Magnetic, fascinating but at the same time intimate and essential: the Dutch chef is a river full of genius. His several culinary concepts are proof of this
Perfect. Rather, so obsessed with perfection that he inspired Willemiek Kluijfhout, a Dutch director, that he became the protagonist of his film. Sergio Herman: Fucking Perfect. A movie that tells about the chef’s “not-only-culinary” hyperactivity. There is no impasse in his thought. In addition, even his hands move with wisdom and skill. Everything makes sense. Even closing the three-starred family restaurant, the Oud Sluis, at the height of its success. A failure? Not even close. A perpetual motion of archetypes in constant evolution towards innovation. Being contemporary and always improving: this is the intent of the Dutch chef because “the lessons you learn along the way will form and improve you, not only as a professional, but also as an individual”. Wonderful. But a starred kitchen requires effort and sacrifice, and who knows how much it will cost in real life. Professional and above all private. “This is the difficult part – explains Herman – the most difficult balance of all”. The years pass quickly and if focusing on your career looks normal to a young man, the “redemption” comes when you’re older: “You fall in love, you want to have a family but then you have to split. I know it’s harder for the partner than the chef himself, so I’m very grateful to have my wife Ellemieke by my side. She is the rock of the family and when the work is finished, there is a warm place to go back to”. A frenetic chef and entrepreneur who makes his dishes and their contrasts the absolute protagonists of his restaurants. Herman plays with the textures and flavours of the raw material, twisted up in a whirlwind of sensations where taste is the absolute sovereign. The places where Chef Herman decides to give free rein to his inspiration are also striking: The Jane in Antwerp, which stands on the ashes of a deconsecrated chapel of an old military hospital. The Pure C, on the North Sea shores in Cadzand, is the address of taste par excellence after the closing of the Oud Sluis. But that’s not all, because Sergio Herman keeps thinking of new projects while cooking: “For some years now I have been restructuring my organization according to my aspirations. I’m working on some different food concepts with international ambitions”.