A chat with Erik de Rop
We are still reeling from the success of the “Les Chambres du Chef” initiative, which saw our Belgian hotels partner up with amazing local chefs – finding an inventive way to arrange dinner dates during the recent lockdowns. So, we thought we’d give the stage to one of these great chefs – Erik De Rop from Gainsbourg (Leuven). Together with Eddy Beckers, since 2014 Erik has been running the restaurant on the smallest, but perhaps cosiest little square in Leuven: Kardinaal Mercierplein.
Penta: What do you think of garden gnomes?
Erik: I have nothing against garden gnomes as long as they are well hidden ☺
P: Where do you feel most at home? Where is your ‘hood’?
E: Leuven, definitely! I love this city and I always want to return… I always want to stay here.
P: Tell us about a project that is keeping you busy in this period.
E: Currently, we are preparing for the final and complete reopening of our restaurant. In the meantime, we were very happy that we could brush up our skills and have some of our staff work on the "Les Chambres du Chef" project in Pentahotel Leuven. Being able to meet our guests again and spoil them with our food gave us a huge boost!
P: Who are your role models?
E: No doubt about it, my dad, absolutely! He’s gone for almost 12 years but not a day goes by
without thinking of him. He’s my eternal hero. Even though he passed away, I still learn from him and continue to understand him better.
P: You have ten seconds to tell our readers why they should check you out.
E: It’s all about hospitality. Wherever you meet me, I will make sure you have a wonderful time.
P: Who is the last person you called?
E: My mom, 82 and still in pretty good shape. The loneliness caused by this crisis is hard for her, so I try to call her every day.
P: Pizza or burgers?
E:Why not a pizzaburger? Best of both worlds!