Belgian chef Peter Goossens

The chef is considered by many the father of Belgian gastronomy. At Hof Van Cleve, the restaurant he founded in 1987 in Kruishoutem, Peter Goossens is leading a real revolution in Belgian cuisine. This is the story of the biggest Belgian chef, and undoubtedly one of the best chefs in the world... In 2005, at age 40, Peter Goossens became the youngest chef in Belgium to be awarded three Michelin stars.

Born in 1964, he grew up with a passion for food. After long negotiations with his father who wanted him to follow a different career path, it was agreed he would join the Hotelschool Ter Duinen in Koksijde, but in return he would spend his weekends working in restaurants in the region. Once he achieved his diploma, he went to Paris and trained at the Pré Catelan before joining the team of renowned Gaston Lenôtre, master pâtissier and head chef. After four years in the French capital, he returned to the Flemish Ardennes.

Peter Goossens compares haute cuisine with haute couture, finding that the two arts follow similar principals. “Their base is the products, fabrics have the same function as food products since they change, are renewed and also depend on the seasons. We obviously must not forget to pay attention to trends, which are constantly changing, obviously we don’t eat and dress like we did 30 years. Yet whether it’s haute cuisine or haute couture, the most important thing is not to neglect your style, respecting the foundations and the identity of the brand.” Goossens explains.

For the chef, one of the fundamentals for the Hof Van Cleve restaurant is his team. He still spends his days in the kitchen managing and advising young chefs. But as the saying goes: “behind every great man, there’s a great woman.” His wife Lieve Goossens brings a touch of elegance to the team and has mastered the art of hospitality. “I would never have made it this far without my wife”, admits the Belgian chef.

Peter Goossens will have to share his throne in Belgium since the chef Viki Geunesqui’s restaurant Zilte (Antwerp) has become the second Belgian restaurant to achieve three Michelin stars. 

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