in sydney now: GREENHOUSE by Joost…
Posted in creative ventures, food, pia's photos, sydney March 9th, 2011 by pia

“I have designed the restaurant in reverse. I’ve started at the end and worked back. My dream has always been to build a restaurant that creates no waste and now I believe I can achieve it!” – Joost Bakker

Last Friday, Romain & I had the pleasure of enjoying breakfast + a catch up with my dear friend Jenni at Joost Bakker’s GREENHOUSE. I’ve been a fan of Joost’s work since learning about him a few years back, and was so excited to hear via gourmet traveller that his latest venture was right here in Sydney. Over the years, Joost has been commissioned to design furniture, spaces, and vertical gardens in his signature style that brings together nature and industry. His focus on sustainability in all his projects is what drew me to his work, and it was such a treat to finally experience one of his creations in the flesh…

For me, stepping inside GREENHOUSE was like stepping into the heart of Amsterdam – from the use of space, colour, decor, and inventiveness  – there is a wonderful air of the unconstrained, which is the very characteristic that I love most about Amsterdam.

While enjoying a doughnut and cuppa, I was fortunate to meet Georgina, one of the talented designers on the team. She spoke about the design and  creation of the restaurant, and how they’d love to find a permanent place for it in Sydney (yes, please!). Thanks to the lovely Georgina, I also got a chance to meet Joost on the rooftop garden + bar…

The GREENHOUSE philosophy is about “lifestyle and the many choices that can be made; from material choices to fashion, food and ultimately waste.” This is evident through the space – everything has been made from recycled materials, including the bathroom doors and jar covered lights…

GREENHOUSE is only open for another couple of weeks, so if you live in Sydney, I highly recommend you go and check it out while you can. Sitting on Campbells Cove, just opposite the Opera House on the other side of the quay, it’s well worth it just to drink in the view on the rooftop terrace, surrounded by strawberries and herbs of all varieties…

Congrats to Joost and his incredible team, here’s hoping for a permanent GREENHOUSE in Sydney!



photos by Pia Jane Bijkerk & Jenni Booth.

many thanks to the cook’s atelier…
Posted in food, france October 28th, 2010 by pia

photograph by Jen Altman

Marjorie Taylor from The Cook’s Atelier has cooked up a delicious storm in the (blog)house kitchen this past month. Today in the kitchen you’ll find her last recipe -a classic apple tart – which completes her autumn menu & her stay here. What a treat it’s been to have Marjorie here this month. I hope you’ve all enjoyed her recipes and incredible photographs. Here for easy reference is her complete autumn menu:

roasted cream of cauliflower soup
rôti de veau
winter market salad
apple tart & pâte sucrée

You can keep in touch with Marjorie by following her blog, and she also has lots of great pics on flickr.  For now though,  please join me in saying a big merci beaucoup to Marjorie for being here. Merci Marjorie! Please come back again, you’re welcome anytime. x

a new guest cook in the (blog)house kitchen…
Posted in (blog)house news, food, france September 29th, 2010 by pia

all images in this post are by photographer Jen Altman

Today and for the month of October,  I’m delighted to welcome a very special guest cook to the (blog)house. But before I introduce you, I want to say a big thank you to Yvette for holding up the fort for so long! She was so self-sufficient –  baking up irish tea brack when the mood & weather struck, serving up rhubarb compote, and sharing some Dutch Fare with us all among so many other delicious recipes over the course of the last few months – beside taking full advantage of her enthusiasm to cook for others, I got very used to her company. Alas, we must say au revoir to my dear friend Yvette for now, and let her enjoy the fruits of her labor with her new cookbook, home made.  Merci Yvette,  for being such a generous, wonderful, fun guest. Until next time!


But with this au revoir comes a warm and heartfelt bonjour! to our new (blog)house kitchen guest.  Would you like to meet her? Not only is this special guest a very talented cook, inspired by markets and small artisan producers, but she also runs cooking classes and market tours, hosts wonderful evenings called “dinner with the cook”, and is committed to living a sustainable life.  When she moved to Burgundy in France, she ditched her car and as she says so eloquently  “took to the proverbial “French bike” adorned with a basket of market produce and flowers as my preferred choice for transportation.”

Please join me in giving a very warm welcome to Marjorie Taylor, the cook herself from one my of favourite places, The Cook’s Atelier

Marjorie has prepared a fabulous Autumn menu, just for us here in the (blog)house, each accompanied by beautiful photographs she has taken herself. And during the month of October she will be sharing a recipe or two from the menu each week, starting this week with the entrée. There will be 5 recipes altogether. Marjorie notes,

“this menu is the perfect example of an autumn menu for dinner with the cook, or the type of menu that we would prepare for a market tour and cooking class.  Everything is made from scratch and guests enjoy a convivial dinner at a long, zinc topped French farm table.  Dinner with the cook is like a supper club, only guests help prepare the menu for the evening. ”

How utterly marvelous. Thank you dear Marjorie for taking the time to share these amazing recipes with us, and to give us all a delicious taste of what dinner is like chez vous.

Mes amis, I hope Marjorie’s October-long stay in the (blog)house kitchen will inspire you in your own kitchens. Perhaps her stay will also inspire you to enjoy a weekend in burgundy, dining at The Cook’s Atelier table. Perhaps we could go together.


Click here to view Marjorie’s first recipe, Roasted Cream of Cauliflower Soup.

All images in this post are by photographer Jen Altman.

distracted: inspiration from around the blogosphere
Posted in blog favourites, food, photographers September 2nd, 2010 by pia

this plum tree and this recipe for plum oatmeal bread, from saipua.


jennifer causey’s new online portfolio.


…oh so west coast canada, portfolio of Jennilee Marigomen, found via vic (who just got back from paris, check out her beautiful paris pics here).


I’m distracted by all of the above this morning, and some, so I thought I’d distract you too.

the homemade book review + launch: super leuk!!
Posted in amsterdam, books, food, stylists August 31st, 2010 by pia

It’s Tuesday afternoon, the sun is appearing from out behind wispy clouds, and I’m sitting at my dining table with a cup of tea, flicking through Yvette’s new and incredibly inspiring cookbook Homemade, remembering the fun of Thursday night’s private book launch at Foam. Oh what a night! And oh, what a book. It now takes pride of place in my home…

Would you like to take a little peak inside Homemade with me? I’ll pour you a cup of tea while you peruse it’s pages…

that little vessel on the left page is a gift I brought back with me from Australia at the beginning of this year for Yvette – it’s a sam robinson piece, and I’m thrilled to see yvette has used it as a prop in homemade! super leuk.


I don’t know what I love more – the paper cut out chapter openers, the how-to sections, the personal stories and funny anecdotes peppered throughout the book, the photography (which will knock your socks off), the menu suggestions and “don’t forget the dog” section toward the end of the book, Yvette’s own handmade font, the unique and incredibly delicious recipes, the drawings,… the list goes on.  Yvette has created a seriously unique cook- & DIY book, with over 200 recipes and ideas for home cooking, and I have no doubt it is going to be a great success, it’s truly beautiful…

here is friend Floris who makes the best patés and terrines ever, he has his own shop here in Amsterdam, I’ll take you there one day soon!


As far as the recipes go, what should I try first?  The lentil, apple & coriander salad (sounds like the perfect lunch to me!), oven baked rissotto with sausage and paprika, zucchini cakes with basil cream, camembert & apricot jam toasted sandwiches, hang op… just to name a few,  it’s all so gooood.  The book is only in Dutch at this stage,  but I’m hoping it will be translated into English soon, I’ll keep you posted about that.

Now, let me tell you about the book launch party last Thursday night! Foam Café was filled to the brim with press, publishers, Yvette’s close friends and family, and the very lovely and very famous French chef, Stéphane Reynaud.  Yvette presented the first copy of her book to Stéphane as he has been a great inspiration to her. I was terribly nervous for her when she was standing up there in front of all those people, I thought my heart was going to pound right out of my chest and into my wine glass. But she was amazing, and didn’t look one bit nervous while she addressed everyone and asked Stéphane to sign her book.  I was able to snap some fun photos of the presentation, would you like to see?

Yvette’s publisher Fontaine Uitgevers is also the publisher of the Dutch version of Stéphane’s new book 365 , which the first copy was presented to him along with Yvette’s book. And I was also pleased to find out from Stéphane that my publisher (that be Murdoch books) is publishing the English version of 365, and it will launch in Australia this coming month, yeah! I had a great long chat with Stéphane, it was the first time I’d met him, he’s super nice. We had lots to talk about, he is really looking forward to visiting Australia this coming month – he loves the place, and loves the food! I was thrilled to hear and see his enthusiasm for Australian fare.

here is yvette at the signing table, signing away like a champ!

So there you go, that was last week’s fun. Ah but wait, there’s more! We had a very special house guest this weekend, perhaps you recall her pretty face from here, here, here and here

Yes, it’s marie! Yvette had a huge catering job to attend to over the weekend and asked if we’d babysit, of course we said yes. Marie was so well-behaved and completely charming. We did lots of things together – we had afternoon naps together on the couch, we went for walks, and on Sunday morning when she heard Romain get out of bed she jumped off the couch, ran into the bedroom with tail wagging furiously and right up into the bed to say good morning, giving us both lots of kisses and cuddles. On Sunday it was raining all day and we soon realised she had no intention of getting out there in the rain, instead she spent the entire day on the couch, and I spent the day looking over at her, snapping photos of her various couch surfing positions, check her out…

Classic! I miss her already. And did someone just say she can’t get any cuter? Umm, well, take a look at this…


To find out more about Yvette van Boven’s new cookbook Homemade, click here.

All photography in Homemade by Oof Verschuren.

PS marie sat on that cushion while Yvette styled the biscuits all around her, and then posed for the camera! I remember Yvette & Oof showing me the pic when they took it, she is the ultimate photo-friendly pup, gotta love her.