Roland Vanden Abbeele became the first water sommelier in Belgium in 2006.
“In the past, water was something that you drank when you were sick or being punished”,says the first and most famous water sommelier in Belgium. “Drinking water is fashionable today. Natural mineral water holds many possibilities.” There are 100 different brands of water in this water sommelier’s collection. Pineo was there since the very beginning.
Why has water become so popular?
“I would never have thought that water would become that important. Today there are various reasons. Natural mineral water is pure nature. It contains no alcohol or sugar. Because of the alcohol controls, more and more people alternate wine or beer with water. The volume of water in restaurants is getting bigger and bigger. “Vanden Abbeele told Pineo. “Just like wine, water can harmonize with the taste of a dish. Sparkling water stimulates appetite and makes it particularly suitable as an aperitif and with simple dishes. Water without effervescence, on the other hand, is ideal for closing and for more complicated dishes. ”
“Eating out must be an experience. Serving tap water or tap water in bottles detracts from it.”
Water sommelier Roland Vanden Abbeele
A water list for every restaurant that respects itself and its customers
“Restaurants should regard water as a fully-fledged product. Not only the profit coefficient is important, but also giving the customer what he is entitled to. Every restaurant should have at least 3 brands of water on its menu” .”To mention water without a brand is like a wine list without names. That should be a thing of the past. We are used to wine lists having different price categories for wines from different regions and with different taste keys. It is time that we do the same with water. The water menu should be equally varied. The health-conscious customer, the customer who watches his/her waistline, and the customer who loves water are entitled to it.
Osmosis water, water filters and revitalizing tap water are not worthy of a restaurant
Natural mineral water in bottles from different brands means respect for customers. There is nothing more ecological than water in bottles with a deposit. The CO² imprint is hardly meaningful for water in deposit bottles.
Transport over 2 000 km and cleaning the deposit bottle only have a 4% impact on the CO² print.
Natural mineral water is safer. Pineo natural mineral water is checked at 400 points and most tap water at only 60 points.
Tap water demineralizing via osmosis devices produces dead water. Water filters have their limitations and get polluted quickly if not perfectly maintained so they are a breeding ground of bacteria and protozoa. Vitalization Not credible. You can taste tap water and it is usually hard water.
Roland was able to blindly recognize tap water from 54 water brands served to him by the Testaankoop consumer association. He prefers no-osmosis water in the restaurant-experience.
“Selling tap water and asking money for it is wrong, whether poured from appliances or not. Providing tap water without charging money is OK. But if you do that, you as a restaurant owner cause the customer to miss out on the experience of eating out. The customer today wishes to enjoy a visit to a restaurant, including his water ”- Water sommelier Roland Vanden Abbeele
Who is Roland Vanden Abbeele, the first water sommelier in Belgium?
Roland is in his young fifties. After practical experience in the hospitality industry, he started his career teaching at the famous hotel school Ter Duinen in Koksijde, where many top chefs or well-known hospitality talent have graduated. He has been teaching the subject Beverage Knowledge there for more than 23 years As (French) maître wine sommelier, then as world wine sommelier and in 2006 as the first water sommelier.
“Teaching at the Ter Duinen hotel school in Koksijde (Belgium) makes you stop to think about specific questions your students may ask.”
He trains students on water, presents water courses, advises restaurants and hotels on their choice of water and their water menus. And he has his own collection of natural mineral water brands which he can deliver from stock and to order in almost all of Flemish Belgium. Thank you, Roland Vanden Abbeele, for having Pineo artesian water in your selection.
Water and wine sommelier Vanden Abbeele Roland, Witte Baliestraat 4 in 8600 Leke, Belgium Tel: 00 32 + 0478/34 37 70 www.watersommelier.be