Starring in our Portraits series no. 19 is Karin Hamersma, or should we say Mrs. Hamersma? The name husband Harold Hamersma, a well-known Dutch wine journalist, uses when he brings up his beloved wife in his weekly wine review in newspaper Parool. He suggest and tests the perfect wine to match her chosen recipe.
Karin, born in 1956 so a fresh sixty-year-old, either cooks from a cookbook receipt or prepares a dish from her personal favourite-dish-notebook.
Cooking is without a doubt the Hamersma family’s middle name. Last year Karin opened her cookbook store in Amsterdam. A wine tasting office for him and a kitchen with over 3000 (no typo) cookbooks for her. Where cooks weekly from a chosen cookbook and shares these bites with customers. Anything is possible at ‘Mevrouw Hamersma Kook Boekenwinkel’. As long as there’s food, wine and people involved.
How do you feel about being over fifty?
Well, I even just turned 60 last month and nothing changed at all. I feel blessed and am living proof that you can start anything you want after fifty. Hence my new bookstore. A huge challenge for me but one that makes me extremely happy. Doing nothing is not my thing: I love to be around the stove!
My life tip would be: do whatever you want that makes you happy. It really is never too late. Ever.
Which age is your favourite time? Would you like to go back?
I much enjoyed the time between my 30 and 45. The period of growing children. To see them change from little creatures to adults – with everything that comes with it, I still consider a very valuable time. When they left the house I had to adjust, the Empty Nest Syndrome really exists.
What would your ideal day look like? No restrictions. As in money, time, persons, locations.
Fly to France for breakfast at Les Enfants Rouges in Paris with my husband. This bistro is run by a couple, Japanese chef Daï Shinozuka and his wife. After breakfast a much needed stroll through Le Marais before it’s time to hop over to New Zealand for lunch. Yes, my ideal day involves food … I will have lunch with the young Clint Eastwood at Elephant Hill in Hawke’s Bay. A stunning wine estate & restaurant along the coast.
After lunch I withdraw myself on the beach with one of my favourite books, A little Life by Hanya Yanagihara. After a little nap I am ready to go to New York, for champagne and oysters at Maison Premiere.
From which experience did you learn, what made you stronger?
This is quite recent, the speech I held at the opening of my cookbook store. I was nervous about it, no that’s not true: I dreaded this very much, but now that I did it feels as if I have nothing more to fear. Bring it on!
What is your golden beauty trick or favourite product?
Mine is simple for years and years, I am a Nivea fan…
Which book, film and/or music shaped/changed you and why should we read it?
The books by Belgium author Griet op den Beeck got to me. Like ‘Kom hier dat ik u kus’. Her books show insight in life and relations between people on a very subtle, touching way. Also with humor.
My favourite cookbook is The Silver Spoon, I really never ever get tired of the big bible of cooking.
Who should we follow on Instagram?
- @ninavhspijker the best daughter-in-law and also a food lover
- @jetvannieuwkerk sweet and healthy cookbook writer
- @restaurantarles a new bistro hotspot in Amsterdam, my son is co-owner
- @cravingsinamsterdam food pics as paintings!
- @neni_food a new restaurant formula, soon also in Amsterdam
What’s your favourite destination/hotel/museum/restaurant in the world?
- Destination : New York
- Hotel : Reids Palace in Madeira
- Museum : FOAM photography museum in Amsterdam
- Restaurant : So many! If I have to pick one: La Cuchera de San Telmo in San Sebastian
What’s your signature dish? The one that makes your friends demand a seat at your dinner table.
A very, very simple bistro dish: salad with quail eggs, bacon and croutons. All cooked to perfection.
Thinking back about my youth ànd food it definitely is the stewed hare during X-mas at my grandmothers.
Trivia time! Make a choice and share your favourite brand:
- Nailpolish or Lipstick?
Nailpolish I am a OPI fan
- Heels or Flats?
Flats as in sneakers by Nike, in a variety of colour and style
- Dress or Trousers
Dress. And only by Dutch brand LaDress. I think I own over 20 of them…
- Coffee or Tea?
- Swimsuit or Bikini?
Swimsuit in love with my La Perla
[Featuring image by Rob van Dam]
Read more inspiring interviews in our Portraits series.
Want to share your life and style in these series or recommend an inspiring friend between 50-60? We love to hear from you. Please send us an email.