Hello, I’m Alexandra, in the Netherlands aka De Groene Chef!
I’m a culinary pioneer for peace, one meal at the time. I write for wild-hearted lovers of great food and raw nature, who believe in the holistic ritual of sharing a meal together. For you, who knows food to be a great bridge builder. Not just about eating, but more than anything about relating.
Before I was (re-)born in the kitchen, I had a career as a PA to an MD in logistics management. With hindsight, these jobs are not at all unrelated. First of all it’s about being of service and well-being. It was very much an internationally oriented job. Being a lean management linking pin, I was trained to inventing systematic applications for the elimination of waste. A rather handy asset in a professional kitchen! Time pressure, deadlines and especially supply chain efficiency are as important in a restaurant kitchen as they were in my
past life previous job.
All change in life has a determining moment. My aha! came after my children had moved out of the house for studies and free-spirited living. As a new empty-nester, I started questioning everything. Why I lived in an urban setting, what I did for a living and what I really stood for. How I could contribute more, how I could really step into my power and how I could make a living out of my greatest passion whilst making sure I would land butter side up. It took me a while to
gain enough confidence find the answers, but I got there. Food had always been my main heart game for more than 30 years, so I started cooking professionally. And once I did, the universe conspired in my favor.
I landed a job for the summer season as a kitchen chef in Sweden, rented an apartment in a shared living community, moved from the Netherlands to Nordkoster and changed my daily commute from a Fiat 500 to a self-operated ferry and a rusty bicycle. Kosters Trädgårdar is not just any place. It is a true gem, located in its own fabulous organic vegetable gardens on a very beautiful island. Run and owned by a rockstar permaculture gardener called Helena and her husband Stefan, together with dedicated staff and an always lovely group of Wwoof’ers, this place is a must visit if you ever find yourself in the Swedish Västra Götaland area. The luxury of cooking straight from garden to guest does not get any better and I learned a lot about the plant-based lifestyle.
After that amazing summer, good things did not come to an end. I embarked on a profoundly beautiful experience as a kitchen manager in South Devon in the UK at a place called Embercombe. A social enterprise, inspiring people to take courageous action for a just, peaceful and sustainable world. Besides a handful of managers, Embercombe is mainly run by volunteers and apprentices. I lived in a yurt and my garden to guest cooking expanded into teaching and holding the kitchen space for
young wild-hearts debutant organic garden cooks.
What an amazing time! In February of 2015, I moved to Norway. I had received an offer from Herangtunet Boutique Hotel in Valdres, located at the foot of Jotunheimen National Park. This small hotel with Dutch owners initially had the idea to make their kitchen space and menu greener, more ecological and more sustainable. As is life, at times things simply do not work out the way you hoped for. Our collaboration lasted 3 months. We didn’t match and I took a little time-out to soul search what exactly had gone wrong.
Thankfully I didn’t have to dwell on it for too long because another great opportunity presented itself when I was asked to start consulting for a new vegan start-up restaurant in Gamlebyen, Fredrikstad, Bare Grønt (Just Green). This restaurant was established by a group of young Norwegian world-traveller entrepreneurs who wanted to re-create at their home-turf what they had enjoyed so much along their wide and far journeys. We created and implemented a new menu and started cooking solely plant-based with heartfelt vigor.
My true passion is to share healthy food & cooking with you. My journey has taken me to places of incredible beauty and is still ongoing. If you’d like to change your own passion into a living, just do it! Go for it with your whole heart. The only way to love the life you live is by living the life you love. If you’d like my assistance and the benefit of my experience for your project, contact me.
But enough talk for now. Join me and let’s make some food together ……