Take Stock: Cake Amsterdam
Zoe of Cake Amsterdam, was the person behind our Take Stock: Amsterdam spread in the second issue of Countlan Magazine. Zoe clearly knows where all the hot spots are around the city to pick up baking gear and ingredients. Now, a little more about Zoe.
01 Please introduce yourself:
Zoe Elizabeth Gottehrer, born in NYC 05/05/1977. I have a BFA in film art/photography from Syracuse University. I moved to Holland in 2002 and after working in the music industry, for ad agencies and magazines I followed my heart back into the kitchen working for catering companies baking cooking and organizing catering and events. In 2007, I began pursuing a career as a professional cake decorator. In 2010, I began CAKE Amsterdam, bespoke bakery of taste and distinction making custom made cakes for weddings, events and birthdays. Full bio here.
02 How long have you been living in Amsterdam?
Just over 10 years already! I’ve been living in Holland since 2002. Mainly in Amsterdam, but I also lived in The Hague for 2 years and I worked in Utrecht for 3 years.
03 What do you do and where are you based?
I run my own company CAKE Amsterdam, Bespoke Bakery of Taste and Distinction making custom made cakes for weddings, events and birthdays. I have a workshop that is open by appointment only which is located in the heart of Amsterdam City Center-just on the edge of the famous, Red Light District. Never a dull moment in the neighborhood!
04 As a bakery owner, how often do you entertain at home?
Honestly, not as often as I would like to! We live a bit outside the city in Amsterdam Noord, across the back of Central Station, so it’s always easier for us to head into town to see people. But I would say we have small-bites dinner parties with cocktails at least three to four times a year.
05 What entertaining tradition is unique to Amsterdam or Dutch culture?
There is a Dutch birthday tradition which includes arriving at a birthday party with friends and family that are all sitting in a circle in the living room and you are handed a piece of appletaart (Dutch apple cake) and coffee and tea. Another unique tradition is that the birthday boy or girl is responsible for paying for everyone else’s drinks! In the US, it is totally the opposite. Everyone usually buys you drinks! People save up for their birthdays here!
06 What type of music is playing in your kitchen when you bake?
I listen to music all the time in my shop while baking and or decorating cakes. I have a “Vintage Mix” on my iPod with mostly big band music from the 1920′s, like Benny Goodman’s “You turned the tables on me”, but the mix also includes more recent versions of swing, such as Squirrel Nut Zippers.
I also listen to lots of 60′s music. However, it depends on the cake. Sometimes a cake just warrants listening to Gun n’Roses! But the best is when I have it set to random and a song comes up that is really fitting to the theme of the cake that I am making. For example: I was making a globe cake and “I’ll stop the world and melt with you” came on! Random!