If you like food… social events and trying out new things, then this is the place for you!
I attended the International Food Fair (IFF) in Amersfoort last week on the recommendation of a friend and with the intention of enjoying some South African specialties. I ended up meeting some really nice people and trying out the cuisine from at least 4 countries :)
I had such a good experience that I just had to write about it!
What you will find at the fair is fresh food served by friendly people who are eager to tell you more about the food they are selling.
HOW DID IT ALL START?
After the fair, I was able to catch up with the person who started it all, Lorenzo Serna. He is the owner of Amigos Cantina, an authentic Mexican food cart which started in May last year. Having tasted his food… I have to say, I loved it!
When he first started at the market in Amersfoort, so many ex-pats expressed an interest to him in selling food from their own countries, that Lorenzo decided to create an event for other to be able to take part in. He started doing the legwork, dealt with all the admin and permits and an ‘OK’ from the Amersfoort Markt Meesters and so…. The International Food Fair was born in January of this year!
For the first event… Lorenzo had 5 vendors… in February he had 9 and last week... he had 15.
Next month there will be 5 more vendors joining in and every month this event just keeps growing!
It is Lorenzo’s vision to establish a comfortable, enjoyable venue which is full of flavour and where others can eat, mingle and taste foods which are not usually readily available in Amersfoort.
Lorenzo is passionate about food and the people serving the food - adding to the whole dining experience. He gets many requests each week from others who wish to join the fair, but he only accepts new applicants who are friendly and who has products, which are unique to the IFF, in order to keep the fair varied and ensure no direct competition for the other vendors.
WHICH COUNTRIES ARE BEING REPRESENTED?
The following countries are currently represented:
Spain, South-Africa, France, Holland, Singapore, Morocco, USA, Colombia, Peru and Mexico.
Next month the following countries will also be represented:
Turkey, Indonesia, Australia and India.
Lorenzo is hoping for vendors from Greece, Italy, Japan, China and the Balkan States (but anyone is welcome to apply).
HOW CAN YOU BECOME A VENDOR AT THE FAIR?
If you would like to sell authentic food (not yet offered at the market), have a social and friendly personality and would like to take part in the IFF, then Lorenzo would like you to get in touch via these means:
All applicants are presented to Lorenzo’s team, who then votes on whether or not they think that the prospective vendor will be a good fit for the IFF. All vendors who are not accepted right now, will join the waiting list and may be accepted to join the fair at a later stage.
Every one of these small businesses, has their own story behind 'why' they started :)
Here are a few of the vendors whom I had the opportunity of meeting:
TRADITIONELE ZUID AFRIKAANSE LEKKERNIJEN - NATHALIE KOEKEMOER-GROOT
“Proudly South African. Home made with love”.
Nathalie is based in Blaricum and started her business 2 years ago.
She sells home-made traditional biltong, dry sausage, chili & plain biltong sticks, biltong powder, samosas and other tarts and treats.
Nathalie’s company was born out of a mission to find the true South African products (which tasted like it did at home!) when she was feeling homesick. After experimenting with her foods on family and friends, they loved it so much and she loved seeing them enjoy it so much… that she just kept making them and ‘Traditionele Zuid Afrikaanse Lekkernijen’ was started!
Nathalie’s love for people and good quality South African products, has driven her to go the extra mile providing personal customer service and with good quality products (some of which I’ve tried first hand!).
Apart from selling at the IFF, Nathalie’s products are not only ‘made to order’, but she also sells at Ruya Plaza in the Oostermeent shopping centre in Huizen.
You can get in touch with Nathalie via these means:
+31-6-27 19 04 40
BUNNY CHOW EXPERIENCE – NJABULO NDLOVU
“Sharing South African food with the rest of the world”.
Njabulo’s business is based in Amsterdam and was started in September 2014.
‘BunnyChow Experience’ is a mobile catering company, which mainly focuses on a ‘Bunny Chow’ (South African street food - but rest assured... no bunnies were involved!).
They host private parties, corporate functions and public events such festivals, fairs and markets.
Njabulo is a communication specialist by trade with a GREAT passion for food, which stemmed back from his childhood, finding his inspiration by just staring at the contents of his mom’s fridge.
Njabulo knew that he wanted to be part of the ‘food truck community’, before he knew what he was going to serve!
The company was born from Njabulo’s love for the dish and the happy memories of his mother ‘tales’. She used to explain that even though everyone loved Bunny Chow, it was a disaster if a lady was to be taken to a Bunny Chow restaurant for a first date (as it was difficult to act lady-like when consuming traditional Bunny Chow… which was usually served inside a half-loaf of bread).
It was however, absolutely fine for ladies to order Bunny Chow on a girls-night out, whilst complaining about their boyfriends… taking them for Bunny Chow on a date night!
The company aims to share South African food (mainly Durban’s famous ‘Bunny Chow’) and offer a new and unique experience whilst creating healthy and affordable fast food.
You can get in touch with Njabulo via these means:
+31-6-43 81 78 18
MINNIE’S KOMBUIS – MINNIE BOL-FOURIE
“Making South African comfort food and helping others making their own”.
Minnie’s business is based in Wanssum LB and was started in April 2014.
Her aim is to make South African comfort food at an affordable price without compromising on the taste.
Minnie has a Masterclass in Cake Decorating and wanted to take her passion for food a little further, so she made her hobby (of making South African delicacies for family and friends) her work.
Minnie not only makes comfort foods, but she also offers spices and a ‘DIY’ approach to make your own boerewors, biltong and drywors. It not only makes it affordable, but it's also quite satisfying to getting 'stuck in’.
Minnie explains that you can make your own biltong in just 8 hours for € 10.50 per kg. Her spice sachets are designed for use with 1 kg of meat.
Minnie also gives cooking workshops (1 day or 2hrs) in Eindhoven at:
You can get in touch with Minnie via these means:
+31-6-53 13 43 36
When will the next fair take place?
The fair takes place on the 3rd Thursday of the month (Koop Avond) and the next fair will be on:
23 April 2015
1700 - 2100 hrs
Lorenzo has big future plans for the IFF… so watch this space.