DISCOVER OUR STORY

kasvio

A SPACE FOR CREATIVITY AND THRILLING CULINARY EXPERIENCES

Kasvio is a long-time dream come true, born from my passion for plant-based cooking, for the benefit of our health, the planet, and animals.

After years of working as a chef at vegan restaurants alongside talented, forward-thinking colleagues, I decided it was time to create something of my own. A space where ambitious vegan chefs could unleash their creativity for a better food future.

The way I see it, what we eat is always connected to stories and memories. I respect that and I’m less interested in disrupting those ties than I am in creating new kinds of connections to our food histories. As a chef, I find it much more rewarding to show you can eat a plant-based diet whilst staying connected to the familiar things from your past.

The name Kasvio — herbarium in Finnish — echoes my Finnish background. During my childhood in Eastern Finland, I used to wander the fields and forests collecting and identifying plants for my herbarium.

Today, I look at my ingredients in much the same way. I familiarise myself with them, investigate their characteristics and experiment with transforming them into thrilling culinary experiences for our guests.

Mari Pitkänen, Chef

A common vision

MEET THE TEAM

We’re a small team of chefs and front-of-house staff united by our ambition for plant-based cooking.

We all have different backgrounds, love collaborating in a fun and supportive environment and look forward to elevating your vegan dining experience to a whole new level with our original recipes.

sous chef

Iines Råmark

I originally studied anthropology and had a side job working at a food waste restaurant in Amsterdam. 

After graduating, I realised I wanted to become a chef instead. I approached the head chef of the restaurant to see if he’d be interested in training me. He saw potential in me, said yes, and that was the start of my career in cooking.

Diving into plant-based cuisine opened my eyes to the variety of vegetables and the importance of cooking with the seasons. When you have a narrower range of ingredients to work with, you really need to lean into your creativity.

I’m fascinated by seasons in general and enjoy connecting to the annual cycle — especially through food. I collect wild edible plants and fungi and love discovering what grows in my environment each season.

I draw creativity not only from the cooking traditions in my native Finland but from the variety of natural environments. For me, it’s interesting to take a particular environment, like the dunes in the Netherlands, and think about how I could recreate it on a plate.

I love working at Kasvio because there’s a feeling of real solidarity in the team. We help each other regardless of our roles. I also appreciate the down-to-earth approach to plant-based cooking. While the restaurant is vegan, it’s not touted loudly. Instead, we let the delicious, high-quality food speak for itself.

pastry chef

Sascha Belo

My journey with plant-based patisserie started about ten years ago. I was vegan, but it was difficult to find vegan cakes and desserts to satisfy my sweet tooth. So I started making them myself. After several years of experimenting and honing my skills on my own, I decided to train as a pastry chef at an accredited institution.

Thanks to my studies, I now have the skills to make the most imaginative sweet vegan creations possible. I’m always up for discovering new ingredients and flavours that suit the seasonal menus. I’m currently in the process of mastering vegan macarons and meringue.

For me, a vegan treat needs to be just as much a treat as a non-vegan version. My goal is to make my desserts just as indulgent and full of flavour as the traditional ones people are used to.

I’m incredibly inspired by the collaborative creative process of the kitchen team at Kasvio. I love how we lean on each other’s strengths and draw inspiration from each other. We’re always levelling-up our skills, trying out new things and improving the dishes on the menu.

sous chef

Levi Nieuwveen

As a classically trained French chef, Kasvio is the ideal place for me to combine my traditional culinary education with my newfound passion for vegan fine dining. While my background is in time-tested practices, at Kasvio, every day is a new chance to experiment, innovate, and grow as a chef.

For example, I’m excited that at Kasvio, we’re making our own tempeh. It’s fascinating to see how quickly a culture can grow and all the small details you have to pay attention to when making such produce yourself.

I love stories: listening to people, and getting an idea of what they’re into. For me, cooking is also a great way to connect with others and bring them joy and happiness.

I’m also drawn to everything unconventional. The more niche, the better. I never say no to an idea. Instead, I try to be as adventurous as possible, even with ingredients or flavours that might not usually combine.

My favourite thing about working at Kasvio is the unique cooking style of each team member. Mari’s vast expertise is particularly inspiring — it’s motivating to be part of a restaurant with a clear vision and years of experience in plant-based cooking.

art at kasvio

collective dining

The art direction for Kasvio is a collaboration between chef Mari Pitkänen and curator Staci Bu Shea.
Both Mari and Staci share a deep appreciation of food as a means of telling stories and bringing friends together.
With artist Asia working on the interior design, the two created a sensuous environment of artistic collaboration that supports the food served and Kasvio’s core concept: the experience of collective dining.

unique place to experience

kasvio ecosystem: DISCOVER METAAL KATHEDRAAL

Kasvio is located at Metaal Kathedraal, a unique ecological cultural laboratory working at the intersection of art, science and design.
Kasvio is part of the growing ecosystem of Metaal Kathedraal, a living lab that hosts intercultural events, maker spaces, a herb garden, a mushroom farm, a circular outdoor expo and a bakery.
Kasvio provides in-house catering for Metaal Kathedraal. Besides functioning as a cultural ecosystem, Metaal Kathedraal can also be rented for your own event.
All the bread used at Kasvio is lovingly baked right next door at Bakkerij Amadeus, the first artisanal bakery in Leidsche Rijn. Run by former opera singer Maurice Rommers, Amadeus is known for their top-quality sourdough bread made according to French baking standards.