Meet Flanders’ world class chefs: Gert De Mangeleer
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Meet Flanders’ world class chefs: Gert De Mangeleer

For me, a gastronomic restaurant is at the top of its game… …if it leaves a memory…
…if it can give people an experience…
…that really lingers. I’m Gert De Mangeleer, and I run this place with Joachim Boudens. We wanted a restaurant and we had just one goal in our lives… …we wanted three Michelin stars. We gave ourselves 15 years to get them… …and within five years we had reached our goal. We were the youngest team in the world ever to achieve it. Now I’m starting to realise…
…’wow, that was really something special.’ On the other hand, if we hadn’t been so maniacal about it… …we would never have achieved what we’ve achieved.

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I love Japanese design.
It’s very clean design. But the moment you put it in your mouth, it’s a flavour explosion… …for me it’s deceptively simple. Something that looks so simple but that leaves such memories… …and emotions behind that you go ‘wow, that was something else.’ I think we offer honest, delicious food. We use our local products from the garden. Local pork, all local products. We should be proud. Not just of our local products but of our artisans too. The people who spend all day on the land, toiling and sweating. Because without these people, you might still have good soil… …but if it isn’t worked properly and with expertise… …then you won’t have these great local products. And Flanders is rich in this respect, I think, in great craftsmanship. Without a super team we wouldn’t be here now. We also have an incredibly young team. The average age is 20, 22. That’s exceptionally young at this level. Could I have done it without them?
I don’t think so. Hertog Jan is my life…
… I can’t imagine not having Hertog Jan. It’s the centre of my world.

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