The chef’s cuisine reflects his gastronomic culture and personality that were founded in his youth. His parents paid much attention when choosing their meals, yet a long time before the present hype about the importance of healthy food.
The chef grew up in ‘Mechelen’, a region rich in vegetables; therefore, he finds it obvious to use many vegetables in his dishes. He can give full rein to his constant creativity with vegetables, which are local produce and often obscure crops. They are important components of a ‘cuisine du terroir’. Every vegetable is cooked differently in order to bring out its specific flavour and texture in the most brilliant possible way. Parsnip, black salsify, turnip cabbage, red cabbage, chervil root and other unknown crops, form an inexhaustible palette for Jan’s most surprising dishes. You need to work harder with these more obscure vegetables than with the better known truffles or asparagus, the finer ingredients and almost finished products of nature that need a very subtle handling. That doesn’t mean they are less tasty, on the contrary.
Jan attaches great importance to sauces because of their emphasizing and juicy effect. He doesn’t use any crème, but extracts of vegetable- and meat stock that undergo a lot of simmering. This is particularly characteristic of his cooking style. His creations are characterised by the essential and frivol input of fresh herbs from his garden. Jan’s cuisine is very tasty and healthy; endlessly experimenting with flavours, fragrances, colours, textures and temperatures in order to please all the senses.
In the field of ‘haute cuisine’, it is difficult to find the right balance between the refinement of the creative and the hard work required to have the dish ready in time. ‘C’est dur la vie d’artiste,’ is therefore often pronounced in French teams while cooking and serving. However, the workmanship is part of the charm. The guests have to realise that all the products used are home made: bread, appetizers, desserts and even the pralines that are served with the coffee.
Desserts are an important part of the meal. Consequently, there is a large range of dessert choices in the seasonal menu and degustation menu, in analogy with the ‘chariot de desserts’ of the past. This present method makes sure that the desserts are oven-fresh and much more refined.
Dessert wines are available by the glass and make the meal complete.