What are your earliest memories of being interested in food?

The first time I remember was my mother cooking with fresh ingredients and spices. It was always so beautiful to see and taste the passion in her dishes.

What, or who, would you say has inspired your cooking the most?

My Mother, here home cooking was amazing.

Describe your culinary style…

International cuisine, with a French base but with a lot of influence of my home country, Suriname.

What would you say is the main focus/concept for your menu at Princess Yaiza?

To show what’s possible with your culture and show my own style of cooking in combination with local ingredients.

What are you most looking forward to about being at Princesa Yaiza?

To meet new people and see what’s happening there. Travelling and other cultures make us better in what we do; over and over again.

What do you think makes a restaurant or menu sosuccessful?

Having satisfied guests is still key for me. I cook not only for myself but also try to detect what my customers want and use that to surprise them.

What are your most indispensable ingredients?

Spices from all over the world because they can give an extra dimension to a dish.

What kind of experience do you aim to give guests when you cook for them?

I want to give a full experience, exciting food, top service and the best quality of everything.

What would you say has been the most memorable moment in your culinary career so far?

Getting the second star for my restaurant, because with that it was confirmed that what I do is good and people appreciate it.

If you could go back in time, what advice would you give your younger self, starting out a career in the world of food?

Try to experience more different cooking styles and restaurants, just see more of the world before start your own restaurant.

What’s next for you/Whats projects do you have lined up?

I want to have more international attention, and as a goal I would like to get in the San Pellegrino list of top restaurants in the world.

What is your guilty pleasure?

Eating Hamburgers at Mcdrive.

What restaurant is currently at the top of your list to dine at?

Geranium and Maemo.

Find out more about Soenil here…