Filip Claeys and Sandra Meirlevede about innovation, inspiration and commitment
De Jonkman has recently been fitted with a new kitchen and also the interior and the garden have undergone a metamorphosis. Why all those changes? "With cooking you are never ready", says Filip. "There is always room for improvements. That's why changes are called for. My kitchen is subject to constant evolution. That's what makes this profession so exciting and great. There is no automatic pilot. At least not for me. The fact that De Jonkman is always undergoing changes, fits within that scope." Sandra, as a talented hostess, has an interesting, additional opinion about that. "From what we hear from our loyal guests, it appears that such improvements are always appreciated. After all, our guests help us making it possible and in that way they see and feel the dynamics, inherent to De Jonkman. A restaurant where they happily return to, not only for the kitchen."
A worn out question, but still, where do you keep finding all that inspiration for innovation?
"I am blessed with rich basics since I have worked with 3 top chefs for different longer periods", Filip admits frankly. "That has given my kitchen a rich foundation where I still draw inspiration from today. I believe working for several years with a number of top chefs is essential. Especially for a young chef who wants to start his own business with a long-term vision. It allows you to not only learn what a signature dish is but you also get to see how an established and renowned restaurant operates as a company."