We met Sander in 2014 when he opened his own pop-up restaurant, Leo, on our street in the Nieuw Kwartier.
Leo was a dessert-only restaurant and they used our almond milks to create fresh, vegan ice cream!
Inspired by his grandfather, who used to be a pastry chef, Sander turned his passion for food into an art and he became a pattisier.
He has honed his craft by working hard in the kitchens of Pierre Gagnaire, Espai Sucree and Pierre Marcolini, among others.
In the past few years, he is the chef-patissier at Domestic in Antwerp.
We recently sat for a chat over tea, Jus Jus and of course, some delicious Sander-made desserts!
Can you share your journey with us? Was cooking always a part of your life?
No it wasn’t, I’ve started with pastry when I was 15, but it was after school (when I was 20) that I got motivated.
Yes it has always been, my grandfather was a pastry chef, so eating pastry/sweets was always a part of my life.
What is it about food that you feel so connected to?
I love the artisan thing about a product, food or ingredients that’s made with passion.
What made you focus on pastry making and desserts?
When I was 22, I bought a book of el Bulli and from that day I’ve started to focus on making desserts. I was working for Pierre Marcolini and during the weekends in a restaurant in Antwerp. There I could make what I wanted, it was a very interesting period for me.
What’s your favorite thing about working at Domestic?
Every day I’m learning, not only in pastry but also in managing everything. We’re having 2 shops and a high tea... It is very stressful, but also very interesting.
Being a chef and eating/cooking a lot can sometimes make you feel out of balance. How do you stay energetic, healthy and feeling at your best?
I’m trying to go a few times a week to CFA (Crossfit Antwerpen), I need sports to stay energetic. And try to eat everyday some fresh fruits ;)
What does a typical day looks like for you?
Wake up between 2 and 5 (not every day is the same), work work work, working on my own projects after work, going to CFA for a workout, cooking and enjoying the evening with my fiancé.
What are the 5 things you have in your fridge, always?
Old parmesan, mustard from Tierenteyn Verlent, homemade chimichuri, yoghurt and grapefruit.
Do you have a favorite Jus Jus?
What are you currently listening to, reading or following on Instagram?
I love photography so I do follow some photographers with the same interests like Ingrid Hofstra. Streetart like Bue the warrior or young artists as Bendt Eyckermans. I’ve been a fan my whole life of Royal Antwerp FC so they need to be in my list as well :)
Your favourite spots to:
- enjoy a good coffee: St Vincents
- have an unforgettable dinner: Michel Bras
- sneakers shopping: Vier Antwerp
- get a good workout: Crossfit Antwerpen or Ting Tong (thai boxing)
We're still in the beginning of a new year, so a lot of talk about new resolutions...want to share one of your 2019 intentions with us?
2019 will be better than 2018!