A dubbed and two-starred chef, Pascal Devalkeneer celebrates the 20th anniversary of the Chalet de la Forêt with a program including a “youth” formula and exclusive four-handed dinners… The opportunity to celebrate his cuisine which is both accurate, refined, elegant and constantly reinventing the codes of Belgian gastronomy.
Seen from the sky, the Chalet de la Forêt looks like a large mansion at the edge of the Sonian Forest. A unique place, an exclusive gastronomic entity, a link between the city and its periphery, that its owner Pascal Devalkeneer has dreamed and built, stone by stone, dish after dish, for twenty years. After earning a second star in the Michelin guide 2012, his establishment belongs now to the very select clubs of Grandes Tables du Monde and Relais & Châteaux. A consecration for this self-taught cook, who, even in the firmament of Brussels gastronomy, without any ostentation, any creative narcissism or avant-gardism at all costs, but rather in a discrete and constant quest for accuracy, a balance between cuisine and nature, between the plate and its surrounding.
A lifelong dream
On December 2, 1999 (his birthday), the young chef Pascal Devalkeneer opens for the first time the doors of Chalet de la Forêt. He is 34 years old, talented, passionate about cooking with the ambition to offer Brussels a gastronomic house out of the ordinary with a service reminiscent of the Palaces of yesteryear. A tremendous gamble for this artisan turned business manager, owner of his establishment. Twenty years on, the Chalet de la Forêt has become an institution but also and especially a concept in constant evolution. Far from current fashion and ephemeral trends, Pascal Devalkeneer is constantly questioning his art while remaining faithful to his DNA to satisfy an increasingly demanding clientele. His goal? That the Chalet de la Forêt remains a safe value, a great Maison that respects itself, where one loves to come and come back again.
Passion, emotion, transmission
Here, there’s no cheating. We live authentic human experiences. We pass on a passion and we receive it with delight. Here, the product is not a travesty. It is sublimated in a cozy setting, conducive to relaxation and disconnection. The Chalet de la Forêt is certainly a starred house, proud of its roots and guarantor of ancestral traditions but it is also a laboratory that adapts to new cravings and lifestyles. An elegant, exclusive address that is accessible to all with, for example, a special “youth” menu at 95 euros reserved for bon vivants under 30 years.
From seed to plate
An old dream since the time he was working with Roger Souvereyns, Pascal Devalkeneer’s kitchen garden at the Chalet de la Forêt combines aesthetics and eco-responsibility and offers diners a real invitation to the awakening of the senses. The varieties that grow there, selected with care, have a gastronomic and heritage function, but also and especially educational. The guests observe the passage of the seasons, the changes of colors and the blooms of aromatic plants, as fragrant as delicate, the beauty of the wild flowers and wild herbs which enhances brilliantly the flavors of the menu.
A casual evening with friends
Pierre Marcolini: “20 years is the age of maturity. But it did not take Pascal 20 years to know what he wanted to be: a craftsman, from stews to fine cuisine. Super-gifted for gastronomy, he has always been assertive in his
culinary choices while others got lost in the molecular cuisine. Pascal has always had the elegance of the gesture. He is a poet of the plate. The Chalet de la Forêt is now a staple of Belgian gastronomy. A wonderful place of ambush for all the gourmets and bon vivants like me. As a matter of fact, I have booked some tables there for the next 20 years.”
For the 20 years of the Chalet de la Forêt, Pascal Devalkeneer creates the event and invites seven of his chef friends to his table to concoct three exceptional dinners together. Among them, his mentor Roger Souvereyns, his mates Pierre Marcolini, Julien Burlat, the Folmer brothers from the Couvert Couvert restaurant in Heverlee, Pau Barba from Can Domo in Ibiza and René Meilleur from La Bouitte restaurant in Savoie. The opportunity to live, just for the time of a four hands meal thus multiplying the stars, a moment of sharing, a concentrate of talent.
Pau Barba: “Pascal is one of the few people in this trade with whom I spend quality time. You feel it in his kitchen, his personality, his authenticity, his values, his experience and his incredible know-how. Pascal is a man demanding with others but also and especially with himself.”
Le Chalet de la Forêt
Drève de Lorraine 43
1180 Uccle, Belgique
T. +32 2 374 54 16