Living life in the fast lane – reading over Sidney Schutte’s CV, this seems the perfect motto for the 40-year-old head chef. From a young age, the Dutchman was on a path towards a career in a professional kitchen – ever since the fateful summer job in a restaurant where he discovered his passion for food and for cooking. Today, he runs the successful Librije’s Zusje Amsterdam – situated amongst the idyllic canals as the restaurant of the Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam, where guests are treated to a truly first-class culinary experience.
When he’s not working, Schutte spends as much time as possible on two wheels, regularly tearing round the racetracks of the Netherlands on his motorcycle. But Schutte does not just go full throttle in his time off – this Michelin-starred chef has also spent his career in the fast lane.
At the age of 22 he was appointed sous chef at De Librije under Jonnie Boer. Just three years later, De Librije was awarded its coveted third Michelin star thanks to Schutte’s work. “This award would not have been possible without the incredible dedication of my team, their professionalism and their camaraderie. It was a fantastic reward for our hard work and all the motivation we need to keep it up,” beams Schutte. The next milestone in his career was the SVH Meesterkok award – the highest honour a chef can be awarded in the Netherlands.
In 2009 he decided to take a pit stop in order to broaden his culinary horizons. During a stay in Hong Kong, he was appointed executive sous chef of the Landmark Mandarin Oriental and just three years later he took over the running of the restaurant as executive chef. But he was drawn back home a year later, returning to Librije’s Zusje Amsterdam as executive chef at the request of Jonnie and Thérèse Boer.
His food is best described as striking and contemporary: his Dutch roots are reflected in his love of regional produce, while his experiences in Hong Kong lend his dishes an international touch. With his style and his unwavering ambition, Schutte has served as the driving force behind one of the Netherlands’ most exclusive restaurants. And it was this drive that led to Librije’s Zusje Amsterdam being awarded two Michelin stars just seven months after opening.
Schutte goes full throttle with flavour in one of his starters: baby mackerel with red beetroot, sesame seeds, bay leaves, smoked haddock liver and baked mustard seeds, boasting an unusual yet well-balanced combination with a distinctive smoky note. Schutte’s personal favourite dessert is his avocado sorbet. It looks just like a slice of avocado, but it is actually a sliver of delicious sorbet, with the shell lovingly crafted from chocolate – a combination that always leaves unsuspecting guests utterly amazed. “The development of a new dish is a neverending process. Sometimes it takes a week, and sometimes it takes a month or even half a year before a dish is exactly as you have always imagined it,” explains the Michelin-starred chef.
Those who wish to be there when Schutte goes full throttle in the kitchen will get their chance in December 2017 at Restaurant Ikarus in Salzburg’s Hangar-7.
ServusTV: Culinary Heights at Ikarus on ServusTV
Each month at Salzburg’s two Michelin-starred Restaurant Ikarus, a different top international chef creates the menu. For this globally unique concept, Hangar-7 executive chef Martin Klein visits the cream of the crop, takes a look behind the scenes of haute cuisine, and is let in on some exciting culinary secrets. “Culinary Heights at Ikarus” offers a unique glimpse into the world of high-end cuisine and provides an interesting portrait of each guest chef, their culinary philosophy, and the food culture of their country.