Guest blog post: Glass blower, Frederik Rombach

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Frederik Rombach

Hi, my name is Frederik and I am the owner of Rombachs Glass. I was born in Belgium, and raised in Benoni, Johannesburg until the age of 14 . From there, my parents and I moved to the Netherlands where I learned to speak Dutch. At aged 17 I decided to continue traveling the world and spent time living and working in San Diego, and later on in Puebla, Mexico. Leaving the warm Southern Hemisphere I spent time living and working in Bergen, Norway. About 6 years ago I moved to Antwerp and decided to settle down here (…for a while at least).

Rombachs glass studio is the first public glass studio in Belgium that works solely with waste glass. We host demonstrations where we make sculptures out of waste glass such as boxing gloves, scorpions and all kinds of other weird stuff! We also host team-building events for large and small companies looking to have some fun together and make a communal object out of glass. If you feel like do something fun after work then you can also check out the workshops that we do in the evenings!

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We are also setting up an exciting new experiment where we help people learn Flemish through glassblowing. If you are interested in this trimester program then please get in touch for more information!

But that’s not all we do: we also make company gifts. If you and your company are looking for a lasting memento, and want something truly unique then we will be able to help!

So, from sculptures to events, and a mix of products in between, that’s pretty much what we do -and we do it all with waste glass!

Please feel free to get in touch if you have any questions, ideas or projects you would like to pass on.

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a workshop at Rombachs Glass

Last but not least, on Sunday 14th of July we will be hosting our monthly Second Sunday, from 2pm – 5pm. We ask a 5€ contribution which is also your raffle ticket! At the end of the demo we will raffle off the pieces we made to a few lucky winners!

Check out our Facebook and Instagram pages and do come to see what we do LIVE!

Rombachs Glas GCV
Frieslandstraat 23,  2660 Hoboken BE
T  0032 4 86 95 96 54
www.rombachs.com

 

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Antwerp Stories: Sylwia Piatek, Life Coach from Poland

 

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Sylwia Piatek

Where are you from and what brought you to Antwerp?

 

I’m from Poland and I came to Antwerp in 1996 as an au pair. I was learning languages (English and Dutch). I fell in love with Belgium and so I didn’t go back to Poland!

I stayed and I met my present husband, and also found a job with Colruyt: I started as a saleswoman and went on to become a department head.

After 12 years I stopped. I experienced depression and burn-out so I decided to do something else. I opened my own shop selling leather bags in the centre of Antwerp (on the Nationalestraat). It was a struggle to work there at the time when the city was rebuilding that area.

I was always working with people and for people, so when one day I opened email and workshop /certification for life coach popped up, it felt like a calling.

What work do you do here in Antwerp?

I’m a certified life coach which means helping clients with personal development. I assist with work /life /business balance. I have experience in business management and in helping my clients to find different pathways to success and happiness. Some clients want to  find balance, and to have more quality time for themselves and family .

What do you feel are the challenges of adapting to life in Antwerp?

For me was the language!

What do you like best about living here?

I love the possibility to develop a mindset of growth and travel. What I mean by this is to just be grateful and live now: not later – enjoying the moment and not being overly-preoccupied by the future.

flag-2292681_640Tell us about something typically Polish that you miss.

Family- mainly I miss my mother, especially since  my father passed away a couple of months ago. Poles are very family-orientated, especially at Christmas

Poles have a  rich culture of dance, music, history . We also have very beautiful cities: Krakow is one of them

Our food is different: we eat a lot of soup, and a special cheese cake .”Ogorki kiszone” (pickled cucumbers) is another Polish specialty.

I really recommend Poland as a place to visit or for a holiday.

You have a lot of contact with Antwerp’s Polish community. Can you tell us a little more about the community and its contribution to Antwerp?

polandYes, I work with a lot of Polish people. They are talented and they are hard workers.They are not afraid of effort and commitment. Polish people are not only to be associated with the cleaning sector or construction, but make important cultural contributions too: as musicians and entrepreneurs, for example. There are more than 20,000 Polish people in Antwerp.

Our community is very rich in culture and talent. We are sometimes afraid to show it but I’d like to change that and wish that we would show more of our creativity, spirituality and love of nature

We have Polish schools and shops in Antwerp and other Belgian cities, so that Belgian people can try Polish products and explore Polish culture, or tasty Polish food. We have a Polish football team and a Women’s Volleyball team too.

We are open to learning, and sharing our achievements.We have a strong sense of community and a desire to help others.

You can find Sylwia at Successful Life Strategist (Facebook) and on instagram or on her website successfullifestrategist.com

Sylwia organises the Global Speaker Award 

 … and also these upcoming events: Live Your Passion and Rodo I Biznes

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Special post: Buon Appetito!

 

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Pasta dishes prepared by Whisk & Scoop

 

 

In this week’s special post I had the chance to pose some questions to talented cook, Luisa Melandri, co-founder of Whisk & Scoop  with Alessandra Bianco who brings authentic tastes, aromas and gastro- experiences all the way to Antwerp, from her home country of Italy- delizioso!

Hi, Luisa! Where are you from and what brings you to Antwerp?
I’m from Ravenna, a small city in Emilia Romagna.
I arrived in Belgium almost 10 years ago with my family, accompanying my husband who came to work here.

I know you have always been a food-lover. But when and why did you decide to turn it into a business?
I’m definitely a food lover, especially good food! My family and the people in my life – in Italy and Belgium – have always appreciated my cooking style: simple and traditional. Living abroad, I couldn’t help but notice that even what was branded as Italian was not always truly so. So, I asked myself why not try to share my simple and traditional approach with others?

One of the things I’m known for is my ragù; commonly known here as Bolognese sauce. This is actually what started it all. I make it for others like I would do for my family: fresh, simple, flavourful and full of love – the qualities which make Italian food so good! So, when I met Alessandra, who also  shares these values, we thought why not spread the love? And that’s how Whisk & Scoop was born!

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Luisa (left) & Alessandra in the kitchen

Tell me about what Whisk & Scoop does.
Whisk & Scoop is how we bring a little bit of Italy to our community, and we want everyone to know what that’s like! While I (the scoop) mainly deal with savoury dishes, Alessandra (the whisk) does desserts and sweet treats. She’s quite the artist, making beautiful and delicious cakes, pastries and cupcakes. My specialty is lasagna, which at this point in the year will warm your heart and your belly.


heartdessertFOur main activity at the moment is preparing food on request. Lately we have also organised small lunches and tasting sessions where we show our customers how to prepare simple,  traditional dishes from various regions of Italy. We began by preparing pasta with pesto and farinata from Liguria. Our next session will be inspired by Piemonte, as Alessandra is from Torino. We’ll be preparing bagna caudia and porcini risotto. All the recipes we prepare have been passed down from generations, and with Alessandra’s roots from Campania and mine from Toscana, we can guarantee authenticity and tradition.

Do you think food has a special role in bringing people together? How does that work in expat communities?
We say that people are happiest at the dinner table with good food, good company and good wine. I believe food brings people together, which is the basis of our culture and many others and this is what we want our customers to experience. Especially in expat communities, it is the elements of assimilation and cultural exchange that allow others to get to know a little more about yourself and vice versa. What you like says a lot about yourself and -as the saying goes- you are what you eat!whisk&scoopF

Which of your dishes are especially popular with customers?
My specialty, as mentioned, is lasagna while Alessandra’s is crostata, a jam tart. What’s also very popular at the moment are her egg-free treats.

If you could choose one dish that you love, or which represents you, what would it be?
The dish I love most is rigatoni with a good tomato sauce because it’s simple, nourishing & filling.

Give us a quick, easy recipe to enjoy over the festive season!

flag-1486376_640Nonna Leon’s Pasta ai Fagioli
1. Finely minced parsley, 1 garlic clove and half an onion and fry them in 3 tbsps of olive oil until golden.
2. Add half a can of borlotti beans, 1.5L of water and 3 tbsps of tomato paste
3. Cook for 30 minutes on medium-high heat
4. Using a hand-mixer, blend until smooth
5. Add the remaining borlotti beans and Maltagliati pasta and cook for 10 minutes
6. Season to taste and plate up!

                                             & ENJOY!

All pics courtesy of Whisk & Scoop

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