:: LifeHacks :: The People – Omen Eric

When I was born, my mom and dad gave me a godfather and godmother. That’s tradition in Belgium. I even carry their names in my full name. At work here in New York, my team always tries to pronounce my full name correctly. Sometimes I even hear them practicing in the back and doing little contests to see who is best! And since my name is Belgian, it’s not that easy for them.

My 3rd name is Eric, like my godfather and I believe he has been a great influencer of my current life. When we were kids, we used to visit him, in his restaurant. He was a restaurant owner and cook and showed me the magic of hospitality.
I still remember us going in the kitchen in the back. When all the other guests were not allowed there, we could see where the food was made! How cool!
That’s where I realized that I wanted to have my own restaurant later in life.

On my first day of school in Bruges – Hotel School – I received a message from him.
That he was super proud of me, following into his footsteps. That the restaurant industry is very heavy, you have to work really hard, long days, days when everybody else is off. But it is also a very rewarding industry. Making people happy, to see them sharing a meal.

He always encouraged me along the way.
In 2010, me, my sister and Omen (which means Uncle) Eric decided to take a city trip to New York. As I just started working in Oud Sluis, that moment one of – if not – the best restaurant in The Netherlands, my chef gave us some addresses of restaurants we’d definitely had to visit. On our way to Buddakan, a name on the list, we passed by a beautiful townhouse for sale. It was there and then that I made the promise to myself to come back to New York to live here for 1 year…

Now that I am working here in New York in a restaurant, managing a Le Pain Quotidien store, serving Belgian food and pastries, makes the circle complete.
I am the guardian of my mothers side of the family. My grandfather had a bakery, my uncle had a restaurant, my mom taught me to travel and to share a meal…

With Love and Happiness :: ANN ::

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