Chefs Willem Hiele and Kobus van der Merwe, from Belgium and South Africa respectively, have a lot of things in common despite the fact that they cook and live thousands of kilometres apart.
The two chefs will organise a unique interactive experience that takes place in Flanders Belgium and on the West Coast in South Africa.
The first leg of this home and away experience, to use the football analogy given we are in full Champions League with all the excitement it has produced, will take place at Willem Hiele, the restaurant in Koksijde, Belgium.
South African chef Kobus van der Merwe needs no introduction. He has been dubbed the ‘René Redzepi of South Africa’ and rose to fame at the launch of the World Restaurant Awards where he claimed the titles for ‘Off-Map Destination restaurant’ as well as the Restaurant of the Year.
On the other hand, Willem Hiele, is slowly but surely making a name for himself in food circles. The Flemish Viking, as he is sometimes known, is one of Gault & Millau’s recent discovery of the year.
Online ticket sales for the event will open tomorrow Friday 10th May at 10am. More details can be found on www.restaurant.willemhiele.be
The two chefs are deeply connected to their environment, listening only to their instincts and using the North Sea and the South Atlantic Ocean as their playground.
For the first time ever, they will combine their inventive brains and will design a unique menu inspired be seasonal and local produce from foraging together. During the final performance, guests will be asked to follow a path through the garden and other secret places as both chefs will also create together a very unusual kind of deconstructed ‘scenography’ around each dish.
“Do you love the sound of the crashing waves, the salty air and the seagulls gliding over the rolling dunes? For me the North Sea and the Flemish seaside are a source of inspiration and a playground where I can lose myself every day. Our cuisine runs on uniqueness, trust in sustainability and respect for nature. Our quest ushers us into flavour explosions you have never experienced before. Through our dishes we aim to ignite the fire deep inside you,” says Willem Hiele the chef owner of Willem Hiele Restaurant.
Willem in in love with his specific part of Flanders and knows every corner, every dune and when and where each herb grows.
The second leg of this experience will take place on the West Coast in Paternoster South Africa on Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th December.
Kobus van der Merwe says it feels like he opened Wolfgat yesterday. “The West Coast is still our muse and we continue to grow, innovate, explore and discover. We deliberately avoid following any trends which can be fickle and short-lived. We want the ingredients to shine so we keep the combinations simple but interesting. We want to continue challenging guests in an interesting way with textures and tastes and lightly new pathways in the brain,” he says.
Before it became cool to forage, Kobus was digging in the dunes for long forgotten succulents and other plans.
Part 1 Happening at Willem Hiele
8 Course menu Price excluding wines: EUR 150 Date Saturday 15th June.
Two sessions: High Tide: 12:30 Low Tide: 19:00