Niel & Ada Piferoen
Pastry Chef Niel Piferoen had always known what he wanted to do in life. At the age of 16, he returned to his native country of Belgium to pursue that dream. He attended the Bakery and Pastry School Ter Groene Poorte in Brugge, one of the most well known schools for pastry in Europe. During his 4-year study, he worked every weekend at local pastry shops and restaurants. He returned to the States where he began his career working at Citronelle, owner Michel Ricard’s acclaimed restaurant in Washington DC. After only 3 months, Chef Niel was placed in charge of running the pastry shop under the supervision of Michel Ricard. This 2-year opportunity was one of his best learning experiences. He moved on to work with Ewald Notter, World Master of Sugar and Chocolate. During the year, Chef Niel traveled around the country with Ewald and guest Chef’s Norman Love and Collette Peter, just to name a few. To be able to spend time teaching with the best in the business was an experience of a lifetime.
The next step in his career was at the Ritz Carlton in Georgia. He spent one year working for the opening of this location then it was back to DC. After working at Red Sage for a while, Chef Niel headed back once again to his native country. Once there he worked as Pastry Chef for the 3-Michelin stars Restaurant, Karmeliet. There he discovered the many spices that he could use in his desserts and that opened another door in his career. Back in the United States, he went to work for the opening of Restaurant Eve in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia. After only 3 months, Restaurant Eve received 3 stars from The Washington Post and within weeks of that, Chef Niel had an article about his talents in the same paper.
After these many successes, it was time to head west to Carmel, California. Working at the Highlands Inn Park Hyatt, he handled two Masters of Food & Wine, the most prestigious food and wine show in the USA.
Enjoying the work for the Park Hyatt Group, he transferred to the Park Hyatt in Los Angeles. He found out shortly afterwards that this location was no longer going to be managed by the Park Hyatt group. The Willard Intercontinental in Washington, DC offered Chef Niel the position of Pastry Chef so it was back to the East Coast, this time with his bride Li-Tang Ada Wang who has become famous for her pressure cooker recipes.
Back in Burtonsville, Maryland, the two newlyweds starting discussing the possibility of starting their own business. The first step decided was that this business would specialize in Belgian chocolates, pastries and other forms of dessert. With the help of Master Chef of Belgium, Geert Piferoen, who is Chef Niel’s father, the dream began to take shape.
Years of training and hours of teaching have brought Chef Niel to the next step of his life. With the support of his family and friends, LOCOLAT has arrived!