Dedication to craft, artistic vision and rare beauty are the ingredients that make Sergio Herman a superstar chef.
He runs on adrenaline and pushes himself—and his staff—to their limits to ensure that absolute perfection is served at Oud Sluis, a three Michelin starred restaurant in the Netherlands, that is fully booked every weekend for an entire year.
But after twenty five years of working under constant pressure, the pot is about to burst. Sergio is ready to transition away from the family business that has ultimately shaped the person he has become.
Sergio Herman, Fucking Perfect has everything you expect from a movie about food. There are major tantrums that kick off in the chaos of a commercial kitchen and beautiful camera work captures Sergio’s passion and attention to detail, inviting the audience to view his handiwork up close and personal, as he applies pure artistry to each and every dish.
Away from the frenetic energy of the kitchen, the film is balanced by scenes of family life and we see a softer side to Sergio’s personality during moments of solitary contemplation, as he plans the final menu for the closing night of Oud Sluis.
The truth of the matter is that we all need food to survive, but in Sergio’s case it breathes life into his very soul and he expresses it very clearly: “When I’m at home all I do is dream, I’m absent-minded [but] when I end up in the kitchen I‘m suddenly awake, alert, focused.”
While the film left me visually sated, I didn’t feel as moved as I had hoped. Perhaps I had pinned too much on this one, but for me, a powerful documentary is one that piques my curiosity, and leaves me thinking long after viewing.
Not to say that I didn’t come away empty handed, because there is something to be gained here. At a deeper level, Sergio Herman, Fucking Perfect will make you question your own core values and take a look at how you want to achieve your personal goals.
Sergio Herman: Fucking Perfect is screening at the Documentary Edge Festival this May. For further information head to the Documentary Edge Festival website.