An interview with Sam Hilkens

Who: Sam Hilkens
What: Food & Beverage Manager
Age: 32

What does your function entail?
Mostly I am responsible for all big events at The Dylan, so all private bookings. Besides that, I am in charge of our waiting staff of OCCO, Vinkeles, and our breakfast bar, and I do the planning, scheduling, and hiring of all waiting personnel.

How long have you been working here?
I have been working here as a full-timer for five years. But I started nine years ago with an internship at Vinkeles. And then I came back to do some part-time work, then left again. After I finished my hotel degree in The Hague I came back for real and have been sticking ever since. So no, I never quite left the Dylan. A lot has changed in 9 years time and I’ve seen it all happen.

How do you start your day?
I arrive somewhere between one and three pm. I start with a coffee with Roel, to catch up on what’s happening. Then I am off to the office where I read my emails. After that, I do a little tour to say hi to everyone. It’s quite crucial, I am not there in the morning and there are always a couple of things that need to be discussed after the breakfast shift. That first hour is my little routine, and after that each day is different. If I have a group of 80 arriving in the evening, obviously I won’t linger and chat with everyone, but quickly start preparing. I am not a great planner I must say; I’ll decide to spend three hours on something and I’ll end up spending my three hours on something very different. But it’s good being flexible in this job.

What do you like to do in your spare time?
I try to go somewhere far once a year. I recently went to Costa Rica. Although it may not be the most adventurous destination –  it’s full of elderly, well-off tourists and if you go hike a mountain you’ll encounter a lot of wheelchairs around that same mountain – but it was pretty awesome. Here in Amsterdam, I love to go out with friends and my girlfriend. I just bought a place in Oost, so I had to leave West. A pretty big change yes. I’ll miss Piet de Gruyter, my favorite bar in West. It’s cool without trying to be. Now I will have to discover the Javastraat.

What is the best moment of your day?
Looking back at the end of a shift and realizing that the day went smoothly and your guests went to sleep feeling happy and you did all the things you planned to do. The feeling that in the end, everything falls into places, no matter how hectic and crazy it was.

Imagine; you don’t live here anymore, and you are just passing through. You have one day in Amsterdam. What do you do?
I’ll take a seat outside on the terrace of Piet de Gruyter to eat kroketten. Then I’ll go say hi to my parents in Ouderkerk aan de Amstel. Oh; and if it freezes, which never happens anymore, I’ll skate down the Amstel, and pass by at Restaurant de Voetangel. I had my first job there, washed dishes for three years. It was hilarious and I made loads of money.

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Een dag bómvol inspiratie voor aanstaande.

16 april 2023