Today is the 75th birthday of Eddy Cooremans, who is a Belgian frites ambassador. I first met Eddy in 2019, when Navefri/Unafri, the Belgian frites shops trade association (which represents Belgium’s 4,500+ frites shops/stands) brought a frites trailer to our lunch during the Brussels Beer Challenge judging. Eddy frequently works as an ambassador for the association, and has flown around the world to make frites in numerous counties during trade delegations and other international events. Eddy started as a locally famous football player in his youth, but after retiring became active in the frites industry, opening a Belgian frites shop in New York City in the 1980s, helped open the Belgian Frites Museum in Brugges, and writing one of the seminal books on Belgian frites, Van Aardappel tot Friet, with André Delcart. Last year, when I was back in Belgium, Eddy invited me to his home outside of Brussels and I spent the day with geeking out on all things frites. He was incredible generous with his time and it’s rare that I can find someone who will happily discuss the minutiae of frites for hours on end, but Eddy is one of those people, truly a kindred spirit. Join me in wishing Eddy a very happy birthday.
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