Filip Claeys

Chef Filip Claeys of restaurant De Jonkman, pioneer in sustainability 

As founder and inspirer of the NorthSeaChefs collective in 2011, Filip Claeys is one of the first chefs in our country to not only embrace, but also practically promote and purposefully embody the idea of sustainability.   

His vision to tackle the problem of overfishing and to give lesser-known fish species - often unfairly relegated to bycatch without value - culinary value and successful economic importance show his drive.   

Through dedication and perseverance, his ideas reached fishermen, ship owners, retailers and governments to show respect for what Mother Nature has to offer now and especially to future generations. Filip Claeys works closely with a number of fishermen and the catch often comes from the same fishing boat (Z571). 

At De Jonkman, Filip Claeys puts his vision into practice with his own repertoire of fish species by optimally preparing both well-known, lesser-known to unloved North Sea fish.  

 Praised for his vision, knowledge and creativity, he often - and together with NorthSeaChefs co-founder Rudi Van Beylen of Hof ten Damme - gives workshops in Belgian culinary schools about North Sea fish and the sustainable mindset.   

In the same spirit of prioritising what goodies are available locally and seasonally, he works closely with a local cattle breeder. Thus, in the spirit of no waste, he incorporates whole quarters of beef into his kitchen. He also searches for dairy products, fruit and vegetable sources from local, and small-scale working farmers to minimise the transport impact on the ecosystem.            

Sandra Meirlevede

From haute couture to haute cuisine. She only needs six words to summarize her professional life. A lady of few words but what she does say makes sense. Being a fashion designer she wanted to start her own business. Until she met the love of her life and decided to follow his track. With almost the same number of years of professional experience in the pocket. Gained as a waiter in the same high end places. She therefore is entitled to the vision that De Jonkman is synonymous with Filip and Sandra or Sandra and Filip. As an all-round, always focused hostess and mother of two kids, the order of the names does not matter to her.