Four new chefs have joined Generation W, the collective of chefs from the Wallonia region of Belgium (the W representing Wallonia). The new chefs are Philippe Meyers, chef of Restaurant Philippe Meyers in Braine-l’Alleud, Stephane Diffels chef of L’Air de Rien in Esneux, Jean-Philippe Watteyne, chef of Icook in Mons and Benoît Van den Brandem chef of Cuisinémoi in Namur.
The number of chefs in the collective has now reached 24 and they cover the whole region of Wallonia. The collective also includes over 20 artisanal producers from the region.
“Joining Generation W is part of my growth as a chef, and of the importance of sharing and exchanging information with chefs and artisanal producers that have the same passion as I have,” said Van den Brandem, chef of Michelin starred Cuisinémoi. Having worked in the business for around 10 years, he loves to focus on terroir, local produce while just cooking them to the bare minimum or even serving them raw to let the taste be as natural as possible.
“My main motivation to join Generation W is to showcase the products of my region,” says Meyers. “I want to share my discoveries with my colleagues in Generation W but also to showcase the produce of the region because it is really worth helping the artisans,” he said.
Watteyne on the other hand said that he had learned a lot from Pierre Yves Gosse, of Restaurant La 5e Saison not only technically but in particular the love for produce from the region. “Pierre-Yves grows his own vegetables and even raises chickens and he is a real encyclopaedia,” he said.
Diffels, since opening his restaurant L’Air de Rien in Esneux has been using the produce from the region. For him, the job of a chef is to partner with men and women who provide the products to the restaurant.
Generation W is the brainchild of 10 Walloon chefs including the most representative chef of the region Sang-Hoon Degeimbre.
Its aim is to promote the common heritage by looking towards the future, building dialogue and interactions with all the sectors of the economy.