Every month we will interview the boldest craftsmens who are living the Pig & Hen lifestyle. This month, we have the story of...

'Soul Food Experts'

The Ta Toru Three: run the best satay-bar in Amsterdam, are always smiling and will take you on a tour through the world of soul food: see, feel and taste the rich Moluccan culture through their tasty bites.

The Ta Toru Three: tell us a little bit about yourselves?

Ta Toru is a combination of cousins Naftali Wattilete, Jeziel Souhuwat and Najeah Souhuwat. Ta Toru means ‘from three’ in the ancient Moluccan tongue. Three is a special number for us because we are three young chefs from the third generation of Moluccan people in the Netherlands. We all have a history of working in restaurants and dreamed of starting a satay-bar together.

How would you describe the bond between the three of you?

Like we said, we are cousins and Jeziel and Najeah are even brothers. So, the bond is literally familiar, and family-bond is the strongest. We have our personal strengths, Naftali is the charm, Jeziel is the visionary and Najeah is the mind. So, we all do the things we’re best at in and out of the kitchen, but in the end, we do it all together because it is our strengths combined what makes Ta Toru. Funny enough there are no strict roles in the kitchen, although sometimes it might seem that way: everything is by feeling.

Ta Toru is starting to become a well-known concept in Amsterdam, how did it all begin?

We all have a history in the kitchen. So, we almost naturally dreamed of starting our own place and how awesome is it to open that place with family? Initially, we wanted to open a stand on the Ten Kate market, one of the popular Amsterdam markets, but then a spot opened up in the Magna Plaza Food Department and we couldn’t pass that up. The Magna Plaza is a huge department store in the city center, so a great location.

What is the essence of ‘soul food’?

Soul food is all about the experience. That feeling you get when the whole family is present for dinner. Cousins laughing about silly jokes and aunts gossiping when the men are talking and joking around the barbeque and there is enough food for everyone and more. It doesn’t really matter what the food looks like because it’s all about the vibe and the taste. Soul food is more about feeling than seeing. At Ta Toru we added the seeing of course, by making our dishes a colorful sight to see.

Culture is best spoken through food; can you tell people from around the world a little bit about Moluccan culture?

Officially the Moluccan Islands are part of Indonesia, but as we see it the Moluccan people are more Polynesian. We are more of an island folk. Because of the independence of Indonesia after being a Dutch colony and the brothering of the Netherlands and the Moluccan people, our ancestors were bound to live in the Netherlands after the 1950s. The first-generation Moluccan people in the Netherlands were soldiers and now the third-generation are chefs, well at least we are.

The Ta Toru Three is wearing: Georgeous George


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