Its funny how you get a sneak peak into peoples lives when following them on social media. I have almost seen all of Roue Verveers’ shows and we are still fan. Too bad I missed Typisch Surinaams. Gladly, there is Facebook and Roue is quite active on it. You get to see bits and pieces of his personal life and a joke every now and then. I got triggered to ask Roue to interview him as he posts a picture of what he’s eaten every day. I was thinking, he must love food big time.
Why so passionate about food?
In Suriname, where I come from, food is very important. It is something you learn to appreciate from your parents. It is part of who we are. Some people like to eat because its practical, but I enjoy eating good food.
In 1992 you came to Holland to study Econometry, do you remember the first thing you ate when you came here?
Since I was little, Holland was an annual family destination. Herring a favorite from the start. I remember during one holiday eating herring was something I did often. And with often I mean very often.
What is the first thing you eat when you arrive in Suriname?
Nowadays, I have a car waiting for me at the airport and the first thing I do is drive to “Pawiro”. If it were me I would only eat baka bana’s (pisang goreng/ gebakken banaan in een hulsje) , but being older and wiser nowadays, I start with eating a bami and then eat some baka bana’s. Then the next day, the first thing I do, is go to “Kris” and buy a roti. If you want to know if I am in Suriname, Kris will know.
You owned a Restaurant, “Dogla Patoe”, tell us about it and why you stopped?
Me and my wife, we don’t cook at all. We can, but if we do its nothing special. So we cook like never, but wanted home cooked style food, so we had to come up with smart solutions. I do want to eat and taste that someone cooked it at home with a lot of love. And it also needs to be nutritious food, think vegetables. And where we live, in Amsterdam West, there is no good spot to get some Surinamese take away food or delivery service. That’s how we came up with the plan to buy the best bami, the best roti, basically the best food from the best people out there. I then thought, why not go and sell it. We did it for 1.5 years and when the guy who sold the Roti’s asked us if he could take over the place, we decided to do it.
On Facebook I get to see what you eat before you go and perform on stage. Now who is the one that cooks for you?
Ahaa a lot of people want to know, but I have different people cooking for me. For instance, “Ricardo’s” and “de Draver” in Amsterdam and a place in Almere. I get their menu in advance, so I am able to choose what I want to eat every day. My driver aka tour manager is the one who orders the food and picks it up, just before we head off and go. We drive to the theatre and have dinner together.
Surinamese and then I mean, all types: Javanese, Hindustani, Creole. All different cuisines Suriname has to offer. And if it’s not Surinamese, I have to say Thai food comes in second. If its not that, I really enjoy a good piece of meat. My personal record is about 700 gr T-Bone steak.
Roti is my absolute favorite. Since I was about 11 years old, I would go to my favorite roti place Kris and at that time it was still a small vegetable shop, but the lady would make you a roti on request. I paid 1,50 guilders at that time. Like I mentioned before, it is one of the first things I do when arriving in Suriname. That’s why I’d rather not eat roti in the Netherlands. The base is different from the ones in Suriname; less spicy, but I do settle for it. My son is also a Roti fan, so we go and get it every now and then.
Fave cookbook? Why?
Even though we don’t cook, we do have cookbooks at home. We have a whole range of Ramon Beuks cookbooks, my oldest son has read them all. He loves the stories told. And of course you need to have “het Groot Surinaams Kookboek”, Surinam pride and the basis to Surinamese cooking.
Who learned you how to cook?
I taught myself how to cook. When you come here to study, you don’t have a lot of money and need to live on a budget. So you have to cook. The lifestyle that I am living now, wasn’t doable at that time. Funny thing is that I did enjoy it then. I loved being in the kitchen and cooking. Maybe when I’m older.
Most memorable kitchen moment?
I don’t have a lot of kitchen moments in it self, but ..<laughs out loud> and nodds. No memorable moment.
Is there something you would like to learn how to make?
If there is one thing, I’d say “Pom”. I have an aunt “Ma Willie” who makes the best pom ever. Period. If you taste hers, you’ll never want anything else. I once even brought over the Pom all the way from Suriname to have my colleagues (Murt, Howard and Jandino) taste it. They are still talking about it. I have nowadays settled for less and eat pom if its on a menu somewhere and I am craving it, I order it. I don’t question it anymore. If I have to wait to eat Ma Willie’s Pom, I can only eat it once a year. Not doable for me, so I just go for the adventure. Another thing I would really like to learn how to cook is Peanut Soup.
What are you hotspots?
In NL, there are still some places where we don’t take food with us, but eat it on the spot. Goodys in Enschede, who have a kick ass steak. In Rotterdam, we get food from “Blanke Greet”. If you buy Rice and chicken there, you get to choose 3 different types of vegetables. In the Hague, we get Chinese food from Kee Lun Palace. In Utrecht, Akko is the place to get some Surinamese Chinese food, I think their Tjauwmin is the best in the Netherlands.
When spending QT with my family, we go to “Wilma and Albert” in Haarlem, they have a devilish New Yorker, Love “Loetje” for their, yes again: steak! We also enjoy sushi and my wife is fan of “Izakaya”. Every two months we have dim sum at “Oriental City” with a large group of friends.
At home we enjoy my wifes pasta bolognese. If she cooks that, everybody is happy. Her meat balls are loved too.
In Suriname, “Kris Roti” and “Pawiro”. I tend to avoid places that are popular and hyped. It took me quite a few years to go and eat at “de Optimist” for example. I’d rather have my local food. Tjauwmin from “Fun Tu”, but it depends. Quality varies, so my taste too.
Is there something specific you look for when choosing a restaurant?
Basically, I have two of my closest friends who do the fieldwork for is and then we go and enjoy culinary adventures with them. They really love food and are in to trying new stuff. Me and my wife tend to stick to our “known” places. Sometimes its a hit and sometimes its a miss, but its always fun.
What is the most special thing you’ve ever eaten?
When traveling, also with our two friends, they always find us a spot to eat. In Singapore we had fish that was fried in a way like the fish could swim away and jump in the sea again. Not special in taste, but very special in presentation.
What are you eating tonight?
Tonight I am having dinner with a friend at Dynasty. This place is nostalgia for me. When I was a student, me and my wife didn’t have the budget to eat there. But once, it was my wifes bday and her mom was visiting and said she would pay for dinner with friends. We went there and it was very impressive. Lot of guys all suited up and at that time I thought I didn’t fit in. So we enjoyed it very much.
Quote: Leef en laat leven. “Live and let live” People master a certain thing, let them master it and find your own masterpiece!
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