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.
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.”
"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."