The future is cooking (5/5): Pascal Devalkeneer nominates Mélanie Englebin

Pascal Devalkeneer (1967) owns Le Chalet de la Forêt in Brussels. Here, he nominates Melanie Englebin (1982) who is currently chef at Cecilia in Brussels.

How would you best describe what you do?

Cooking is a feeling. I’m always looking for new products, more with regards to seafood, but I can make quite a surprising Surf and Turf. I try to work with local producers and go along with the seasons. I go to the farm to choose the vegetables and herbs myself. I also have a garden at home, where I work with what nature decides to give me. Cooking is really my passion.

As a chef cooking in Belgium today, what do you think is your main purpose?

My intention is to make clients happy through my dishes. I want to convey my passion and my knowledge – to introduce them to new products and ways of cooking. Sharing this is also a reason why I opened my kitchen.

“Mélanie Englebin has spent time in our kitchen at Chalet de la Forêt, which was a wonderful experience! She has worked with important restaurants, where she proved to be a force to be reckoned with. She shows a true love for her craft, is prudent, and always adds a personal touch.” Pascal Devalkeneer


What key moment and / or person would you attribute to becoming a chef?

I attribute all success to those who helped and supported me. Moreover, I think the word “Chef” is purely a title. For me, becoming a chef is realizing that we can learn and discover everyday from everyone.

To date, what concepts / meals / dishes are you the proudest of?

My concept is the surprise menu with daily arrivals and essentially about seafood. People don’t know what they’ll eat – they simply choose the number of dishes.