Floris van Noort was born in Limburg, The Netherlands. He started working in the kitchen in his rebellion years, where his then kitchen thought learn him the ropes and how to love the ways of the kitchen. That was the moment his work became his passion.
After five years in St. Maarten, I at one point did not know where I had to go out to eat.
Whenever I’m going to eat in Suriname, hunger for Surinamese food, Blauwgrond or Roepram, my plate is always empty. I love that there is so much diversity here. But I think the young chefs should also get the chance to go abroad. Since there is a task course in management at the companies where they work, if there are toppers in between, who are motivated they should be given the chance, because they will just not make it without it. They can not do it on their own. They usually do not have the money for it and that is the big problem. But of course they want to. For example, if the young chef wants to Curacao to work or for an internship, the company needs stand behind him/her and motivate it. Because otherwise they just keep on in that circle of noodles, fried rice and moski aleysi, while there is much more than that.
And then comes someone once by chance here from the outside. I should perhaps not say, but in my experience they are here too short and it is more a vacation for them. I do not feel foreign anymore, I feel like a man of the Caribbean, after 6 years I am allowed to say so.
If you’ve been abroad and you have worked in other kitchens… classical French kitchens, Italian kitchens… then you will see the different products here in Suriname. For as a “varkenswangetje” (ed. pork cheek) that is served at Royal Torarica, when more than a year ago no one did a thing with. It was, together with the face of the pig, all used in order to mince, and grind to black pudding. I have a butcher who found she wanted to cut them out especially for me.
The challenge for me was to do it more beautiful than the chef who was previously there and delivered beautiful work here, and then push the lower purchasing costs. Then you have to look for products that have lower prices, products simply found in Suriname, it is enough. Pork cheek, stewing with Parbo stout, I go to the market I get potatoes, baby leeks, carrots, and then I make very simple with basic products for Suriname a very exclusive dish. Surinamese products in an exclusive way prepared… PERFECT flavor!
I had expected much more. I thought I’d come to a paradise! My assumption was that in Suriname a lot grows and it has a lot of flowers, but that is not so true. The Dutch cauliflower and cucumber do not grow well here. Of course it is true that many here can grow and prosper.
My time at Royal Torarica was absolutely top. In my seven years in the Caribbean, I’ve never worked with a better kitchen team than with them, I am very proud of what we have accomplished together in one year. Now the next chief should hold the banner high.
But all good things come to an end. I’m back among the trees, blue sea, sand and sun. the real reason for my move to the Caribbean.
I loved living in Suriname and miss it always. It was a wonderful time, but I needed a new challenge and now I’ve moved to Bonaire, where I am the Executive Chef at Harbour Village.