TOM cooks with Linda Horsthuis and Arend Koers

TOM likes to fiddle around with Michelin-level pots and pans. Entrepreneurs and managers cook in and around the kitchen of Landhuishotel De Bloemenbeek. Business partners, friends, sometimes family. But they have always been involved in each other’s activities. Under the inspiring guidance of master chef Michel van Riswijk, they slice, chop and fry. This time with Arend Koers of Arcade Bouw Consult and Linda Horsthuis of Arcade Bouwkwaliteit.

It’s June, and then the kamado can be stoked again. Our SVH master chef Michel van Riswijk is not only happy that the fire can be stoked again, but also about the Michelin star that De Bloemenbeek has been awarded again. So he shows his culinary side with a dish of asparagus, Dutch grass-fed lamb, spring vegetables and grilled courgettes. Arend Koers has the task of peeling the asparagus. In between, he tells us that he started his own construction consultancy 15 years ago: “The independence appealed to me. As an estimator in a construction company or an agency, you actually have few career opportunities. That turned into my own office, Arcade Bouw Consult. Our team consists of seven professionals and we carry out assignments in the Netherlands, but also in Germany and Luxembourg.” He explains the success as follows: “Creativity, always looking for solutions that make the project affordable. The energy transition is not bypassing Arcade Bouw Consult: “It will change building. The demand for smarter installations, for example, but nature will also play a role when you talk about climate control. More green in the city will provide cooling, for example. Arcade Bouw Consult is involved in large projects, sometimes involving sums in the tens of millions. That could mean a lot of stress for the employees, but Koers has his own opinion on that: “We moved into our new office at Matenstraat 57 in Oldenzaal last year. It is an existing building. Converted according to the latest guidelines. The building has an energy class of at least C. And close to the sports fields, the beach volleyball court. In short, the sporty part of Oldenzaal. I think as an employer you have to offer your employees the opportunity to do sports. They need to clear their heads for a while.

Healthy diet
Incidentally, the fact that he mentions the beach volleyball court is no coincidence; Arend has been a volleyball fan and sponsor of top beach volleyball player Stefan Boermans for years. As for culinary activities, Koers says he cooks at home. Healthy food: “That’s very important to me: fresh and healthy ingredients and lots of vegetables”. And he effortlessly transfers the secret of success to sport: “Business is about winning and losing and trial and error. The exciting thing about our profession is that you have a meadow and you build a nice and affordable utility building there.

Linda Horsthuis also likes to cook at home, but whether she will have time for that next year is questionable.
Year, is the question. She will, after all, be taking over the management of Arcade Bouwkwaliteit, the new branch of Arcade Holding. “Arcade Bouwkwaliteit was established because the Wkb, the Quality Assurance Act, will be introduced in the construction sector on 1 January 2023. The law aims to ensure better construction quality, strengthen the position of consumers, promote quality improvements and reduce failure costs. As Arcade Bouw Consult
We will monitor this quality assurance,” says Linda Horsthuis, who has gained a lot of experience in the construction sector. “With Arcade Bouwkwaliteit, we move between construction and quality: how can we not only ensure the quality of a construction project, but also improve it and get more out of it. In practice, you see things going wrong, leading to delays and frustration. And downtime costs that are unnecessary”.

For Linda Horsthuis, the task now is to put together teams of contractors, architects, civil engineers, municipalities and other consultancies to work together towards the goal of the Wkb. “The introduction of the Wkb will also lead to frustrations,” Linda Horsthuis predicts: “But especially among the small contractors who have a lot to do anyway. The big construction companies are preparing well and have everything in place. They can also release people for it. That is more difficult with a smaller contractor.

Arcade Bouwkwaliteit wants to offer additional support to the construction industry in the run-up to the World Cup. Linda: “By inviting the construction industry personally to our office, we want to make the issues around the new Quality Assurance Act discussable. We are holding three afternoons over the next six months for the construction industry to register: on 7 July, 29 September and 24 November.” As a woman, Linda Horsthuis feels at home in construction. “At that time we were at school with 40 girls who all wanted to take up a technical profession: from mechanic to plumber. We had to defend ourselves between all these boys, but that’s how you deal with it. Even as a woman you can use your charms, for example with suppliers”.

After the summer, Linda goes back to school and attends the special course Quality Assurance in Construction. Will there still be time to cook then? “Yes, I like the Dutch pot, meat, vegetables. My daughter was once in a school hostel and called if we would pick her up: ‘The food there was so bad. See, it flatters you!” The asparagus, the lamb, the spring vegetables. Before that the oysters, which Linda didn’t like as she doesn’t eat anything that comes out of water, and the beautiful dessert pavlova with raspberries. Let the summer come.

Photographer: Frank Visschedijk