Duncan de Boer | Amsterdam

El Ganso Amsterdam 2

Hello Thijs, thank you for taking the time to talk to us. Could you introduce yourself to our readers?

I am a 27 year old, grew up in the south of Holland and studied in Maastricht at the Hotel Management School. The love for food has grown since I was a young boy and during my time in Maastricht. I have worked for several companies in Catering and in the kitchen. During this time I discovered that I loved to work in the food Industry. So after my time in Maastricht I started working as a sous-chef at Bistro In Petto in Rossum. After a year I started the Master program in Amsterdam at the Vrije Universiteit and started my own catering company.

From what we´ve heard, your story is somewhat of an accidental overnight success; tell us, how did you get started with your project and how you came to use the name Bulls & Dogs?

Well it all went pretty fast I can say. Last Christmas I got a meat grinder/sausage maker from my girlfriend. I always wanted to try and make my own sausages so this was the perfect time to start experimenting. During the month January and February I got a catering contract to make fancy new hotdogs. So I changed the bun, sauerkraut and standard mustard and ketchup into a crunchy bun with three color cabbage, different types of meat, sauces and toppings. Over the past couple of months the crunchy bun has been replaced by a Pretzel bun and other hotdogs have been added to the family. People love the flavor combination and the reactions have been positive all along. So it is an overnight success but I think there is still a lot to learn and a long way to go.

El Ganso Amsterdam 1

You started in February earlier this year with a mobile kitchen and have already opened a permanent post in ¨de Foodhallen¨, could you tell us a little about this project and how you came to open there?

Well Bulls & Dogs started on food markets and small events. The goal of the year was to be able to sell our hotdogs on the biggest events for food trucks the “Rolling Kitchens” during a 5 day event. During that event the initiators of the Foodhallen visited us and asked if we wanted to take place in their new project from October onwards. I did not take long to decide that this was a golden opportunity.

Did you ever imagine ¨Bulls and Dogs¨ would be so successful? 

Well no I would say. Because I started very small with no cash or anything and as a joke. And suddenly you notice that people really love what you are doing and more and more positive reaction are given. So that motivates you to keep on going. We have had events where not so much was sold but the best way to handle it is to give your utmost best in the next event. Is Bulls & Dogs successful? I guess we have done a good job so far but I have so much more plans for the future.

El Ganso Amsterdam 4

One can see you are passionate about what you do, tell us a little about your day to day?

So far I am working on the floor in the Foodhallen 5 to 6 days a week. The shifts here start at 11h00 and finish somewhere between 21h00-22h30 depending on the amount of people in the Foodhallen. During the mornings I have to do the financial part and fill in the invoices etc. I try to look for new possibilities during the day that will help innovative and grow Bulls & Dogs. Meet new people and talk to others.

Considering the immense success of your projects, do you have anything else in the pipeline and how do you see the future of ¨Bulls and Dogs¨?

Well I would love to make my own beer and combine it with the hotdogs. And for Bulls & Dogs I am busy with a food truck and always on the lookout for possible new places to open up.

So, what´s the secret to making a good hotdog?

Lots of love… You see if you put your love in making food it will taste good anyway. Be patience and try to combine new ingredients together with exciting combinations. Don’t be scared to create some new things.

How did you discover El Ganso?

I have seen the place in Amsterdam being built last year. So that’s where I first saw it. One of my Hotelschool friends works there so I see it passing by now and then.

What are your favourite places in Amsterdam?

One of my favorite places is Rijssel and the Spaghetteria; just good food for good prices. That’s the best combination you can have.

El Ganso Amsterdam 3