Belgium - Château du Mylord
& Conseiller Culinaire Jean-Baptiste Thomaes
Aiming high for young Chefs
" he stands by the fundamental simplicity of allowing the ingredients themselves to be the star of a successful dish "

Conseiller Culinaire Jean-Baptiste Thomaes, owner of the Château du Mylord and proud holder of two Michelin stars, has shown tremendous commitment to the Jeunes Chefs Rôtisseurs competition and has been organising the national event for the Bailliage of Belgium since 2007.

The award of a second Michelin star in 2002 brought many organisations to the door of the Chateau du Mylord, but Jean-Baptiste told the Revue he felt an immediate connection with the Chaîne, particularly because of the varied nature of its membership. “Unlike other associations that are really just for restaurateurs, the Chaîne’s membership includes gourmets and people who value each other, who dine together and appreciate good food.”

It wasn’t long before Jean-Baptiste was asked to take on the JCR competition for Belgium, something he still thoroughly enjoys doing. “It gives young chefs under the age of 27 real opportunities,” he says. “A lot of trainees come to me here at the restaurant, so I am in contact with lots of young people and organising this competition is an enjoyable thing to do. I also make sure our competition is completely open - anybody can take part and every competitor has an equal chance of winning - we look at the work being done and the marks are based on that.”

Jean-Baptiste has also introduced a fund-raising event - the Rôtisseur Gala - proceeds from which are used to pay for the winner’s travel so they are able to compete in the international final wherever in the world it is held. A second beneficiary of the Rôtisseur Gala is the Chaîne’s charitable organisation, the ACCR, helping other young people in the field of gastronomy somewhere in the world.

From 2019 the Bailliage of Belgium is providing further coaching for its international candidate to ensure they are better prepared for the competition. “One day we hope to finish in first place, which would be a real honour.”

Château du Mylord
The Restaurant Château du Mylord was founded by Jean-Baptiste Thomaes (Chef) in 1981. He was quickly joined by his brother Vincent (Restaurant Manager and Sommelier from 1985-2006), followed by Christophe (Pastry Chef from 2008-2018).

In 1987 the restaurant received its first Michelin star, a second star came in 2002 and then again in 2010.

The restaurant is located in an old English mansion set in a park of 3 hectares. The mansion was built in 1861 in the “époque” style with tower, white walls and charm of a Normandy chateau by an Englishman: Frederick Gubbins of Kilfrush, formerly Governor of Benares (British-India). He was known locally as “Mylord” hence the establishment’s name.

For more than thirty-five years Jean-Baptiste and Lisbeth Thomaes have been working on continuously improving the restaurant and its grounds, turning them into an oasis of high gastronomy and tranquillity.

The Château du Mylord is definitely a place that you will want to visit.

Food philosophy
Jean-Baptiste’s foundations as a chef are in classical French cuisine. Whilst new techniques in the preparation and cooking of food have undoubtedly changed the nature of gastronomy, he stands by the fundamental simplicity of allowing the ingredients themselves to be the star of a successful dish. “Most importantly, with cooking, you need to be able to identify and appreciate. Above all, you shouldn’t have to think too hard to work out what is in the dish.”

Amanda Roberts
Editor, Revue internationale de la Chaîne