PIET moodshop loves... Syrco Bakker
Syrco Bakker, who started out his career working as a dishwasher, graduated to the kitchens of such chefs as Jean-Georges Klein, Jonnie Boer and Gordon Ramsay. His holidays were a great opportunity to learn more. The nomad chef travelled Europe to learn the tricks of the trade in some of the best restaurants. In the meantime, he graduated as an entrepreneur in the hospitality industry, became a full-time chef and now runs the kitchen at Pure C. Do you have some time? Because he loves to explain things.
Chef and creative all-rounder Syrco Bakker is not the type to rest on his laurels. He wrote the Pure C Cookbook, he devised and produced the exclusive herbal liqueur Hierbas de las Dunas (with herbs from the dunes of Cadzand) and is the president of Inspired Events, an events foundation that promotes the food region of Zeeland. As you can see Syrco is a hard worker, is passionate about what he does and his creativity is indefatigable.
Syrco, for whom would you like to cook a meal?
For my best friends and family. A simple meal at home, with a nice bottle of wine, after which we can all relax. All the Pure C guests are just as important for me. Whether they are well-known, unknown, poor, rich, fat or thin. They are all welcome. I still find it amazing that people travel all the way to Cadzand for my food. Our team literally spares no effort to immerse visitors in the world of Pure C and ensure they enjoy an unforgettable experience.
How did you come up with the idea of Hierbas de las Dunas?
When you ask for the bill in a restaurant in Ibiza, you always receive a shot of Hierbas de Ibiza. So I thought, I want to try that. Hierbas de las Dunas is a dune distillate of eightteen types of herbs, flowers and plants from the dunes of Cadzand. And although distillates are usually made with dried ingredients, I exclusively use fresh ingredients. The result is a drink with a pure salty-sweet taste, which you can easily enjoy as an aperitif, a digestif or in a cocktail. I think it's the perfect cross-pollination between the kitchen and the bar. Developing my own distillate was the logical next step.
When do you pour yourself a glass of Hierbas?
When I come home after a busy day at work. I like to drink it on the rocks! But Hierbas is also really good with tonic and lime juice! Soon we will add some cocktail recipes to www.herbasdelasdunas.com . Currently we are also testing Hierbas as a dessert ingredient. An oyster with a granita of Hierbas de las Dunas is really amazing. My favourite dish is a flat Zeeland oyster, with a dash of lemon juice and some pepper. The pure, salty flavour of the sea, right in front of me!
Who or what inspires you and what makes you happy?
Everything around me really: the dunes, the sea, art, travel, running, the people I meet, my girlfriend... I feel happy when I can make people happy with little things, a nice dish, a little bit of extra attention or a shot of Hierbas de las Dunas. In the future, I hope to continue to make many more people happy with delicious food and super products!
Hierbas de las Dunas is also available from PIET moodshop!
Main image: © Filip Meutermans