Melchor Soto Fernandez - Taste of Amsterdam

“My passion for the hospitality industry comes from my family. My mother, aunts and uncles all spent a lot of time in the kitchen, and from an early age I always watched. When our family came together the table was always filled with delicious food. To gain as much experience as possible i’ve always worked a fulltime job in the kitchen. In 2012 I ended up at The Harbour Club, where I started as Chef de Partie and eventually became Sous Chef. After 2,5 years in, I left to travel and work in Vancouver and Toronto for nearly a year. After this I also went to Japan.

In Vancouver I started working in a small Japanese Canadian restaurant with a focus on shared dining, called Pidgin. There I’ve gained a lot of experience in working with a small team, next to an established Japanese chef. In Toronto, I expanded my experience in a Latin Street Food restaurant, where I worked with a lot of Latin flavours such as Ceviche, BBQ empanadas and delicious fresh chorizo. Further experience with the Chinese cuisine I gained working in a Canadian Chinese restaurant, where I learned to make dumpling and learned the skill of preparing Peking duck. After my trip to Canada, I went to Japan. An incredible journey, the people and the culture are fantastic. I learned to use my senses by looking and tasting at the fresh markets and the famous Tsukiji fish market. The discipline and respect that the Japanese people have for the products is incredible. The various cooking processes that I have seen there, such as the fermentation of vegetables in miso but also sweet and sour pickled fruits and various vegetables inspire me to develop new dishes at The Harbour Club.

“Now I am back at The Harbour Club taking on a new challenge as Creative Chef! A challenge I seize with both hands.”