A 12-year-old chapter has come to an end for the talented and creative Belgian chef who rose to fame over the past years for a unique style of cooking that is pure, natural and has no classic dishes or traditional sauces. On Sunday 11 December, at In De Wulf in Dranouter, Kobe Desramaults and his team served their last dinner.
Considered to be one of the most internationally recognised Belgian chefs, he managed to create one of the top destinations for foodies in the world in Dranouter, in the middle of no where on the Belgian border with France. (His restaurant was number 1 in the Top 100 European list of Opinionated about Dining in 2014 and 4th in 2015). He was also listed for some time in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants List.
Sergio Herman, Kobe’s mentor was present yesterday and posted on his Instagram feed: ‘The last one. I know how it feels.” Kobe told Food and Wine Gazette earlier this year that his only experience in a top level kitchen had been at Sergio Herman’s former three Michelin star restaurant Oud Sluis in the Netherlands. “I had an amazing relationship with Sergio. He was like a brother to be. He was very direct. I was an apprentice and he had a lot of patience and showed me what it means to work hard and what cooking is all about.”
And while it is not the end of Kobe’s Desramaults cooking career as he is set to open a new restaurant in Gent next year, it still is sad for the thousands who visited the restaurant over the past 12 years to see the work of this talented and creative Belgian chef.
Earlier this year, he told Food and Wine Gazette in an interview that he had reached a point where he needed to decide whether to buy the property from his mother or not and having thought for very long as to whether he wanted to take a loan that would tie him to a place for another 20 years he had decided otherwise. “A restaurant like In De Wulf is very hard to maintain because you need a lot of people and you need to constantly have 40 covers otherwise it will not work. Maybe I’ve had it. I have been here for 12 years, given it my all. In the first years, I was working day and night, seven years a week. Maybe that’s a West Flemish thing to do but I was driven, working hard and never looking back. I was looking to the future but things start to change,” said Kobe.
Desramaults will open a new restaurant in Gent in 2017. “The new restaurant will have an open kitchen and we will be working with fire because the latter is something I really like. I also do not like cooking for a lot of people at the same time because that is not cooking. I want to be able to cook for a small group of people.”
“I want to have the complete essence of what I did at In De Wulf but I will change the frame of the restaurant. Over the past months I have reflected a lot about what I like about my job and I will translate that into the new restaurant,” he told Food and Wine Gazette.
Desramaults is already present in Gent with his restaurant De Vitrine and his bakery/restaurant De Superette.
“The new restaurant will have an open kitchen and we will be working with fire because the latter is something I really like. I also do not like cooking for a lot of people at the same time because that is not cooking. I want to be able to cook for a small group of people.”
The Flemish chef of In De Wulf also wants to change the dining experience. “At the moment, I don’t like the length of time it takes to eat in a restaurant where you can end up sitting at table for four to five hours. When I am a guest in a restaurant, I don’t like a very long lunch or dinner. I want to have a good experience and not feel drunk before the main course has arrived. What I like is that there is fast pace, nearly like you would find in a sushi bar where you taste, taste, taste different dishes and then the meal is over.”