Snackization | Top chefs are increasingly specializing in street food


  • Gastrobar Supersoft - credits Nina SlagmolenGastrobar Supersoft - credits Nina Slagmolen
  • Gastrobar Supersoft - credits Nina SlagmolenGastrobar Supersoft - credits Nina Slagmolen
  • Gastrobar Supersoft - credits Nina SlagmolenGastrobar Supersoft - credits Nina Slagmolen
  • Paindemie - credits Chantal ArntsPaindemie - credits Chantal Arnts
  • Paindemie - credits Chantal ArntsPaindemie - credits Chantal Arnts
  • Paindemie - credits Chantal ArntsPaindemie - credits Chantal Arnts
  • Exterieur van Softy's op de Nieuwe Markt in TilburgExterieur van Softy's op de Nieuwe Markt in Tilburg
  • Portret Sander & Koos - Softy's tilburgPortret Sander & Koos - Softy's tilburg
  • Interieur van Softy's op de Nieuwe Markt in TilburgInterieur van Softy's op de Nieuwe Markt in Tilburg
  • Softy's - Milkshake Kimchi en Spicy Ananas softijs.Softy's - Milkshake Kimchi en Spicy Ananas softijs.

Who doesn’t like a good snack from time to time? That goes for most people, of course, including top chefs. Behind the scenes, they have always created the most delicious simple dishes and snacks for themselves and their loved ones. A few years ago, the first chefs came to the realization that many more people would like to taste this. Like chef Gavin Kaysen (*) who already served a late night greasy spoon at the bar in his first restaurant Spoon and Stable years ago, New York’s favorite chef David Chang (**) who started his own fried chicken brand, Chef Schilo van Coevorden of restaurant Taiko (*) in the Conservatorium Hotel in Amsterdam who in collaboration with Febo served the limited edition ‘langoustine frikandel’ or the Valuas croquettes and bitterballen of chef Eric Swaghoven which he has been selling since 2004. These chefs already set this trend back then, this article will continue after a few of these examples of “snackization” of the culinary world where we discuss the inspiration and initiatives that the corona period brought us.

Reading time: 3 minutes.

Clicking on the title will take you to the website of the restaurants mentioned.

Gavin Kaysen snacksized menu

Back in 2016, we spotted Gavin Kaysen serving after dinner snacks at his restaurant Spoon and Stable in Minneapolis. Late at night, you could order a tasty snack at the bar there. This changed every night, every day the restaurant would offer a different type of ‘fancy fast food’-like dish. Only available after 10 o’clock, at the bar of the restaurant. This could be anything, creative ramen noodles (Japanese noodle soup), confit-canard tacos, freshly made corn tortillas or any other genius, fast food-like hunches the kitchen staff has that day.

They still do this today. On Instagram you can follow which snack is transformed into a true work of art at that moment. For example, the other day they had the burger, the “Fhwopper,” which you can see below, with broiled foie gras on top of a burger with truffle aioli, curly lettuce and a toasted truffle bun. You can finish the snack with a matching cocktail or milkshake, the Instagram post even talks about a ‘duck fat caramel milkshake’! Their bar manager Jessi Pollak was even named “2022 World Class US Bartender of the Year” this year by the American Association of Bartenders and beverage brand Diageo, we would love to taste that milkshake.


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Een bericht gedeeld door Spoon and Stable (@spoonandstable)

Snackization by chef Schilo van Coevorden of Taiko restaurant

Chilo van Coevorden is chef at restaurant Taiko at the Conservatorium Hotel in Amsterdam and in Dubai at the Sofitel Dubai The Obelisk and we have seen delicious culinary snacks from him pass by with regularity. Like during the Hotel Night in 2019 in culinary cooperation with FEBO, the Dutch frikandel, the cheese soufflé and the croquette were given a luxurious remake. For example, the frikandel was transformed into the ‘Langoustine frikandel’ with green curry, truffle, saffron and chopped Ketel1 cubes.

This year, we also came across another snack on the Instagram page of Taiko restaurant that really appealed to us! The classic street food dish Shoarma sandwich, he transformed for the Hanos Experience into a true taste sensation, a Wagyu Shoarma. This dish consists of a homemade pita with Japanese Wagyu ribeye, black garlic mayonnaise and white kimchi.

Here is the recipe, to try for yourself!


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Een bericht gedeeld door TAIKO Amsterdam (@taikoamsterdam)

FUKU | Spicy Chicken Sandos by Chef David Chang

FUKU is a fried chicken brand from chef David Chang. It started as a “secret sandwich” at the Momofuku Noodle Bar in New York, which was so popular that the idea of Fuku was born. The concept is built on a chicken sandwich with spicy fried chicken thigh meat. Meanwhile, he serves a variety of fried chicken dishes, side dishes and slushies, based on the same principles he maintains in all his restaurants. Fuku mainly focuses on offering easy and tasty food with both Asian and American influences. This chef has a mission for FUKU: to change the way people view fast casual food. A great example of snackization.

David Chang is the owner of the Momofuku restaurant group. In 2009, his restaurant Momofuku Ko received two Michelin stars and has retained them ever since.


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Een bericht gedeeld door fuku (@fuku)

During the corona crisis years of 2020 and 2021, the culinary world everywhere came to an abrupt halt. Chefs are creatives who need to get their energy out and entrepreneurs who need to pay their people so we saw all kinds of nice initiatives which we wrote about extensively, but one trend we saw really appealed to us with previous examples in mind: the suddenly ample supply of fast food from top chefs! For example, the kitchen team of Waldorf Astoria (**restaurant in-house) suddenly started delivering delicious burgers in gold packaging, chefs like chef Simon Martin (*) in Manchester and chef Soenil Bahadoer (**) from the Eindhoven area started developing and serving divine sandwiches, and chefs like Ron Blaauw (*) and Koos de Wolf (work experience in Michelin starred kitchens) were inspired to start serving fantastic ice cream. Some of these initiatives were a delightful distraction from a terrible time for the industry, others are still a profitable business.

Burgers from the Waldorf Astoria

The Waldorf Astoria in Amsterdam also created a snack during the corona pandemic; these could be ordered through Uber Eats. Two-star chef Sidney Schutte created a culinary burger without overly complicated ingredients, but with products of exceptional quality. This classic burger was made from the French Holstein cow, which is one of the most tasteful and sustainable types of beef in the Netherlands. The burger was finished with Duke of Berkshire bacon, Reypenaar cheese and homemade burger compote. Besides this burger it was also possible to order a Waldorf Caesar salad and fries.

Culinary Lobster Roll from Mana restaurant in Manchester

A very popular snack in the United States and in Canada, the lobster roll. This snack has been around since 1929 and consists of a hot dog-like brioche bun, butter sauce, lettuce and lobster meat. The lobster rolls are often served especially in restaurant on the east coast of America and even McDonald’s, the McLobster, has them on the menu occasionally in that region. During the pandemic, chef Simon Martin of Restaurant Mana, Manchester’s only Michelin-starred restaurant, decided to launch this snack and take it to a new level. Unfortunately, the sandwich was only available for a week, but who knows, maybe it will come back one day, or be inspiration for you to try out as well. Simon Martin’s recipe featured juicy pieces of lobster with a glaze made from the lobster heads. The tail was grilled over binchotan, a Japanese white charcoal, considered the best in the world, and grapewood. This was accompanied by a berry mayonnaise with chives, lime and habanero chili pepper. This was served in a crispy but soft bun. This makes us spontaneously hungry!

Surinamese Bara’s by Soenil Bahadoer

In corona time, chef Soenil Bahadoer also temporarily traded in his star restaurant De Lindenhof in Nuenen, Brabant, for a food truck. In his food truck he combined various snacks from the Surinamese cuisine with a touch of fine dining. During the pandemic, Soenil drove his food truck all over the country. Because you can’t go anywhere with a food truck without a permit, the food truck was only available on private property, such as Herman den Blijker’s Goud restaurant. People sometimes stood in line for two hours to get their hands on a snack from Soenil. The most popular snack was the Bara, and people even invented a dance for it. We also got his Bara in Nuenen and miss the dishes!


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Een bericht gedeeld door SOENIL_BAHADOER (@soenil_bahadoer)

Softy’s in Tilburg | Ice cream with kimchi?

A fine example of soft ice cream new style, is Softy’s in Tilburg. The ice cream store of Koos de Wolf (who previously worked at Vane in Eindhoven and Pure C** in Cadzand) and Sander Overweg started as a “joke” in corona time. You will find freshly tapped and organic ice cream made from local milk. Here the guest has the choice of special flavor combinations such as ice cream with kimchi, champagne, limoncello, spicy pineapple, Misoyaki and funky strawberry with strawberries, fennel and olive! Besides the ice cream store at the Oude Markt 1 in Tilburg, they also have a food truck.

Ron Gastrobar Supersoft

Ron Blaauw is one of those chefs who takes a lot of time to develop new more accessible concepts besides his Ron Gastrobar with 1 Michelin star. In 2021, chef Ron Blaauw opened his gourmet ice cream parlor in Laren next to his Ron Gastrobar Indonesia. When you step inside one of Ron Blaauw’s restaurants, both the food and the interior are an experience. This is no different in his ice cream parlor.

Each ice cream is prepared for you á la minute. You can choose from 12 different flavors daily. You finish your ice cream with a topping and sauce of your choice. There are also some specials such as the ‘strawberry hill’, ‘tropical Ronny’ or ‘sticky banana’. Which flavor combination will you go for?

These initiatives left us wanting more and some chefs had the same sentiment. The entrepreneurs behind the Breda Group, for example, have translated the delicious sandwiches they served in their restaurant Maris Piper during the crisis into a sandwich bar in Amsterdam: Paindemie. A great example of how you can enjoy a delicious, culinary snack at a good price as a lover of the culinary world. But they’re not lagging in Paris either, where they’ve always had a penchant for good products. With now culinary kebab with delicious (fancy) flavor combinations at Lüks Kebab.

Paindemie of the Breda Group

The founders of Paindemie are the people behind The Breda Horeca Group, Johanneke van Iwaarden, Guillaume de Beer, Freek van Noortwijk and Vagarsh Mogatseljan. They run the popular Amsterdam hospitality businesses Maris Piper, BREDA and now Paindemie. This business focuses mainly on bread, specifically the French type of bread Pain de Mie. Together with their team and bakery Kaandorp they have managed to recreate the French type of bread and use it as the basis for their dishes. You can go here for burgers, hot dogs, fries and homemade sauces. Examples of their special sandwiches are the burger tosti, hotdog tosti, PFC or, pandemic fried chicken tosti. Which one are you going for? Our colleagues love the sandwiches here.

Culinary kebab in Paris | Lüks Kebab

Back in 2016, we wrote about the fancy kebabs of Hugo Desnoyer, the most famous quality butcher in Paris and in 2019 we came across Kebab Queen in London. In 2018, chef Chris Naylor of Restaurant Vermeer held a pop-up doner restaurant at the Barbizon Palace during Hotel Night, we wrote about this in an article about the shoarma sandwich. Now we came across Lüks Kebab in Paris. This culinary kebab store was founded by Kamal Zaoui and Nordine Barra. Fans of this snack rush daily to one of their two businesses in Paris. What makes it so special? The ingredients come from the best butcher and baker in town, the products are bought fresh daily and everything is homemade. You will find, among others, the combination of French veal with turkey but also special combinations with, for example, kebab meat, burrata stracciatella, arugula and truffle carpaccio with a secret sauce.

Who will follow? We would love to come and taste!

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