The way the cookie crumbles: Syrco Bakker

I’m starting a new recurring feature on my blog where I ask 10 questions to chefs. This will give us a closer look at their passion for food and how/when they got this passion. The question I like the most is actually the question about their best memory/anecdote of chef school. One of my best memories would be when a fellow student dropped a bowl of soup on a customer (you should have been there). Anyway I’ll be starting my new section with a Michelin awarded chef aka Syrco Bakker from restaurant Pure C. There are two reasons I like to go to Pure C. Firstly because of the beautiful and relaxing setting of the restaurant. Secondly because of the beautiful and very tasty paintings Syrco serves. Read my blogpost of one of my visits to Pure C.

Syrco Bakker

1. What is your favorite local product(s) to work with? And in which way should it be prepared?

All types of Crustacean and shellfish from the North sea. First of all because the North sea is right outside our door and secondly because of the great flavor these have. I do prefer eating and preparing them in the most natural way possible that you get the real taste of the shellfish.

2. Is it important for you to use local products?

Yes, as around our restaurant we have some wonderful and gorgeous products.

3. An ingredient you couldn’t miss in your kitchen?

Asian Aromatic flavorings.

4. When did you get the passion for cooking?

I got it at my student job as dishwasher/ kitchen help at a restaurant in Oisterwijk (Close to Tilburg, NL) when I was 15 years old.

5. Who is your big example in the gastronomical world?

Sergio Herman. I learned so much from him like how to stay focused or the aim for perfection and to get the maximum out of your day.

6. Where do you get your inspiration for making new dishes and combinations?

This can be anywhere, when I’m on holiday, during a walk through the Zwin, a visit to a farm etc…

7. What has been the most culinary experience?

Oud Sluis and Ultra Violet, Shanghai.

8. For which dish would you make a big sacrifice to be able to eat it?

Good oysters, langoustine en foie gras from Oud Sluis.

9. What is your most wonderful memory of chef school?
The internship I had during my last year. With the biggest reason that as off that moment I could finally be in a kitchen a whole day.

10. A culinary experience everybody should have had besides have a meal at your restaurant? (my wish list is getting bigger again)

Ultra Violet in Shanghai. This restaurant is the full experience, they have 360° projections and sounds specially paired for the menu. Truly a wonderful experience, superb dishes and a whole other dimension of eating as it all matches and goes together 100%.

Sergio & Circo

Tomorrowland aka foodie heaven

Tomorrowland logo

I am pretty jealous of the people who went to Tomorrowland, not really for the music as I could hear that in my livingroom due to the wind direction and also I’m not really too much into the music they play… or at least not for 3 days in a row. I’m more jealous about the great selection of eateries they had!! Really!! They have really outdone themselves.

Did you know they even had a food inspector from the “Gault & Millau” guide quote every food stand and give it points? Of course there was a lot to give points to like the food stands in the International Street where you could taste Mexican, American, Greek, French, Spanish and (obviously) Belgian food. Or the fresh bakery shop… They also didn’t forget the vegetarians in cooperation with Lombardia.

Icecream

Hamburger Fruit

Bakery Baking fries

Belgian Beer

Belgian Waffles

Cupcakes

A reason I almost bought a ticket was the amount of top gastronomy present restaurant Wout Bru (Maison Bru *), Roger Van Damme (Het Gebaar *), Manuel Wouter (SIPS cocktail bar)

Wout Bru photo by Zita 2012 Maison Bru

Cocktails

The people who I envied the most were the people who got a spot at the secret restaurant!! First of all because having a dinner prepared by two 3 Michelin star awarded chefs Sergio Herman (Oud Sluis) and Jordi Roca (El Celler de Can Roca) and one of the few Michelin awarded “chocolatiers” Dominique Persoone (The Chocolate Line) and secondly to be in the company of yet another 3 Michelin star awarded chef Peter Goossens (Hof Van Cleve)… like food porn for me 🙂  Don’t get me wrong, the hamburgers would have also tasted well, but this is a different level of experience 😉 If only I won or was able to get a place at the secret restaurant…

Secret Resto view

Secret Resto Sergio Herman

Secret Resto food

Jordi Roca

Maybe next year they should have a special Gastronomical pass that one can try all food @Tomorrowland?

Congrats too the organizational team of Tomorrowland, you really did a hell of a job (also for the non-food part)