Unlike many others, my career started at 17 years old in a hotel school where I then taught at all levels, technical and professional, and in all subjects: lounge, bar, kitchen and, in the end, I held the position of chef d'atelier.
I created a catering company focussed only on the organisation of banquets and events.
This company operated alongside my work in teaching.
My wife was responsible for customer relations and service, whilst I handled the cooking and accounts.
We catered for groups ranging from 15 to 3500 people.
This company continued to operate alongside my next activity for several years.
Restaurant and Hotel
Creation of another "restaurant and hotel" company, the Auberge de la Grappe d'Or in Torgny.
A passion for food and restaurants in general, which has now spanned 35 years of experience.
My wife and I started in a restaurant and hotel located in the extreme south of Belgium, in Torgny, which some people thought in the middle of nowhere.
We went for a top quality restaurant and a hotel to match. In order to keep our standards, and above all our clients, we needed to invest throughout the 17 years.
Several years later, in the same area, we created a hotel-restaurant, the Hostellerie de l'Empreinte du Temps, in a lower price range, in order to offer a wider selection of options.
When we ended our activities in 2007, for the Grappe d'Or we had achieved:
In 1996, a Michelin star
In 1999, “Grand de demain” (Future Master) for Gault Millau
In 2006 17/20 at Gastromania and 17/20 at Delta contests
In 2007 we achieved 18/20 for the GaultMilau
In 2007 we were also classified in the Gastromania guide of the most prestigious restaurants, in first place for the Walloon region and eleventh place at a national level in Belgium, out of 398 restaurants.
For the Empreinte du Temps, we won a BIB Gourmand in the Michelin guide in 2007.
All of this was achieved in a small village of 240 inhabitants, 200km from Brussels, 150km from Namur and Liège, 70km from Luxembourg, 80km from Metz and 125km from Reims.