The power of a project is created by the people behind it. Not the plates, the pans, the cutlery, or the chairs and the tables. The Hertog Jan Restaurant Group is an organization by people, for people. With our restaurants, we aspire to create a pleasant and extraordinary experience for you, but apart from that, we also have a role as employer and developer of talent. Training young talent has always been part of our DNA, and a common thread in our societal role as provider of happiness.
Evidently, the story of Hertog Jan is much longer than the portfolio we can present to you today. It starts with two young dreamers who decide to take over a restaurant on the outskirts of Bruges and transform it into one of the best in Europe: chef Gert De Mangeleer and host Joachim Boudens. An extra chapter is added by Hertog Jan ‘De Hoeve’, the state-of-art restaurant in Zedelgem. And it becomes a broad culinary oeuvre with Hertog Jan at Botanic Antwerp, Bar Bulot Bruges and Bar Bulot Antwerp, L.E.S.S. Eatery Bruges, and Babu Ghent. By people, for people.
In 2005, chef Gert De Mangeleer (1977) and sommelier Joachim Boudens took over the brasserie Hertog Jan with sky-high ambitions. Building upon their previous experience in some of the top restaurants of Belgium, they transformed the traditional cuisine into a universe for innovative gastronomy. Two years later, they receive their first Michelin star for their purposeful efforts. A second star fell in 2009, followed by the hoped-for third Michelin star in 2012. At that time, Gert and Joachim, however, were already working on the renovation of the classified manor farm they bought back in 2010. 2014 became a historic year for them: not only did Gert receive the title of ‘European Chef of the Year’ in Madrid, but they also opened their gastronomic restaurant on a new location and launched the sharing concept L.E.S.S. which nowadays can be found in Bruges’ city center.
Four years later, in the fall of 2018, they closed the doors of their three-star restaurant to allow themselves more entrepreneurial freedom. Today, the restaurant location offers private dining and event catering. This was followed by the opening of the refined classic restaurant Bar Bulot in Bruges and the upscale burger concept Babu, in Ghent. In the fall of 2021, Hertog Jan reopened at its new location in the five-star Botanic Sanctuary hotel in Antwerp. Bar Bulot gained a second restaurant on the same site.
Gert is as passionate about gastronomy as he is about the city he lives in. For six years he has been embracing the dynamic of the vibrant city of Bruges, which is increasingly attracting chefs and foodies. Whenever he’s not in the kitchen, you will find him in the stands at Club Brugge, training for a marathon in the neighboring woods, or enjoying precious time with his family.
In 2005, sommelier Joachim Boudens (1980) and chef Gert De Mangeleer took over brasserie Hertog Jan. Drawing on their previous experience in Belgium’s best restaurants, they transformed the traditional kitchen into a universe for innovative gastronomy. Throughout his career, Joachim has earned many titles and awards. In 1999, he was awarded the Young Sommelier Award of Excellence as a beginning sommelier, for instance, in 2004 he was named First Sommelier of Belgium, and in 2011 he became Sommelier of the Year. In between, he was also granted the title of Beer & Gastronomy Ambassador for his promotion of our Belgian beers.
At the time Hertog Jan was awarded a third Michelin star in 2012, Gert and Joachim were already two years into the renovation of their classified mansion. 2014 would become a historic year for them: not only did they open their restaurant, but they also launched the sharing concept L.E.S.S. Eatery, which today, you can find in the city center of Bruges.
In the fall of 2018, they closed the doors of their three-star restaurant to allow themselves more entrepreneurial freedom. Nowadays, you can still visit the restaurant location for private dining and event catering. All this was followed by the opening of the refined classic restaurant Bar Bulot in Bruges and the better burger concept Babu, in Ghent. In the fall of 2021, Hertog Jan reopened at its new location in the five-star Botanic Sanctuary hotel in Antwerp. Bar Bulot gained a second restaurant on the same site.