Mark Vaessen - Taste of Amsterdam

Chef Mark Vaessen - SUSHISAMBA

Born and raised in the small village of Elsloo, a Dutch province of Limburg in Southern Holland, chef Mark Vaessen developed an interest in cooking and baking at an early age.

After graduating from SVH leerlingstelsel in the Netherlands, Mark started his career in the kitchen at the age of 17, working as chef de commis in several French fine dining restaurants in Southern Holland and Belgium.

At only 18, Mark moved to Amsterdam to work at the Pulitzer Hotel as an apprentice alongside a huge group of acclaimed young chefs. “The buzz of working with so many talented people, all with different levels and skills, gave me energy, drive and inspiration to learn as much as I could from it,” says Mark.

After his apprenticeship, Mark moved on to the position of Chef de Partie at the Michelin starred restaurant: De Swaen in Oisterwijk, working alongside renowned Dutch chefs Edwin Kats and Cas Spijkers, the latter of whom constantly challenged him as both a mentor and a source of creative inspiration.

In 2003 Mark left the Netherlands to travel the world, learning about cultures and food in Thailand, New Zealand, Australia, Laos, Japan, Malaysia, Cambodia, Sweden, Norway, Lithuania, Ecuador, Caribbean, Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, Galapagos, Greenland, Latvia, Germany and Russia. His travels found him cooking at the highly acclaimed Point Albert Park restaurant in Melbourne.

Upon returning to Amsterdam, Mark joined international restaurant group The Harbour Club as a Corporate Chef. During that time, Mark honed his sushi-making skills and knowledge, working alongside acclaimed Chef Oshima creating sushi and maki rolls with inventive sauces and creative techniques.

Currently, as executive chef of SUSHISAMBA Amsterdam, Mark’s own culinary interpretations are blended into myriad SUSHISAMBA dishes like the Tiradito of Herring, Short Rib Korokke, and the Pollo a la Brasa with huancaina.