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A coffee with Pien

A coffee with Pien

Hi Pien, welcome to the Lepelclub journal. We’re so happy to have you here with us! First thing’s first, can you tell us a little more about yourself?

Thank you for the warm welcome! And sure. I’m a 25 year old girl living In Amsterdam. I recently finished my law degree, but instead of starting at a big firm, I’m working full time as a content creator and recipe developer - and loving every part of It!

You are the cuisine princess of the Netherlands! When did your passion for cooking start?

Food has always played a big role in my life. My earliest memories are always around the table with family - at home, on vacation, at a restaurant or at my grandparents' house. The table was always set and there was food in abundance. While other kids liked pizza, French fries and pancakes, I always chose mussels or paella as my favorite food. Learning to cook came later in my life, I think I was about 15/16 years old. My friends and I learned to cook during our Friday nights before we went out. I don't think I would want to taste those recipes again, because I remember the risotto was always overcooked and we drank a terrible cheap white wine with it. But still, that's how my love of cooking started, and at its root, that's still what cooking is all about for me: getting together with loved ones to dine together for hours.

Can you tell us a bit more about your books and how the idea of Pien Laat Haar Eten Zien initially came about?

I stumbled into the world of content creation all thanks to a lucky twist of fate and the COVID-19 pandemic. When the pandemic hit, I decided to share my love for all thing food on Instagram, and fast forward three years, I’ve somehow ended up with two bestselling cookbooks. I never intended on this to happen, but every day I’m grateful that this is my day-to-day job now. I enjoy cooking, I enjoy the creativity that comes with creating new recipes and especially, I love writing cookbooks. When creating a cookbook, everything comes together: developing the recipes, as well as storytelling, photography and complete styling from the tablecloths to the tableware.  

If you could pick your favorite dish to make, what would be it?

One of my favorite things to make as a dinner party host is a rich, slow-cooked ragù, like a short rib ragù. I prepare it during the day and let it simmer for about 6-7 hours. It's so easy to serve when people are coming over, because it's ready when your guests arrive, and all you have to do is serve it with pasta and lots of pecorino - it's a crowd pleaser. Another favorite dish to make is risotto, because I enjoy the process of making it with my friends. I truly believe that people who make risotto together have better conversations than those sitting at the table. There is just something magical about stirring the risotto that makes for the best conversations - so if you have someone visiting with whom you need to have a good conversation, opt for risotto.

Everyone is cooking your recipes! What's one special occasion from a follower that has left a lasting impression on you?

Every time people tell me they enjoy making my recipes, I gloat. But something that will always stick with me are the days around Christmas. Last Christmas, I got hundreds of pictures from people who had made my recipes for family and said it was a great success. The idea of so many people making my recipes during Christmas remains an honor.

You have recently moved into a new apartment. When hosting a dinner party for friends, what is a ‘must’ tableware item to include to the setting?

For me, a dinner table is not complete if there are no candles on it, so I love to alternate gold or silver candlesticks with colorful candles or cylinder vases with pillar candles. And of course - last but not least: always including fun glassware for cocktails, wine or champagne, ideally the adorable bow coupes from Lepelclub! 

And finally, how do you hope to stir things up in the future?

I am always working on the next project and I absolutely cannot sit still. Essentially, of course, I want to create many more delicious recipes and inspire people to cook on a daily basis, and in the meantime, I'm working on some great new projects. I'm just convinced that working in silence and letting the results speak for themselves works best for me - so stay tuned!

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