The name Colette refers to Colette Leemans, chef Thijs Vervloet’s grandmother (°1990) who he credits for his culinary skills. Colette was a chef herself for many years, and she inspired and taught Thijs the tricks of the trade from a young age.

After placements at Hof ter Hulst, Magis, L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon, ’t Fornuis and Zilte to name a few, Thijs decided to open his own restaurant in a location owned by grandmother Colette in Westerlo in 2016. The name was a given…

But the story gets even better. After all, the culinary genes go back a generation further. Colette was the only child of Anna Holemans (Thijs’ great-grandmother). Anna also spent years working in the kitchen of the princely family De Merode.

When Thijs was looking for a solution to the cramped space in Westerlo amid the corona crisis, he stumbled across De Vijvers in Averbode. That domain used to be owned by… de Merode family.

That brings Thijs full circle and allows him to honour his grandmother and source of inspiration Colette in the location where his great-grandmother sowed the seeds for his love of cooking a century ago.