EXECUTIVE CHEF, TINOS KITCHEN + BAR
In the dish pit at a Chinese restaurant, one of two restaurants in his small hometown in Holland, Overmars politely explained his first impression of working in a kitchen, “Not the best experience, but it paid well.” As one may have guessed, Overmars experience in the dish-pit was not the life defining role that sparked ambitions of working in a kitchen as a professionally trained chef. Overmars recounts, “At sixteen, I had no idea what I wanted to be.”
The decision to pursue an education in culinary was presented to Overmars by his father who was a trained chef himself, “He said why don’t we send you to culinary school and I said... ok.”
For the first two years of study, Overmars’ curriculum was not culinary focused but rather an all-encompassing introduction to hospitality and the professions available within the industry. “I studied for five years but it was a bit different there” (the Netherlands) Overmars clarifies, “I was paid to study.”
The hospitality program is designed for students to attend classes and practice their learnings in a paid position within the hospitality industry. Additionally, students spend the first two years studying hospitality objectively and in their third year select an area of focus. This, combined with working in a different restaurant each year, allowed Overmars to not only earn an income but also a diverse work experience throughout his five years of study.
Overmars gravitated towards culinary during his first year, “I knew I wanted to be a Chef, but it was the second restaurant I worked at in the program where I was introduced to fine dining, I was hooked.”
It was the culture in the kitchen of fine dining that not only evolved Overmars aspired profession into a profound passion, but also set the bench mark for the type of kitchen he would one day (soon) be leading. “It was totally different than anything I had experienced,” Overmars remembers. “It wasn’t this chaotic structure; it was highly organized.”
In his fifth and final year of study Overmars secured a full-time line cook position at De Agnietenberg, the restaurant he was working in through the culinary program. After a year of full-time kitchen experience under his belt, Overmars was looking for more. More of what exactly? More excitement, more variety, more adventure… more restaurants. Overmars, in his early twenties and determined to find more, was Amsterdam bound.
Ten minutes outside of Amsterdam at Le Baron, a French Bistro, is where Overmars spent the next six years working through the kitchen hierarchy. Starting on the line, to Sous Chef, and finally securing the title and responsibilities of Head Chef; but Overmars didn’t stop there. Owner of Le Baron, Jan Van Garderen, was looking to expand and looked to Overmars to open and lead kitchen operations in his new locations. After opening three locations across the Netherlands, Overmars returned back to his role as head Chef in the original Le Baron.
“I was back in the kitchen I started in with the company. The learning had come to a standstill, there wasn’t a challenge any longer.” Overmars surrendered the title of Head Chef and his kitchen at Le Baron. He accepted a Chef de Cuisine position at Mixit, a Michelin recommended high end French-Asian fusion restaurant, where he would learn from Chef/Owner Theo Vuijst directly.
Overmars explains, “I took a pay cut, a big one, but I was learning again and being challenged all the time.” Overmars spent the next four years working directly with Chef Theo Vuijst, gaining new perspective and absorbing as much knowledge as possible.
In his fourth year with Mixit, Overmars was approached by the owner of Anno Almereand was offered the opportunity to once again run his own kitchen. Overmars spent his last two years in his homeland as Head Chef.
Overmars and his wife, a Massachusetts native who Overmars had met while she was studying abroad, had spent seven years together bouncing around the Netherlands. After two children, we have Mrs. Overmars to thank for Chef’s relocation to America.
Shortly after arriving in the states Overmars was introduced to John Tinios. On the heels of opening up his newest restaurant, Tinos- a concept with European roots, John knew Overmars, a European Trained Chef, would be an integral member of the Tinos kitchen.
Upon the Tinos opening, Overmars assumed the role of Sous Chef. Three years into Tinos and quite a bit of menu evolution later, Overmars is now Tinos’ Executive Chef and has indubitably been an integral part of the Tinos identity