Chef Name: Nick Bril
Title: Chef/ Owner at The Jane Antwerp.
Awards: Two Michelin Stars.
74 in the Worlds 50 Best Restaurants 2017.
How old were you when you started cooking professionally? 17.
What’s your earliest and fondest first memory of food?
This really started when I went to cooking school. Before that I only knew fast food and kind of non-gastronomical food. Only when I went into education did I get in touch with fine dining and it was mind-blowing.
Which chefs inspire you most and why?
I used to be inspired by chefs when I was young, but now getting older and getting more into the business, I get inspired by people in other scenes and crafts such as DJ/entertainer Sven Väth, photographer Marc Lagrange, young musician Patrice Bäumel and knife-maker Tomer Botner, as well as the more classic chefs like Thomas Keller.
What are your two favourite cookbooks and why?
I think the El Bulli one from 1998-2002 because this was my first insight into molecular cuisine, and Manresa as I really have heart-warming memories from my visit there!
Which two ingredients could you not live without?
Dairy and Seafood.
What is your favourite comfort food to cook at home?
A simple pasta, or an aubergine parmigiana (melanzane parmigiana).
If you could eat at any Michelin star restaurant in the world today, where would it be and why?
The new Frantzén and then skip Michelin, the Willows Inn on Lummi Island.
And who would you take as your guest?
Firstly my wife, secondly my best friend.
What do you look for in a good chef?
Power. I don’t really care a lot about experience, but character, motivation, an honest heart and willpower is something I cannot teach.
What advice would you give to chefs starting their career paths now?
Get rid of the idea that you become a good chef skipping from restaurant to restaurant. All the big shots did three in their career tops! So they have learnt the craft and then they start working on their own signature.
Chef Nick Bril is Chef/ Owner at The Jane Antwerp.
Address: Paradeplein 1, 2018 Antwerp, Belgium.