Words by Timo Janse
Originally from: Groningen
Profession: Brand Ambassador Hooghoudt
My name is Lennart Deddens, 32 years old, Born in Stadskanaal somewhere in the province of Groningen, The Netherlands.
I have been working in the hospitality industry since I was 14 years of age and while I was enjoying my work as a kitchen porter and willing to give a career as a chef a serious try I somehow ended up behind the bar when I was 16. The reason was very simple, my boss back then told me to go work behind the bar and since he was indirectly responsible for some my (Hotel) schoolresults I did not choose to argue with him. I seriously had a passion for the kitchen and I wanted to become a great chef but in one way or the other I never really left the bar instead. Luckily I never left the bar I can easily say right now!
I look back with a big smile on my face regarding the last 10 years working full-time in the bar industry. Whether it where the bars I have worked, the many people I have met, the few competitions I have won and the many I have lost, it was all worth every single one of many hours I spent investing becoming good in my profession. Back to where I was, passion for combining flavors always stayed, so the cocktail virus was easily injected and the opportunity to see more of the world than Stadskanaal was also great to combine with working bar jobs.
After my graduation for International hospitality management in South Africa, where I stayed a while longer because I saved money beforehand by working in.....bars, and making money over there by working as a bartender I ended up in Brussels. Here I found my first job as an assistant bar manager and here I got totally hooked up with the art of the cocktail.
After becoming a bar manager at The Dominican bar in Brussels and staying for a good 3 years,I have worked alongside 3-michelen star chef Yves Mattagne, managing hiscocktail bar at his Asian Fusion Lounge Yume, again in Brussels.
In 2012, after spending 6 years abroad I came back to the city of Groningen where I was asked to help setting up the cocktail bar of Mr. Mofongo. Next to the cocktail bar, the business contained a great restaurant and even more awesome, an in-house distillery. Here I learned distilling products and thisreally opened a new world within cocktails and spirits to me.
After 4 years managing the cocktail bar at Mr. Mofongo I decided it was time for a new challenge. Main goal is opening a new cocktail bar in Groningen but I also was lucky enough to extend my experience within my new hobby: distilling/product development of spirits. Since June 2016, I am part of the Hooghoudt family, owners of the jenever distillery in Groningen since 1888.
Here I am learning every day from the master distiller and am part of their marketing and product development team. Furthermore I am responsible for all their events and activations within our bar industry.
In February 2017, I started a company called Boilermaker together with my 2 best friends Peter and Merijn. Peter is a beer sommelier and been working in bars for over 10 years and Merijn is an internet entrepreneur. Boilermaker stands for a combination of spirits and beers since we offer our services and expertise to both markets in the bar industry.
We have developed several custom made mobile bars to cater all events and activations for brands who wish to work with us and to organize network events for different kinds businesses ourselves, to summarize it very briefly again. Furthermore we are occupied in launching products within the craft beer and spirits market, again to summarize it very briefly. I am really looking forward to the coming years working in this fantastic industry and I can not wait to see what it still has to offer.