam Kookt runs from Thursday 30th July until Sunday 2nd August.
Go forth – eat, drink and be merry down at NDSM Werf!
Anna is a Clink food lover who delights in finding the best foodie events in her neighbourhood and beyond. To keep up to date with her foodie adventures, follow her on Twitter.