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interview • December 20th, 2021

Interview with Ward Kusters

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Ward Kusters is chef at restaurant Hunker in Sittard, the Netherlands. After finishing his studies, chef Ward Kusters takes on a dishwasher job where he meets his current partners, sommeliers Lieke Vos and Jeroen van Esch. After working at several restaurants, Ward has enough experience to start his own business, restaurant Hunker. Throughout his career, Ward has continued to refine his cooking style and does not intend to adhere to one particular routine. He combines traditional Dutch cuisine with international influences and always aims to create new flavour pairings. We asked Ward some questions about his culinary profession, his favourite dish, and much more.

Ward, how would you describe your cooking style?

I would describe my cooking style as fresh, light and modern. In addition to this, I think it’s important to not repeat yourself and to keep innovating and experimenting. I usually cook a variety of different cuisines, from Asian to European, as well as Arabic, American and of course the occasional classic French influence.

I think it’s important to not repeat yourself and to keep innovating and experimenting.

Ward Kusters

Restaurant Hunker

What's your favourite dish to make?

So far I don't have a favourite dish that I like to cook. This is probably because the dishes at restaurant Hunker have only been on the menu once until now.

What is your favourite ingredient to work with?

My favourite ingredient is citrus, in all its different varieties. It often makes products slightly more exciting and makes the dishes less heavy, so easier to eat. I see this as an advantage, especially in a menu with several courses. This way, you are less likely to feel full too quickly.   As for my favourite ingredient to use in preparation, I would choose the potato. It has a lot of possibilities with preparations and technique, as there are many different varieties and flavours, each with different properties. And potatoes are available all year round.

Who is one of your top suppliers or producers?

I like working with Frische Paradies and DL Finefood.   Frische Paradies because of their quality and freshness of the products they supply, the good availability, and the wide variety of the range of products.   DL Finefood because of their special products and delicacies. They always deliver top quality.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your culinary career?

The biggest challenges for me were the start of my chef training and the first internship I did. Then the next challenge was starting my own restaurant, almost three years ago.

Which gastronomic trend are you excited about the most?

The rise of more vegetarian cuisine. In any case, reducing the amount of fish and meat in dishes is a positive trend. Firstly because this is better for the climate. And secondly, it also presents new challenges for chefs and restaurants.

If you could only eat one dish for the rest of your life, what would that be?

Nasi Goreng.

What’s one thing in the area that guests have to see or do?

Guests should take a walk through the beautiful city center of Sittard.

Thank you, Ward.

Book your table at restaurant Hunker

Try chef Ward Kusters’s excellent modern Dutch cuisine for yourself at restaurant Hunker in Sittard, the Netherlands. You can make your lunch or dinner reservation through our website.

Hunker