“I have found out that In de Wulf was not voted into the 100 best restaurants list of 2015. After the release of 51 to 100 yesterday, a lot of people believed we would actually climb up to 50 best this year. (Sorry to ruin the surprise)” he said on Instagram and Facebook.
Voted 61st in the 2014 list, the restaurant is a culinary destination in its own right and was awarded the best European restaurant award from the OAD (Opinionated about Dining in 2014) and 4th this year.
His Michelin starred restaurant In De Wulf is in Dranouter, a village in West Flanders on the border with France, in the middle of nowhere. The restaurant has become a major culinary destination because of the unique style of cuisine without classic dishes or traditional sauces.
Kobe said that although he always thought of these kind of lists, guides and rankings as trivial: “I cannot help but feel pretty shitty about this today. Somewhat for my own ego, but definitely for the team.”
He said that all the people at In De Wulf have been pushing very hard for the last years and he cannot explain why or how this happened. “What I know for sure is that I have never before worked with a bunch of people so passionate, caring and so striving for perfection.”
He thanked his staff saying he was proud of them and urged them to take In de Wulf to the next level. “Let’s continue to make guests happy, because in the end that’s what we are here for,” he said.
We were about to write about the Occupy50Best petition which we will do later but wanted to highlight this story, as the anticipation for the top 50 list increases. At Food and Wine Gazette, we do not believe in the points system or in awards, though we believe they are important to guide consumers to make decisions.
We urge Kobe to continue his work together with other chefs to tell their story, because ultimately this is what will work in the long term.
This is what he had told us when we interviewed him recently about guides and blogs. “Everything is important nowadays. What is striking is how things have changed in 10 years. If we look back 10 years, the only reference point we had was Michelin and Gault et Millau. Everyone went to a restaurant for the status of a Michelin star. But over the past 10 years, there has been a revolution. Now most people do not come to my restaurant because I have a Michelin star. They come because they are interested in our story and in what we are doing. This is all because of the internet ( social media), communication and blogs. People now actually know the story, which is a big difference from the time when guides would write two lines about the restaurant and mention the speciality of the house. I still think that Michelin is very important. But it is important for a different group of people.”
Kobe is also behind two great concepts in Gent, De Vitrine and De Superette. Keep up the great work.