We are convinced that passion encourages passion. For years our grandparents have been getting the best out of nature and each other. Through some questions we try to give you insights on the strong women, whom next to their other half color the world just that little brighter.
Charlotte Pillen is the strong woman at Hierbas de las dunas, a lauded herbal liquor elaborated with ingredients picked from the Zealand dunes. She is also the strong woman next to Syrco Bakker, the driving force at restaurant Pure C** in Cadzand. Together they are a dynamic duo that has proven its strength on several occasions.
1. Do you consider yourself to be a powerful women?
What is a powerful woman? During my upbringing, quitting was never an option. I learned that you better push through. If you really wan’t to get something done, you put you back into it, and you go for it, hands-on. In this respect I’m a strong woman for sure.
2. How do you keep yourself inspired
I just love traveling around, getting to know other cultures. Even a citytrip can be very fulfilling. At home my husband keeps me inspired. Sometimes it’s just extraordinary what goes on in his head. With him, just a simple night out can lead to the most amazing ideas.
3. What was your biggest challenge so far, and how do you look back on it?
When I was 21 my father unexpectedly passed away. All of a sudden I had to take the lead in the family restaurant. An experience that surely made me who I am today. It was a though time in which I ran several times into the wall. It wasn’t evident to manage a much older team at that age. Sometimes I wonder how I did cope back then, but I still look back on that time with a lot of pride.
4. Kiss My… is about going your own way, against the stream. In which aspects is your stubborn side coming through?
I don’t consider myself as stubborn, certainly not. What I do like is doing my own thing, and that reflects in everything. If people look at that as going against the stream, that’s their thing. I just don’t want to be another herd animal.
5. With what dish Syrco gets you quiet?
With almost everything! Even when I think we don’t have anything left in the fridge he manages to put something incredible on the table. I don’t like to brag about my man, but he is really an incredible chef.
6. Who would you like to go out with?
Nowadays I just long for a night out with friends. My motto is ‘work hard, play hard’. A festival or a party with friends just makes me happy.
7. You became a mother recently. What good advice would you already like to pass through?
Mama knows best.
A lot of people have advices and opinions. Those things get you intimidated easily as a young mother. At the end it all just comes down to instincts and you know what’s best for your baby.
8. Which strong woman do you admire the most?
I’m surrounded by a lot of strong women. I really look up to my sister. She has an incredible busy schedule but somehow she’s always there for me. My sister in law is fighting a horrible disease but carries on with a great positive mindset. And the list doesn’t stop there. Actually I’m only surrounded by strong women. Women just writing their own story!
9. What, where or who is your your favorite retreat?
Offline. It doesn’t need to be far, actually it doesn’t matter where. Just away from it all, no cellphone, off grid for a few days. That’s when I find inner peace. No distractions, total surrender to the moment.
Zealand oyster with frozen hierbas margarita
North Sea sangria
Kiss My rhubarb: 100ml
Hierbas de las dunas: 200ml
Appele juice: 100ml
strawberry coulis: 100ml
Botlle of sparkling wine