Teacher at PIVA – Antwerp, BelgiumWalter Serbruyns
"I think I can truly say that patisserie runs in my blood. When I was 12, I wasn’t really one of the bright kids in school. My grades were… well far from top scores (laughs)... and I felt like the outsider in my family. Everything changed when watching a documentary about China. The discipline by which Chinese people lived and worked really struck me… especially because they excelled in what they did. From that day, I knew I wanted to excel in something too.
Pastry and chocolate became my real passions. After pastry school, I came to work for Jef Damme. After a few years I started my own business and enjoyed it for 24 years.
"That’s also why I love chocolate so much. If it were up to me, I would have done every pastry with chocolate… for the taste, the completeness it creates… My wife was happy at times, when I also did a few recipes without chocolate, to please everyone in the shop."
Now I’m teaching. I love to pass on what I’ve learned throughout the years. I teach the basics to my students. Essential techniques that would otherwise disappear. Precision. 102°C is 102°C, and not one degree less or more. I teach them how to create with direct and basic flavours – without overkill or too many ingredients. Going back to the base of really good taste is what I’ve always loved. And choosing the best ingredients is crucial to achieve that.”