You might have heard the good news: we're having a baby! Well, a book baby, that is. After years of bringing you the best of the best of travel tips on the web, we decided to take pen (or printing press) to page & bring you an amazing, practical, beautiful guidebook to the city that is nearest & dearest to our heart. Which city is that, you ask? Why, Amsterdam of course! So now it's time for the countdown to begin.
As our publishing date grows ever closer, we want to give you some sneak peeks into what's to come to get you as excited as we are. Our book is nothing without the incredible shops, restaurants, bars & businesses we love, so it's important to us that you get to know them a bit as well. That's why, until the launch of our book, we are going to be bringing you interviews with the inspiring founders of some of our very favourite spots.
If you've ever been to De Pijp, then we can bet you've eaten at the cosy, intimate restaurant Café Caron or its little sister Petit Caron. The talented team (who just so happens to be family) behind them are as warm & welcoming as their restaurants. We got to chat with Tom Caron, one of the brothers behind the restaurants, about chefs they look up to, how to source wines & so much more.
gloobles: Firstly, what is it like to work together as a family?
Tom: Horrible! Haha, I'm kidding, of course! It's really nice to work together. We respect each other a lot in the roles that we've got & therefore know what to expect from each other.
gloobles: It's probably important to have those firm delineations to keep things running smoothly. Could you walk us through your culinary journey? How did you guys end up opening Café Caron?
Tom: Well I used to organise dance events & festivals, and David was a manager at Spaghetteria. At a certain point, David mentioned to me that he wanted to manage his own place instead of somebody else's, which sparked an idea. Shortly after, we decided to open Café Caron. Alain (our father) was doing all sorts of jobs across Dutch & French gastronomy, but since we planned to use our last name, he couldn't help but join us at the restaurant.
gloobles: A true family affair. How would you describe your style of cooking?
Tom: French bistronomy. Not too complicated & very tasteful.
gloobles: That's a pretty good summation. We love your cosy little corner in De Pijp! Why did you choose to locate there?
Tom: We always wanted a corner with lots of glass windows & a terrace. We really got lucky finding this place! The funny thing is that someone else had already rented the location just before us, so we had to keep searching for another location. Eventually, after searching for a year without any real results, we got to know the people who'd rented the location & they were willing to sell it to us...therefore we still think this place was meant to be!
gloobles: We think it suits you guys so well; we couldn't imagine a better location. Which chefs do you look up to most?
Tom: Well, that's hard! So many. Passart, Ducasse, Bocuse... all the classic French chefs but also all chefs who are in the kitchen serving the best meals day in & day out. Most people have no idea how much organisation & hard work goes down in the kitchen of a restaurant!
gloobles: Totally. When everything is so polished up front, it's difficult for diners to imagine the chaos & intensity behind the scenes. How do you sources your wines? What about your produce?
Tom: David, Julian & Ed are in charge of the wines. They are always busy with our wine list to make it into something really special. A little tip: ask for the little red book next time you're here :).
gloobles: Oooh a little red book! Even better than a little black book. Do you have a favourite dish on the menu?
Tom: We change our menu quite a lot, but the beetroot salad with rosemary mayonnaise & old Dutch cheese has been on it since the beginning. It's the undefeated champion at Café Caron.
gloobles: It just so happens to be one of our favourite dishes! Is there a dish you'd love to have on the menu that isn't there?
Tom: We put all dishes we really want on the menu haha. It's one of the perks of being your own boss.
gloobles: You have total control, which is not too shabby. If you're not dining at Café Caron or Petit Caron, where do you like to eat in Amsterdam?
gloobles: All super delicious places! Do you cook at home? What are you making when you do?
Tom: We all cook at home a lot. It's simple, straightforward dishes that are mostly vegetarian like grilled cabbage with mushrooms or a salad with carrot, cantaloupe & tarragon.
gloobles: Can we come over for dinner?! What would you say is the best food destination?
Tom: There are many great destinations. Italy never disappoints, Japan is awesome & so are Paris & San Sebastian. There are great chefs everywhere in teh world! Our Mediterranean neighbours have it best with the grandmothers preparing the meals.
gloobles: Too many delicious things to eat, too little time. Alright, just one more. What's your favourite restaurant in the world?
Tom: That question is impossible to answer...