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Q&A: CEO of Tzar Caviar Marcus Bakker on sustainable Beluga caviar alternatives

With the use of molecular culinary techniques, Tzar Caviar crafts one of the world’s first and most exquisite sustainable Beluga caviar alternatives. Briny and rich in flavour, Tzar Caviar delivers an extraordinary gastronomic experience that enraptures gourmands. Now it is featured on the menus of many prestigious restaurants in town, and this includes Savelberg, The Reflexions and Park Society.

To find out more about this new caviar, we sat down with the CEO of Tzar Caviar, Marcus Bakker, and chef de cuisine at Park Society from SO Sofitel Bangkok, Joost Bijster.

Tzar Caviar

Tzar Caviar is special because… it is a healthy and environmentally friendly product. No breeding or processing of sturgeon is necessary as we use mackerel and salmon fillet. We work with many chefs – who are familiar with molecular techniques already – but we do all of the work for them and produce a product that is indistinguishable from Beluga caviar.

The biggest challenge so far… is getting people to try it. We’re quite successful in Russia, Germany, France and Japan. In Thailand, people are a little hesitant. I will be the first to admit that most alternative caviars are terrible. People think that it is not real beluga caviar and that it is inferior but nothing could be further from the truth. I find it a bit insulting to be called “fake” caviar because we are a quality, low-fat caviar alternative with no preservatives. Nowadays, chefs like to cook with natural products that don’t put too great a demand on the environment. What we offer is the best on the market, and top chefs around the world use Tzar Caviar on a daily basis.

I [chef Joost] first heard about Tzar Caviar from… other chefs, most notably Chef Henk Savelberg. When other chefs are excited about a product – you trust their judgment. Taste is not the only thing I like about it but also how it adds value to the menu. It is a great product because of its consistency. In many ways, it is better than the real thing because it doesn’t vary in taste, texture and colour; as the Beluga caviar’s taste is highly dependent on the season. I always know what I am getting when I use Tzar Caviar, and that is a real benefit to chef.

Tzar Caviar Park Society

When my [chef Joost] customers try Tzar Caviar… they can’t tell the difference. We are not trying to fool people or anything. We put Tzar Caviar on the menu and my staff explains it to them in detail. And the feedback has only been positive.

When it comes to cooking with Tzar Caviar… I [chef Joost] don’t treat it any different than I would with regular caviar. Maybe I use a bit more than I normally would actually, and that makes it accessible to more people.

Tzar Caviar steak tartare

The beauty of Tzar Caviar… is that you can treat it exactly the same way as you would with normal caviar. It is entirely up to you when it comes to showcasing it.  You can pair it with food or eat it straight from the jar. It is the perfect product that can be combined with seafood or meat. It is also great with oysters, eggs, smoked salmon, beef and pork. You can also put it in sauces or even in cocktails. The door is wide open and you can be as creative you want.

Tzar Caviar is available at… Park Society, of course. And I can also be contacted directly if you would like to purchase or try Tzar Caviar.

Tzar Caviar Thailand, 56 Soi Romklao 42 Khlang Sam Prawet, Lat Krabang, Bangkok, tzarcaviarthailand.com

Q&A: CEO of Tzar Caviar Marcus Bakker on sustainable Beluga caviar alternatives

Melissa Richter

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