The Chef, Gary Kirchens

Gary Kirchens left Eupen when he was 17, with his baccalaureate in his pocket and a nuance of German in his DNA. He set course for the South of France. The mountains in the winter and the Provence in the summer. And it was here in some of the best restaurants these magic regions have to offer that his talent blossomed. A time of unforgettable memories. Before heading back to Belgium, Gary spent some time in Paris in the mythical kitchens of the gastronomic restaurant of the Hotel George V. Today our chef is 28 years old and has put down roots in Belgium again. He is already a rising star and is the subject of great acclaim: Public Prize and finalist in the 2016 ‘Star of Belgian Cuisine’ competition.

 

Gary is very much at ease with the codes of traditional cuisine and in his bag of skills he brings the fruits of the lessons he learned while working with some of the great names in the world of gastronomy. He learned to apply precise gestures and the essential art of timing in the kitchens of Pierre Gagnaire in Courchevel. And it was thanks to Sylvestre Wahid, who headed the team of the Strato in Courchevel at the time and the Oustau de Baumanière in the Baux de Provence, that Gary discovered a real passion for cooking that he combined with an apprenticeship in the exacting nature of management. The art of humanity and extremely detailed logistics are just two of the hallmarks that Eric Briffard applies in the ‘V’ restaurant of the Hotel George V and that Gary made his own. Gary’s Hare Royale, cooked for 36 hours would probably not be what it is without the technique of Briffard. And finally, Gary’s penchant for seafood would surely not be the same without the influence of the discreet three-star chef Christian le Squer, a favourite with the media, who moved from Ledoyen to the V.

 

When Gary joined the team of the Villa Lorraine almost a year ago, it was in the role of head chef under Maxime Colin; a position in which he had the opportunity to fine-tune his disciplined and rigorous approach. He is now our new chef working under Yves Mattagne, who acquired two stars for the Sea Grill and with whom Serge Litvine recently joined forces.

 

Culinary excellence is second nature to this new team. Gary has an air of modesty that is reminiscent of many great names so that he never fails to surprise us. His richly flavoured cuisine is made with high-quality seasonal produce. We see emerging in him a desire for effervescence, a craving for innovation on the menus, a desire for modernity in dishes that have the potential to be classics of tomorrow.

 

Every day he prepares a three-course lunch at €56 that can be served within one hour for guests with busy schedules.

 

In addition to the à la carte selection, he proposes two different 4- (130 €) or 7- (170 €) course Discovery Menus for the delight of true aficionados of fine food.