Restaurant La Rive,
Hotel Amstel Inter-Continental
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Chef Edwin Kats feels that the most creative time in the kitchen is during the winter. Strongly influenced by the weather — which in turn determines both the ingredients available and the diners´ tastes — Kats finds that winter brings his guests indoors to enjoy rich tastes and the enveloping warmth of a fine dining experience with friends. At the same time, his winter ingredients suggest complex preparations and flavors. It is an invitation for the chef to be even more creative.
Chef Kats was drawn to cooking school when he observed how much a close friend was enjoying culinary training. He studied at the Gemeentelijke Technische School in Breda, then took primary and secondary education towards earning his diplomas. Work experience was interleaved with formal study. As a third- and fourth-year student he worked at the Steigenberger Kurhaus Hotel in Scheveningen, then as a fifth-year student he worked at Restaurant Le Bouc in Oosterhout. Moving to the Hotel Restaurant Corona (one Michelin star), he became chef de partie. Kats first came to the Amstel Inter-Continental Hotel in Amsterdam as a junior sous chef. The hotel´s Michelin stars recognized its excellence; Kats was able to polish his work during his two years in the hotel´s high-energy kitchens, which are responsible for La Rive, the Amstel Brasserie, the Amstellounge, room service, and banquet services. Kats left to take the title chef de cuisine at the Hotel Restaurant De Swaen in Oisterwijk, a restaurant which earned one Michelin star.
As he was working and learning, Chef Kats was also studying and learning. His diplomas by now included certificates in business and cooking, the S.V. H. teaching master, S.V. H. kitchen management, S.V. H. personnel management, S.V. H. presentation-technique, and S.V. H. Master Chef.
Kats left to join the Golden Tulip Barbizon Palace Hotel in Amsterdam as chef de cuisine. The hotel´s Restaurant Vermeer took one Michelin star. In the summer of 2000 he returned to the two-star Amstel Inter-Continental in Amsterdam as executive chef, overseeing everything that comes out of the hotel´s kitchens. His taping for Great Chefs took place in spring, and he transformed fresh spring vegetables and Dutch asparagus into an elegant salad with truffles, then poached a squab and served it with the foie gras on tiny pancakes. He also admitted that he loved to cook fish on sailing trips when the weather was good. Proving himself a creative chef for all seasons, not just winter.