The international metropolis, Amsterdam, was founded in the 13th century as a tiny little Fisherman’s village. Deriving its name from the fact that the Dutch built a “Dam” around the few houses to protect them against the rising “Amstel” river at the bank of which the village was located.
At the end of the 16th century, the first Dutch ships set sail for the “Dutch East Indies” (the present day “Indonesia”). Subsequently the “United East India Company” was established in 1602, heralding an unprecedented period of prosperity for the city of Amsterdam. Shortly thereafter the “West India Company” was formed, carrying on trade missions to America and the Caribbean. It was during those journeys that Peter Stuyvesant established a small settlement in the Hudson River in 1624, naming a “Nieuw (New) Amsterdam”, which later became New York.
In the 17th century (also known as a “Golden Age”), the population of Amsterdam grew from 50 000 to 200 000. It was also a time during which the city flourished both financially and culturally. Famous Dutch poets, such as Vondel and P.C Hooft, lived and worked in the city. So did famous Dutch painters like Rembrandt and Van Gogh (although he came later, his paintings are hanging in all the world’s major art museums). In those days, if one asked what was for dinner, the reply would inevitably be “potatoes”, as Van Gogh graphically portrayed in his paintings. There were, however, special occasions when the Dutch were allowed to break with the old plain tradition and went “food crazy”. On those occasions their kitchens were filled with the delicious smells of pancakes; in the old day’s still served with sugar, syrup or bacon.
In the early sixties the first pancake houses were opened, serving pancakes with a diversity of ingredients. Keeping the tradition of using Grandma’s old-fashioned sourdough yeast, Dutch pancakes became more and more popular.
In the eighties, even the smallest town had its own pancake house and new pancakes arrived on the menu. Numerous combinations, international pancakes, wraps, and even grilled pancakes were the result of the ever-growing taste of Dutch pancakes.
It was about that time, in 1979, that a young Dutch boy visited B.C. and fell in love with the country. Back in Holland, he opened two Pancakes Houses – in Amsterdam and Utrecht – but somehow he never forgot B.C.
In 1999, after twenty years of hard work, Martin, Bernadette and their two sons, Jeroen & Erik, brought a piece of their hometown, “Amsterdam,” with its famous pancakes to British Columbia!
Fifteen years after opening the Amsterdam Restaurant, Martin and Bernadette decided to retire from the restaurant industry in favour of living the real Canadian dream; owning a guest ranch at Campbell Lake. They left the restaurant in capable hands.
Working there since day one and putting in countless hours, Jeroen had just the right knowledge to take on a new adventure. Nothing was more exciting to him than serving a great product and watching his family’s dream come true. Amsterdam continues to be family owned and operated by Jeroen and his partner in business and life Karina.