Jonathan Karpathios

A chef who takes his ecological footprint and social responsibility very seriously

After being expelled from school twice over, Jonathan Karpathios chose to go to chef college in Amsterdam at 14 years of age. His real education took place in England, under the tutelage of Pierre Koffman, who also taught Gordon Ramsay. Karpathios became a chef, a husband and then a father. The questions “what kind of world am I leaving my children?” and “in what ways can I take responsibility for this?” became the core of the values that underpin his restaurant Vork & Mes (Fork & Knife) in the woods near Hoofddorp. Here, he wants to serve Real Food. Local, unprocessed, in season.

As self-proclaimed “ambassador for nature”, Karpathios’ restaurant has put vegetables front and centre. A dilapidated greenhouse was converted to the sustainable and social Kwekerij Eigen Oogst (‘Our Own Harvest’ Nursery). You don’t see a lot of meat on the menu at Vork & Mes, because of the damage that production and transport do. The CO2-emissions of lab-grown meat, however, are many times lower and for that reason might fit in with Karpathios’ philosophy. Or would this natural chef feel that lab-grown meat could not be classed as Real Food?

Jonathan Karpathios is growing his own 'pig in the garden'