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Unconventionality and the enthusiasm of a kid is what makes Roger Van Damme a textbook case in the world of pastry-making. Indeed, on top of the Best pastry chef in the world award given by The Best Chef Awards in 2017 and the one in 2009 for the best dessert in the world, in 2010 he conquered a Michelin star with Het Gebaar, the restaurant in Antwerp which he’s been running since 1994 with his wife Cindy. Born in 1971, in Oostburg in The Netherlands, it would be limiting to define Van Damme as a simple pastry chef.
Indeed, this Dutchman who settled in Belgium is an innovator. After all he’s one of Ferran Adrià’s dearest friends. The Spanish chef, one of the fathers of molecular cuisine, often fed youngRoger’s desire for knowledge – the latter being a model “pupil”. His desserts are real artworks that is a shame to cut into with a fork, the result of years of research and of a unique and varied use of techniques. A vision of pastry-making that Van Damme doesn’t limit to his signature desserts but applies to great traditional classics.
It’s not just destiny that made Van Damme approach pastry-making. The genes run in the family, after skipping two generations: a very young Roger was attracted by his great-grandfather’s profession. Since his passion didn’t decline, he attended the Ter Groene Poorte, a school of gastronomy in Bruges, and in 1994 he opened Het Gebaar (which means “The gesture”) which in 2003 he moved to the current location. His curiosity, as well as the rigorous gestures of a great pastry chef soon lead him to stand out and become one of the most important pastry chefs in Belgium, where he’s also a prominent TV chef, and in the world.
A journalist from Catania, now in Milan, she was born in 1966. «I travel, meet people and tell stories on Volevofareilgiornalista» and on numerous other publications
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All the photos are from Brambilla/Serrani
The programme of the 15th edition of the Identità Milano Congress will include many new speakers as well as many returns. Here are the highlights of the three days, taking place in the spring, for the first time, on March 23rd-25th. The complete programme is available online in the new section of the website, dedicated to the Congress