Belgium - Jeunes Chefs Rôtisseurs
Middelkerke, April 8, 2021
Elien Verhulst
" an insight into a competitor's mind set "

We introduce you to Elien Verhulst who is due to participate in Belgium’s 2021 National Final of the Jeunes Chefs Rôtisseurs Competition at RHIZO Hotelschool Kortrijk now being held on April 26th.

The Chaîne News On-line was keen to learn what drives her. Having received a link to a video she had prepared (and posted on Facebook) in which she talked about her career and the competition, it was the perfect moment to ask her some questions to gain an insight into a competitor’s mind set.

Who is Elien?
As she says in her cheery video, “Hi there, I am Elien Verhulst, 22 years old. I developed my culinary skills at the hotel school of Ter Duinen in Coxyde. I now work as a Chef at Restaurant Vlass in Middelkerke which is owned by Stefaan Lauwereins and Tineke Derycke.”

What competition are you training for right now?
I qualified for the Bailliage of Belgium’s National Final of the Jeunes Chef des Rôtisseurs Competition. If you win, this year you can compete in the International Final being held at the famous Le Cordon Bleu School in Paris. Naturally, it would give me such a lift to win this.

What products will you be working with?
In the National Final I already know that I will be working with trout, veal and chocolate. We are given four hours to create a three-course menu for six persons.

What inspires you?
I get inspired in my everyday life. For example, I could have an idea in my head when waking up and then I just have to test it out or it can come to me while driving or even taking a walk.

Why do you want to compete?
Because I honestly think it would be a great opportunity to develop my career but also to build up my self-confidence. Furthermore, I would be able to show that female chefs are also at the top of their game in the kitchen.

What do you want to learn from this experience?
First and foremost, I enrolled in the competition to win but it’s also a great opportunity to see how other Chefs work and how they are inspired. Somehow, it’s never good enough for me. I can always strive to do better!

We wish Elien all the best in the National Final as of course we do to all the competitors.

Marie Jones
Managing Editor

Acknowledgement: With thanks to Bailli Délégué Ilse Duponcheel for her significant help in preparing this article.

All the photos are courtesy of Restaurant Vlass and show the team including Elien, the restaurant and a selection of the dishes served.