A TONIC BOMB. Sergio Herman & Christophe Glorieux.

Celebrated dutch chef Sergio Herman sits down in his Antwerp restaurant The Jane with Christophe Glorieux, Brand Manager for Fever-Tree at Jet Import, to discuss their recent collaboration: a signature clementine & cinnamon tonic.


“I have always been interested in fashion, architecture, art and design and always enjoyed travelling, visiting galleries, going to concerts. Over the years I’ve met a lot of interesting people, with some of which I’ve had a certain ’click’. Bringing these people together, combining their talent, allows magic to happen.” From the first time Sergio laid eyes on the building, he was already thinking about the team. Who would be the architect? The partners? The artists and designers? “In fact, it’s a very nice journey - to seek with your intuition, for those who can add extra ingredients to the mix”


“It’s a new direction in gastronomy, a new way of eating. I wanted a restaurant that combines elements from music, fashion, art and design - there’s also food, of course.” Judging by Sergio’s enthusiasm it seems the idea is to forget everything, to enter into an immersive experience. “It was essential for me that people really feel the energy & the spirit of the place.”


“If you don’t cook with emotions, there’s a good chance your plates will be sh*t. It’s essential to show your tears, anxiety, anger - to bring all this to the plate. The beginning of the year, what I would call the subtler months, is not the best period for me - but it forces me to think more creatively. With the arrival of spring and summer come herbs, sunlight, more satisfaction on the plate and more opportunities to cook with.”


“After 25 years working at Oud Sluis, I reached a certain capacity - I was at my highest point, but thought it was time for change, to take the next step. That’s not to say I wouldn’t do it for 10 years more…” As a self proclaimed ‘guy from the seaside’, Herman developed deep maritime connections, often using long walks on the dunes as an inspiration for new dishes. Along with his partner and bras-droit Nick Bril, they spent three years defining and refining the concept of The Jane. After a critically acclaimed opening three years ago, to raving reviews and praise for both the kitchen and the spectacular interior, Herman keeps his eyes set on future projects - from his second Frites Atelier recently opening in Antwerp, to a brand new restaurant on the coast. “I’m even thinking of opening a brasserie. I want to colour the culinary world differently… to bring to the table what I’m missing myself, be it a new take on a well known dish or a twist to a drink, just like this new tonic…


Joining the conversation, Christophe Glorieux from Jet Import adds the fact that “the idea was actually born on holiday in Ibiza. Over a meal, Sergio asked if it would be possible to develop his own tonic and I immediately introduced the owners of Fever Tree to the idea, not knowing what they would think.” The first meeting took place at The Jane, where Sergio kicked the process off by already preparing a range of fresh ingredients. “These guys are obsessed with quality,” Glorieux adds, “travelling the world in search of the very best ginger or cinchona bark. There was an immediate spark, and after a year of back-and-forth we felt we were onto something. The collaboration is a perfect match with the spirit of Jet Import, who are so much more than just a distributor -  and because Sergio embodies the concept of premium products, served in a premium way, we feel that this is a partnership that will last.”


“Although we had different styles and tastes in mind,” Herman explains, “from spices to citrus fruits, the exotic combination of clementine and cinnamon was actually a pairing that inspired me years ago for a dessert.” Having tried six or seven interesting ingredients, the team eventually narrowed it down to something they felt was both unique and accessible. “The pure taste of tonic is great, but when served over ice with a touch of vodka and this lovely ‘agrume’ flavouring, the result is fantastic.” 

Herman concludes by saying that the creative “click” and sharing of brand values between himself and Jet Import, certainly set the tone for the right collaboration. Both he and Glorieux agree that although they are often solicited for a variety of product developments, they turn down the majority of offers in order to leave time for more fruitful partnerships.

Sergio Herman, éminent chef néerlandais et fondateur du restaurant anversois The Jane, et Christophe Glorieux, responsable de produits Fever-Tree chez Jet Import, nous parlent de leur récente collaboration pour la création d’un tout nouveau tonic aux arômes de clémentine et de cannelle.

C’est un véritable coup de cœur qui a frappé Sergio à la vue de cette ancienne chapelle d’Anvers et l’a décidé d’y fonder un nouveau restaurant gastronomique hors du commun. Chef aux centres d’intérêt éclectiques, Sergio accorde une grande importance aux personnes dont il s’entoure et a choisi avec soin l’architecte, les designers et autres partenaires qui l’ont accompagné dans ce projet. The Jane se veut un lieu unique, rassemblant la musique, la mode, l’art et le design autour de la haute gastronomie. Sergio met dans ses plats toute sa créativité et toutes ses émotions.

Après 25 ans à la tête du restaurant triplement étoilé Oud Sluis, Sergio Herman était en quête de nouveaux défis. En compagnie de son bras droit Nick Bril, ils passeront trois ans à définir et perfectionner le concept de The Jane, acclamé dès son inauguration tant pour sa cuisine que pour son cadre spectaculaire. Mais le Néerlandais garde le regard tourné vers l’avenir, avec déjà de nouveaux projets en tête, tels qu’un deuxième Frites Atelier à Anvers, un nouveau restaurant à la côte et, pourquoi pas, une brasserie. « Je veux colorer le monde culinaire différemment », nous confie-t-il.

C’est dans cette optique qu’est née la collaboration avec Christophe Glorieux, en vue de la création d’un nouveau tonic exclusif. L’entente entre les deux hommes est immédiate, et l’idée séduit d’emblée les propriétaires de Fever Tree. L’obsession de la qualité des produits et de la perfection du service de Sergio fait parfaitement écho aux valeurs de Jet Import. Un partenariat durable est né.

Le développement du nouveau tonic peut commencer. Au fil des tests et des combinaisons d’ingrédients et de styles, le choix s’oriente vers des arômes accessibles tout en restant uniques : clémentine et cannelle. « Le goût du tonic pur est génial, mais servi sur des glaçons avec de la vodka et cette merveilleuse note d’agrume, le résultat est fantastique. »

Les deux hommes s’accordent à dire que ce double déclic – créatif et personnel – constitue la base idéale pour une collaboration fructueuse, quitte à décliner une offre qui ne rassemblerait pas ces deux facteurs de réussite. Ou comment privilégier la qualité sur la quantité.