Peter Goossens, Hof van Cleve, Belgium

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 6th October 2015

IN ASSOCIATION WITH

For the last 30 years, Belgium chef Peter Goossens has been perfecting the art of his trade. From a young age, Peter knew he wanted to be a chef; now he has been named one of the best in the world. Peter opened his own restaurant, Hof van Cleve in 1992, since then, the restaurant has been awarded three Michelin stars and five Gault Milau toques. In 2014 it was also ranked in the third best restaurant in the world by FOUR Magazine.Chocolate dessert - credit to Jean-Pierre Gabriel After leaving Ter Duinen Hotellerie (Hotel) school, in Koksijde, a town 108 km away from his birthplace, Zottegem, Peter went on to train in various locations. In Paris he worked at Pavillon d'Elysée, Pré Catelan a luxury gourmet restaurant just across the river from the Eiffel Tower and École Lenôtre culinary school which opened doors for him across the rest of France. Peter trained at Hôtel Byblos in Saint Tropez before travelling to Thoissey, a town in eastern France, to work at Paul Blanc. He then returned to Belgium and began to work at Yzerberghoeve in Kruishoutem, about an hour away from Brussels. It was here that he finished his training and followed his dream. With help from his wife, Lieve Goossens, Peter opened the doors of Hof van Cleve in 1992. Established inside an old farmhouse in Kruishoutem, the restaurant is rustic with a modern twist. Hof van CleveThe cuisine is based on a respect for the earth, Peter utilises the seasons to create his dishes from local produce and is often inspired by his natural surroundings; he therefore presents his food as nature would have intended. At Hof van Cleve, there’s always a battle between classic Belgian cooking and modern, innovative techniques; that balance is what makes Peter’s dishes stimulating and unique. The dishes that bring people from far and wide are the ones the Flemish chef is most proud of. As crustaceans are one of Peter’s favourite ingredients, it’s not a surprise to hear Hof van Cleve is famous for specialising in fresh sea food. A grilled turbot with spinach, lobster béarnaise and bouillabaisse puree is one of the chef’s favourites. One year after opening, Peter was named the Best Young Chef in Belgium, this was just the start of a mighty string of recognitions and awards. Hof van Cleve was presented its first Michelin star in 1994, which saw Peter become one of the youngest chefs with two Michelin stars in 1998. Now the restaurant has three stars as of 2005 and 5 Gault Milau toques since 2011.Squid, red bell pepper, piccalilly and avocado - credit to Jean-Pierre Gabriel Between 2007 and 2009, Peter worked on a side project at the Museum of fine arts in Brussels. He opened a brasserie where top quality Belgian dishes were served to diners. He also regularly appeared on a host of TV shows -from 2009-2011 Peter was a judge on the VTM show ‘De Beste Hobbykok van Vlaanderen’ (Best Hobby cook of Flanders), and during that time he became the founder of Flanders’ first cooking channel, Njam! In 2011 he was appointed Knight in the Order of Leopold, the most prestigious Belgian award and within the same year, Peter became an honorary citizen of Kruishoutem and still holds these admirable positions. By Katie Pathiaki 

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 6th October 2015

Peter Goossens, Hof van Cleve, Belgium

IN ASSOCIATION WITH