The story of Serge

‘Chance to seduce more people with peppers’

Serge Aime Kouakou has been working as a chef for the past 15 years. Coming originally from Ivory Coast and having trained in London, he now has a restaurant in Almeria so he is adapting to Spanish preferences. His personal ambition is to encourage more people to eat and enjoy vegetables.


“Vegetables fit perfectly into the healthy eating trend. And they are so versatile! Two years ago I came into contact with Rijk Zwaan, and they introduced me to various new products – including a tomato with such an intense internal colour that it can even be used to make sushi, and a whole range of leafy salad vegetables that can be prepared in many different ways. These kinds of innovations inspire me to challenge myself and explore new possibilities. In return I share my experiences with Rijk Zwaan for use in future product development.”

Surprisingly sweet

“In general I find it important that, no matter what I do with a vegetable, its original taste is still recognisable. Take the Sweet Palermo pepper. It’s very sweet – but not too sweet! It has just the right acidity. Thanks to its thin skin and hardly any seeds, there are lots of ways I can use it: I can bake it in the oven or serve it in a salad, and it’s also an ideal snack. Some people are not keen on traditional bell peppers. Innovations like these enable us to entice new groups of consumers to eat more vegetables.”