In the house you can find two kitchens: the small and the large kitchen. The Large Kitchen has been used for cooking since the first days of the Cromhouthuis. Its location in the basement meant that it remained cool and that food stayed fresh for longer. The Small Kitchen slightly predates the Large Kitchen, and is probably actually older than the rest of the Cromhouthuis.

The small kitchen
When Jacob Cromhout commissioned architect Philips Vingboons to build four houses, the small house of timber trader Cornelis Kerfbijl stood here. Kerfbijl had no intention of stepping aside without a fight and Cromhout’s plans of creating a closed block of houses were stymied. In the end, Cromhout was forced to buy the trader out for 10,000 guilders – an astronomical sum of money at the time. Construction of the rest of the property had progressed significantly in the meantime, which meant that the smaller house was incorporated into the new Cromhouthuis. The red and green tiles in this kitchen are true 17th-century examples, they were sourced from the Swedish island of Öland in the Baltic Sea. The well also dates back to the early days of the house, it is concealed underneath the circular iron cover to the left of the hearth. Rainwater was collected in the well and used for cooking, it was much cleaner than water taken from the city’s polluted canals.

The large kitchen
A small team of kitchen staff prepared the food, which was then served upstairs by other members of staff. The Large Kitchen remained in use until the late 19th century. The majority of the kitchenware on display therefore does not date to the 17th century, but is ‘just’ a century old.