A story of pancakes, London and people
I’m often asked what lead me to starting Where The Pancakes Are. Nothing is a simple dotted line of course, but this is pretty much the short answer:
I was raised in The Netherlands by loving parents. My dad spent hours every Saturday cooking delicious non-ordinary meals. My mother was a fishmonger. Fresh, healthy eating was always centre-stage and weekly deliveries of fish made it on our plates most days.
The soaring highlight of my childhood was our regular family outing to a local pancake restaurant. It was a dark, buzzing place where the passionate owner cooked with multiple pans. He would bake large, steaming hot Dutch pancakes with aged gouda and bacon or apples and raisins. People from miles away would travel there for a meal and a cold glass of lager. It’s still around today and as busy as ever.
The comfort and connection of pancakes
Years later, carving out a career in California, I discovered a different sort of pancake. In those days, after endless days and nights of work, there was nothing more reassuring than the quiet booth, the plate stacked with warming pancakes and the waitress refilling my mug of coffee.
I met my husband, London became my home and the UK the country I love, we started a family. At the school gates my heart would sink to find parents divided by whatever difference there was between them whilst our children made no distinctions between themselves at all. I started cooking clubs as a way to bring people together, making jams, samosas, cannelloni and even Christmas dinner. Food became the bond that changed our relationships. And the experience changed me.
After visiting a fading pancake restaurant on the Kings Road, I made a decision. Connecting food and people would be my future and pancakes would be the vehicle to take me there.
No one should miss out on pancakes
I began to experiment with different flours and tested every pancake variety possible. My goal was to pioneer better pancakes. I wanted to accommodate new flavours, allergies and dietary needs so that everyone could join in. When my stand at the local school fair grew an enormous queue around the block, I realised I was onto something special.
We opened Where The Pancakes Are in 2016 and I have a lifetime of food memories, people and the cultural melting pot of London to thank for it.