Bart De Pooter is a man with a clear-cut vision on food, cooking, and eating. Guided by his passionate affiliation to regional and ecological products, his kitchen at two Michelin star restaurant De Pastorale in Reet near Antwerp, Belgium, has an idiosyncratic layout and a menu based on freshness, newness, frivolity and transparency – always created using seasonal ingredients, and, whenever possible, according to traditional Belgian cooking methods.

The front garden, which is filled with oversized statues, including William Sweetloves XL brightly coloured rabbits, is an unmistakable statement of De Pastorale’s opposition to genetic engineering and mass consumption.

Inside, Bart’s interest in art goes further. He finds inspiration for his cooking in pieces, which is why he has brought the works of internationally renowned artists like Arne Quinze and Jan Fabre into restaurant De Pastorale, making an evening there a total experience – both visually and gastronomically.

Art also fulfills another function in his kitchen where he takes the shapes and colours, tensions and messages in the works which surround and translates them into exquisite, typically harmonious dishes.

  • 2 Michelin stars
  • 18/20, 3 toques,Gault Millau Belgium, 2014
  • Chef of the Year,Gault Millau, 2012

De Pastorale