Nick Bril: The art of music-and-food pairing

Belgian chef NICK BRIL runs one-Michelin star restaurant The Jane — and he’s also an accomplished DJ who cut an electronic music album. Get a taste of his edgy food and music when he comes here for Citibank’s $100Gourmet series

Belgian chef Nick Bril
Belgian chef Nick Bril
22 Jul 2015

Belgian chef Nick Bril

A chef helming a one-Michelin star restaurant isn’t new. But heavily-tattooed chef Nick Bril, 35, of modern European restaurant The Jane in Antwerp, also spins alternative electronic dance beats in his dining room. The music, he says, is to accompany his creative reinterpretations of traditional European plates using elements from street food and Asian cooking.

Fun Facts:

1. He prefers silence when he’s cooking. “I only listen to loud electronic music in the morning during prep work, ’cos it wakes all of us up in the kitchen. But no music during service! I like to keep my concentration on the food and plating.”

2. He went on a food tour in Geylang three years ago. “I had a one-day stopover in Singapore and ate from 9am to 3am! We were eating stuff like oyster omelette and frog leg porridge while ladies were trying to come on to us!”

3. His favourite ‘Jane’ is not called Jane. “We chose the name ‘Jane’ for the restaurant ’cos we wanted something feminine, yet strong and accessible. But my favourite girl in the world is my two-year-old daughter and she isn’t called Jane. She’s called Vika.”

4. He cooked for Tim Burton. “He came to our restaurant last Saturday. He’s filming a movie in Belgium. He didn’t have any special requests and just went with the flow. At the end of the night, he told us that he had an amazing, out-of-the-world experience.”

Nick's inventions
Nick's inventions
22 Jul 2015

Nick's inventions

His inventions include Iberico Pork with miso eggplant and ginger flower, and Pickled Seabass with fermented horseradish and dill (pictured above).

Last month, the Belgian produced The Jane’s first electronic music album, Emulsion, and his works are available on Soundcloud. “I only started deejaying so that I can provide a multisensory experience for my diners. Then, I started getting invitations to spin at events. My focus is still on my food, but I spin at the restaurant on special occasions,” he says.

One-Michelin star restaurant, The Jane
One-Michelin star restaurant, The Jane
22 Jul 2015

One-Michelin star restaurant, The Jane

Nick started his cooking career as a dishwasher when he was 14 and worked his way up to become three-Michelin-star Belgian chef Sergio Herman’s right-hand man at the now-defunct Oud Sluis. The pair co-owns The Jane.

This cool chef will be bringing his brand of music-and-food pairing to Singapore (he’ll be playing pre-recorded tracks here, not actually ‘spinning’ since he has to cook) for Citibank’s $100Gourmet series, a monthly programme which pairs internationally-acclaimed chefs with locally-based ones to present a six-course menu at $100 per pax ($180 for non-cardmembers). Nick will collaborate with ME@OUE’s French executive chef Jeremy Gillon and Ikyu’s Takuma Seki. Perhaps it’ll be like eating posh cuisine with a soundtrack from Zouk?

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