The delicious universe of Willem Verlooy
- Belgian Best Pastry Chef of year 2015 by Gault & Millau
- Develop unique desserts for exclusive high end restaurants
- Owner of his pastry shop near Antwerp, Belgium
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One of Belgium’s best patissiers
Willem Verlooy is a young pastry chef with a passion for baking that is in his genes. For many years, Willem’s parents worked together with his uncle and cousin in their large bakery in Geel, Belgium, but when Willem turned 18, they decided to go it alone and the three of them began their own bakery in Westerlo. In this ‘bread boutique’, the emphasis lay on speciality bread, but soon enough it turned out that Willem, who had trained as a baker and pastry chef at St. Jozefs Institute in Geel, had a special talent for fine pastry. He started to go on courses, attend demonstrations and read books on the subject. Every night after work, he endlessly tried out techniques,refining his art day after day, sometimes even working through the night.
A real evolution in pastry making
Sugar is used a lot less nowadays, not only for health reasons, but also because people prefer more natural flavours. Other elements have changed too: heavy butter creams and sugary whipped cream have been replaced by lighter, healthier options. Willem himself has developed a signature style. His creations are stylish and simplistic, with simple colour combinations, clean lines and sophisticated decoration that is executed to perfection. He never combines more than five textures and three flavours – any more would just be too much. Inspiration is something Willem never lacks. If anything, he has to hold back or he would spend all his time testing out recipes. “There are still so many flavours to explore, and so many possibilities: individual pastries, big cakes… It’s endless.”
His adventures in the world of pastry continue. Next year, he is building a demonstration kitchen next to his home, where he can experiment and prepare for competitions.