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20 Questions with Bas de Groot

11 Sep 2019

Milk Sommelier shares the quote he lives by, what excites him about his work and the dish he cooked to impress his girlfriend

  1. When are you happiest?

When I am outside in the fields

  1. What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?

Just Do it!  That advice was given to me by Will Allen Urban Farmer from Milwaukee USA on the location that would later become my Urban farm, when it was still only some vague idea

  1. What’s your most treasured possession?

My girlfriend and three sons

  1. What did you have for dinner last night?

Salmon, Codfish, carrots and Rice and for desert Yoghurt with stewed pears form my moms garden

  1. What excites you about your work?

That with every answer I find I also find at least 3 more questions

  1. How did you turn your love for milk into your career?

My love and fascination for milk made a friend or mine called me a Milk Sommelier. That was not something I have ever imagined in my most bizarre dreams. One of the best parts of my job is that I get to travel and meet so many interesting people with nice stories from all over the world

  1. Past, present or future, which five people are on the guest list for your ideal dinner party??

At my ideal dinner party I am surrounded by people that are passionate or even a bit nerdy about something. People that are very good story tellers as well as good listeners!

  1. What quote do you live by?

Old persian phrase;

Carry the sun to the earth,

O man you are placed between light and dark,

Be a warrior for the light,

Loves the earth so that it becomes a shining gem,

Recreate the plant Recreate the animal recreate yourself.

  1. A film you’d watch again tonight?

The real dirt on farmer John

  1. What advice would you give for someone who wants to be a Sommelier?

The first step is to go to three dairy farmers and collect some raw milk!

  1. How did you make your first dollar so-to-speak?

Most likely some small job around the house like washing the car or baby sitting

  1. What song instantly puts you in a good mood?

‘Man dares to live’ sang by the dutch artist Wende Snijders. About: dare to live. Life is beautiful. Keep your heart full of love and warmth, but we will not tell you what to think and do!

  1. What is your all-time favourite food?

Tomatos! There are so many flavours and species

  1. Your idea of hell on earth?

If there was no trust among people

  1. What is the most important life lesson being a Milk Sommelier has taught you?

That Milk is not white

  1. What is on your bucket list?

I have no real bucket list, carpe diem!

  1. It is your turn to cook, what is the most impressive dish you can throw together?

20 years ago I impressed my girlfriend with a French oriented fish stew but I also like to make Korean Kimchi. In general I like to cook seasonally, with fresh and organic products. I also like to experiment, but I will use recipes as inspiration.

  1. What living person do you most admire?

I admire a lot of people for a different unique parts of their personality. But the person I admire most is my girlfriend!

  1. How would you like to be remembered?

I hope it was worth to know me and that my presence made the world a bit more beautiful than before a came to this earth

  1. What is the bravest thing you’ve ever done?

The bravest (and most stupid) thing I’ve done what to start-up an urban farm! It was a very expensive mistake, in terms of money, health and energy! That said, I have never felt any regret for taking the chance.

Bas de Groot is the world’s first Milk Sommelier! De Groot’s conception of milk mirrors what most of us have of wine, believing that terroir matters. A region’s climate, soil, and surrounding flora will affect the end result we taste. Bas will be at the NDC stand at the National Ploughing Championships on the 18th September! Food Writer John McKenna will be chatting to Bas and conducting a special “Milk Tasting”. Come visit us in Block 3, Row 18, Stand 397 #Ploughing19