Nick Bril and Sergio Herman : the two amazing chefs from restaurant The Jane..Antwerpen
‘Early 2011, I asked Sergio to join me for breakfast in Knokke. At the time, I was feeling unsettled about the future and felt I needed new challenges. Managing the kitchen of Oud Sluis was no longer satisfying. I was still young, but wanted to learn in other areas than just the culinary. It wanted to tell Sergio that I was thinking of a new challenge. And I had to do this on time, as Sergio had just opened his second restaurant Pure C in Cadzand. So, there we were, sitting at a table on a Saturday morning, finally a quiet moment in our hectic lives, discussing the future. He listened to my story and asked me to specify my ambitions and why I was thinking of other things. It became clear pretty quickly that Sergio was also ready for a new challenge as soon as Pure C was up and running. Maybe starting a business together would be the right story.’
‘A couple of months later I received a phone call from Job Smeets of Studio Job. He told me about a place in Antwerp, a former chapel that was so beautiful, it might just become the most gorgeous restaurant of Belgium. One visit was all it took. It immediately felt as the place where it was all going to happen. The building might be much too big for a restaurant that we wanted to bring up to a level that would suit us. But not doing it was not an option. I only thought: if we are really going ahead with this, we need help from the people closest to us.
And that is how it started. Three years we spent brainstorming, working and arguing. With partners, suppliers, artists, other businesses and of course the man who could design it: Piet Boon. The Jane would never have been possible without the confidence of all the people who helped us with the project. From the smallest cushion on the couches through to the three kitchens where you can dance behind the stove like never before. Everything in The Jane is the result of a conversation, a discussion, a negotiation. And everything has come about because of the people around us. Our team, our restaurant-manager Robert and all the partners have made it possible for us to realise our dream.’