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Brussels chip stand owner brings Belgian frites to chic Saint-Tropez
A well-known Brussels chip stand owner has set up shop in fashionable Saint-Tropez, bringing traditional Belgian frites to the south of France.
Patrick De Corte, known as the spokesperson of the Brussels carnies, was invited to sell chips during the summer holidays in the Riviera beach town and business is booming.
The local authorities would like him to stay permanently but he can’t be tempted. “I really miss my friends at the Foire du Midi so this will last no more than six months and I’ll be packing up in October,” he said.
"I'm mainly here in France because I'm proud of our fries culture. French cuisine is fantastic - good wines, good cheeses, good food. But good chips? They’re not quite there," he laughs. “Our prawn croquettes are also extremely popular.”
For a French touch, he installed his fryer in a Chinese reproduction of an old Citroën HY van, without an engine.
“It’s a beautiful shiny black food truck that the locals adore,” De Corte added. “The chips are slightly more expensive than they would be at the Foire du Midi, but after all, Saint-Tropez is a high-end venue.”
This interlude in the sun has him thinking about the future. This autumn his three children will be taking over the main operation of the business but he has not settled on any retirement plans.
"My parents died when they were my age," says the 64-year-old entrepreneur. For the time being, he lives cautiously in the 'now'.
"We will see how my health goes. In any case, my future lies in Brussels. I am a proud Buumdroeger and carry the Meyboom every year. And I must be able to go cheer on RSC Anderlecht. A football fan is a fan all the way to the grave.”