Wil Sillen's post

Wil Sillen

29 w

Changemaker Jonathan Karpathios: "Absurd that I served meat of a dying breed as a cook" THE FARM KITCHEN By: Chantal Blommers Jonathan Karpathios worked as a chef in the most expensive restaurants in the Netherlands, serving 300 euro steak from Japan. Until he became a father and changed course overnight. “I thought: what the fuck man, how do I explain this to my child?” Jonathan Karpathios is co-founder and chef of The Farm Kitchen, a (company) restaurant in Hoofddorp and catering company for companies, individuals and events. Karpathios firmly believes in local products and eating according to the seasons. “Nature offers everything we need.” What is the purpose of The Farm Kitchen? “We want to introduce as many people as possible to food in a way that is good for the planet, animals and people. For this we work together with local, regenerative farmers. We ask them to farm organically and not to spray poison. We pay a fair price for the products. We then use them for our dishes.” The Farm Kitchen started out as a company restaurant in an office building in Hoofddorp, where employers recognized the importance of fresh food for their employees, but the concept was (literally) liked. There will be several new locations next year. “Our goal is to realize local ecosystems in Amsterdam, Utrecht, The Hague, Rotterdam and Almere. That means: local farmers supply us with the products and we turn them into beautiful dishes for individuals and companies in that area. It is bizarre how much CO2 is emitted today to transport food. We work together with farmers within a radius of about twenty or thirty kilometers around the kitchen to prevent this.” Why do you think we should mainly eat plants? “You don't have to, I'm the last person who is going to force something on people. Well, of course there are all kinds of advantages. First of all, it is necessary to combat climate change. Do you know how much water is needed for a kilo of beef? A kilo of beetroot needs much less. In addition, eating plants, especially when they are in season, is much better for your health. Nature offers us exactly what we need, when we need it. Now these are mushrooms, for example, they are very good for your health. Eating plants makes you slimmer, prettier, fitter and healthier. We also focus on the business market, because it is interesting for companies to invest in this: employees who eat healthy are more productive and sick less often.” What made you make the cover? “When I became a father, I suddenly felt that I had to answer for the choices I had made. At the time I worked for fancy restaurants and as a chef I came up with the craziest creations. Until my son was born and I thought, how am I supposed to explain to my child that I'm serving meat from a dying breed? That's just absurd. I started looking into how things can be done differently and to my surprise it turned out that this did not have to be at the expense of the quality of food. Enjoying good food can still come first. People are sometimes skeptical when they hear that we don't use meat. But the reaction I hear most often afterwards is: I didn't miss the meat at all." The Farm Kitchen still uses eggs and dairy. How did you make this choice? “I don't believe in restrictions, I believe in eating as many vegetables as possible. I'm also not 100 percent vegetarian, on the weekend I eat a nice piece of meat every now and then. We all need to take steps for our health and for the planet, but it's not a competition. Recently I stopped having dairy in my coffee. That seems like a small thing, but it was a big step for me. If we all take small steps every day, I believe we will get there." Where do you hope The Farm Kitchen will be in five years' time? “Within five years we want to regenerate, or restore, fifty hectares of land. How are we going to get that done? We are calling on companies to 'adopt' a hectare from a farmer. With that money, the farmer can farm organically and sustainably. So do not spray crops and really give them time to grow. That is better for the products, but also better for the soil. In the longer term, we want to roll out The Farm Kitchen in Europe. With local farmers, local buyers. Promote a new way of eating and a new way of farming. That we, as a small player, can still have a big impact. That would be fantastic."

  • Sweta Chakraborty

    29 w

    Thank you for sharing this story!

    • Tabitha Kimani

      29 w

      Great. Eating plants is really healthy.

      • Johannes Luiga

        29 w

        Such a wise and insightful decision from this top chef

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