When a chef cooks at your place...
During a regular week I find it very hard to find the time to cook dinners that are not a quick meal, done in maybe an hour. So imagine my delight when San Pellegrino offered for a professional chef to come to my place and cook for me and 5 friends of mine.
I had the pleasure to welcome the wonderfully talented Floris Panckoucke to my humble abode, with all his tools and foods that he prepped for our dinner. The tiny kitchen became even tinier when he arrived and I couldn't help but feel slightly awkward about making a chef prepare his amazing food in a very basic kitchen :)
Obviously I asked Floris a couple of questions because I was curious about how he came to open his first and own restaurant a couple of months ago.
Can you give me some background on your education as a chef?
I attended the schools Spermalie and Groene Poorte and was an intern at Bruneau (***), 't Convent (*) and Bru (**). My work experience came from Maison Vandamme (*), Hof van Cleve (***) and I was a chef for 5 years in the Ostend restaurant Savarin.
What/who gave you the stove-top bug? Why did you start cooking?
My parents had a hotel/banquet hall and I ended up helping out very often. In the end I decided that food and cooking was the direction I wanted to take my life in
What ingredient could you not live without?
Every season comes with a favourite of mine, so I tend to adapt accordingly. Some of my favourites are: scallops, langoustine, asparagus, North Sea crab, pheasant...
Which food trend is a big no-no for you?
Every day we are confronted with new food trends and sometimes I'm a huge fan, sometimes I'm completely appalled by them. It really depends. When it comes to my restaurant I focus on good food, not pretentious and finally, the thing that is most important to me is the product I am using. If it is good and correct, I know my customers will be happy also.
Favourite sneaky snack?
Freshly baked bread and authentic butter
A traditional "pistolet" (typical small bread roll from Brussels) or an achtkoek (a type of sugary croissant in the shape of an 8)
Which meal reminds you of your youth and why?
Roast beef and green beans, my grandmother used to make this for us every Sunday! Hands-down my favourite! :)
Finally; what advice do you have for those who dream of one day doing what you do?
Put all your effort and time into what you want to accomplish, do not leave for tomorrow what you can do today. It is important to push yourself beyond your limits and try and make the best choices no matter what comes along your way.
I had a wonderful evening thanks to San Pellegrino and Floris! Thank you for this amazing opportunity :)