The duo looks back on what the entire team has achieved with enormous pride, and at the same time secretly already dreams of a more flexible agenda and more time to enjoy the little things in life…
“We have pushed back boundaries time and again since 2002 and together with our team we have done our utmost every day to bring Hertog Jan to its current level. We have experienced unique moments, met inspiring people but we have also missed out on and sacrificed a lot. We would really, every now and then, simply like to enjoy the little things in life: picking up the kids from school, enjoy a family meal, a little more time to play tennis… We long for the flexibility to organise our schedules and our work differently,” both Gert and Joachim said.
Gert, Joachim and the Hertog Jan team will continue to give the very best of themselves at their special location in Zedelgem for almost an entire year. On Saturday, 22 December they will draw a line under this fantastic part of their lives. So, it is still possible to reserve a table up to an including Saturday, 22 December 2018.
Gert gained experience in a number of top restaurants, but his entirely unique style of cooking is above all the result of a personal voyage of discovery. Soon after taking over Hertog Jan, Gert was praised for his quirky combinations of flavours, his refinement and his talent for combining various ingredients and techniques into one ensemble. At the same time, the cuisine of Hertog Jan is very pure and natural, a result of the central position Geert allotted the harvest from the restaurant’s own garden.
Gert was awarded his first star by Michelin in 2007 and a second one in 2010. In 2012 the highest honour followed: a third Michelin star. In the meantime, he has received a lot of recognition both at home and abroad: amongst other things Gert was elected ‘European Chef’ in 2014.
Joachim is a former winner of the prestigious Prosper Montagné contest ‘First Sommelier of Belgium’. In addition, he was elected the ‘Sommelier of the Year’ in 2011 and in 2012 the ‘Belgian Beer Ambassador’. Since he took over Hertog Jan with soulmate Gert De Mangeleer in 2005, he has developed into a passionate host. Thus, he threw his weight into a new project to crown the best host of Belgium. Furthermore, for the past 5 years Joachim has been the editor in chief of Foodprint, ‘the gastronomic annual’