Nick Bril began his career in restaurants as a dishwasher at the tender age of 14. A year later he was offered the chance to help in the kitchen where, as he says, he caught the ‘gastronomy bug’. He soon realised that he had to make a decision if he wanted to follow his heart and embarked on a high-quality culinary education in Bruges followed by internships at several Michelin-starred restaurants in the Netherlands, such as De Kurhaus, Chateau St. Gerlach and De Librije.
At the age of 19, Nick began working for three Michelin-starred chef Sergio Herman’s Oud Sluis restaurant and “became infected by the rock & roll virus”. This essentially means working extremely hard, trying to be incredibly close to perfection and at the same time creating an easy-going, chilled ambiance far removed from the stiff and frigid atmosphere that pervades many restaurants at this level. True, the Oud Sluis restaurant was a Michelin-starred restaurant but it was passionate, exciting and young-spirited. Nick left Oud Sluis after four years and became the head chef of the Envy restaurant in Amsterdam, though only for a year. He decided to return to Oud Sluis to take on the role of head chef alongside Sergio Herman. At the time, he was only 24 years old… And then, almost five years ago, Nick and Sergio decided to start a brand new business together in Antwerp: The Jane.
The Jane restaurant opened in 2014, gaining its first Michelin star that same year, after only 8 months, followed by a second in 2015. The restaurant is an amazing blend of world-class gastronomy, accessible to a broad public, young and old, foodies or guests taking their first steps in gastronomy.
I have a very strong, clear vision and I don’t want to focus only on being a chef.
In his rare spare time, Nick is a music fan who expresses his creativity as a DJ on the side. For him, gastronomy and music are a symbiosis of his overall perception of life and love. Besides awesome food and Nick’s music, the whole ambiance of the restaurant is perfectly in tune with the design and the interior. All the senses are opened wide on entering the restaurant and stay open, which is exactly what Nick and Sergio wanted to achieve and share with their guests.
“I’m 33 now and still at the beginning of my career. I have a very strong, clear vision and I don’t want to focus only on being a chef. We are collaborating with a number of artists and have been present at several festivals because we believe it’s important to share the experience of our food and philosophy with as many different people as we can. I also travel extensively around the world because I want to discover other cultures, continue my development and be inspired by other people, ingredients, flavours, etc. When I return to The Jane, I always have lots of new ideas for the restaurant and bar. The mixture of fine dining, artists and designers makes my job as an entrepreneur one of the most thrilling and challenging jobs imaginable. It’s not only my ‘duty’ but my desire to convey this feeling to the guests. They will feel, see, taste, smell and hear my vibes on the plate.”
Connoisseurs of food and music interested in experiencing a kaleidoscope of sensations can join Nick Bril when he brings his joint passions to Restaurant Ikarus in Hangar-7 during his tenure as guest chef in March 2018.
ServusTV: Culinary Heights at Ikarus on ServusTV
Each month at Salzburg’s two Michelin-starred Restaurant Ikarus, a different top international chef creates the menu. For this globally unique concept, Hangar-7 executive chef Martin Klein visits the cream of the crop, takes a look behind the scenes of haute cuisine, and is let in on some exciting culinary secrets. “Culinary Heights at Ikarus” offers a unique glimpse into the world of high-end cuisine and provides an interesting portrait of each guest chef, their culinary philosophy, and the food culture of their country.