Phood kitchen - Bringing nature to the city
A unique restaurant in Eindhoven - The world’s first aquaponics farm restaurant
Ever since I read about Phood kitchen I knew I must visit there one day.
The renovation of the monumental Campinaterrein and turning it into a restaurant captured my imagination.
when I first enter the place I was amazed by the huge industrial space that has been converted into a restaurant, while maintaining its industrial characteristics.
The restaurant is full of interesting corners - next to the impressive bar there is an aquaponic lab where they grow their own products and upstairs there are rooms for a small gathering and for practicing Tai Chi, the large space is also used as a place for special events.
In the summertime, the yard in front of the restaurants turned into an urban beach.
Phood kitchen is not just a restaurant, it is also a platform that aims to assimilate the concept of unprocessed and fresh food.
Original blend of healthcare, farming, entertainment, food design and sustainability
The owners of Phood kitchen, Tim Elfring and Sabine Feron, created a new standard - the PHOOD standard, that includes - nutritious meals and pure ingredients, plant-rich and organic, ingredients from local soil and pH + (alkaline) food.
We serve daily harvested food, straight from our sustainable Phood farms to your table or home. We believe in a flexible plant based diet and soul gardening.
Bringing nature to the City
I met with Tim and Sabine in Phood kitchen and heard about their vision:
How did it all start?
We both come from the Tai Chi world, we felt there was a lack of knowledge in the health food culinary world, because although there are restaurants that have a healthy menu, there is no complete use of pure ingredients, many uses processed sauces, sugar, the balance between the dishes is wrong, people return from dinner with law energy even tough the supposedly ate healthy food, so that’s what we wanted to change
It was born out of our personal need, we wanted to create something for people like us who want to change their lifestyle, who want to eat healthy, according to a diet that suits them, but does not really know how to do it.
My mother has a health clinic, so from a young age, I was always been exposed to lots of diet methods and it fascinating me.
What was your vision?
We wanted to bring healthier food to the restaurant market, and grow vegetables closer to the city and to the people who live in it, both for reasons of sustainability and for reasons of efficiency, because if we grow the vegetables ourselves it costs less.
There are two reasons why people don’t consume more of healthy food - price and convenience. We want to change those two, and make healthy food accessible and affordable, as possible.
What does your menu include?
It better to ask what it doesn’t include….No refined sugar, dairy and minimal gluten use.
It’s a vegan-friendly restaurant, but we are not totally vegan.
The concept is “Straight from our local 'urban farms' to the table”.
We grow, by means of aquaponic systems (with Stichting Duurzame Kost), mushrooms, vegetables and herbs and work with products from the land of local growers.
With every meal, we respect the health and pH + levels of our guests and we feed them with an alkaline combination of local herbs, vegetables, homemade broths, 'healthy street food' and snacks.
Why did you choose Eindhoven?
We wanted to combine technology and innovation with agriculture and ‘back to basics’. To create something that would encourage non-waste of food, but also be accessible and inexpensive, and this is where technology comes into play which is why we chose to focus on Eindhoven. The area here is, on the one hand, very agricultural, but on the other hand, very technological.
What are your plans for the future?
We would like to bring more nature to the city, but also the city to nature. Our next project is to build a farm, on a piece of land, outside Eindhoven, where we can grow our own vegetables and bring there people from the city to work with us and also schools and care institutes to show them how everything grows, but also people can come there for a retreat. If we grow everything by ourselves it will be a self-sustaining farm.
How did you cope with the Covid-19 crisis?
We opened the restaurant shortly before the Corona crisis, we did it by crowdfunding that actually succeeded, but then all the restaurants had to close and we asked ourselves ”what exactly are going to do”?
Since we come from the Tai Chi world, one of the things we learned from the Tai Chi is that if something negative happens, do not succumb to it, but go in the exact opposite direction, think positive, enter a creative mode and find a solution to a situation that will balance the negativity. This is what we did in the first wave - first of all we accepted and came to terms with the situation, we did not try to oppose it and, on the other hand, we did not suppress the crisis, but we embraced it as it is, with all the fears, tensions and uncertainties and, on the other hand, we were always with hope and a feeling that it would be okay.
We saw the Corona crisis as an opportunity and that is what led us to settle for new ideas, for instance, we joined forces with local entrepreneurs and set up the Farm Box. A healthy meal box with local vegetables. PHOOD's chef developed recipes that you can make yourself at home.
The meal boxes have become a success, a 'private cooking club' has even come into being: a private Facebook group in which customers exchange tips and the chef answers questions on how to best prepare asparagus.
What is your tip to your colleagues?
Continue to invest all this time, do not get under the blanket and wait for everything to pass - develop relationships, marketing, develop new products, collaborations with farms in the area,
This is the best time to invest, grow and not allow the fruit to rot.