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Club royal des gastronomes de Belgique




The Royal Club of Gastronomes in Belgium was formally created as a non-profit organisation on New Year’s Eve in 1938, by a group of Belgian and French personalities under the presidency of Mr Pierre Morren.


But its origins are older. The Club is the brainchild of the “Club de la Bonne Auberge,” itself from the Belgian section of the French association “Ligue des Cent Mille” for the promotion of good food. The “Ligue des Cent Mille” was created in France in 1928. It was under the leadership of Curnonsky, dubbed the Prince of Gastronomy, that the Belgian section of the league was created in 1931 in Brussels. The inaugural-dinner took place under the chairmanship of Curnonsky.


The Club has been a member of the International Academy of Gastronomy since 1996 and, as such, represents Belgian gastronomy internationally. It was in November 1997 that His Majesty Albert II, King of Belgium authorised the Club to hold the “Royal” title. The Club officially became “Club Royal des Gastronomes de Belgique.”


From the very beginning, the Club aimed to create ever closer links between those who are concerned to pass on to the future generations the tradition of good food and good wines.


According to André Jadin, former president of the Club, the portrait of the ideal members can be brushed as follows:


Curious about everything that touches the art of seating at a table, they strive to analyse their visual, olfactory and taste sensations, to appreciate the harmonies or contrasts of what is presented to them. They like to savour food, in a pleasant environment, around a tastefully table dressed and in the company of guests who share their love of good things. They are sensitive to the warmth of the welcome that is reserved to them – listening to all the suggestions and a priori rejecting none, except... if they know they are allergic.


They do not hesitate to travel tens of kilometres to taste the sweetest asparagus from Mechelen harvested by the gardener next door, or langoustines with the most delicate flesh still wet with sea water. They never forget to express gratitude to those who have worked for their happiness, knowing both to praise and to suggest.


They are interested in the preparation of the dishes and, if they are talented, do not hesitate to join hands to make others happy. Aware that real joys are shared and that the table becomes the last refuge of a certain art of living, they are sensitive to the friendship that can bind the guests, knowing both to listen and talk to them.


The first edition of “L’Échanson des Gourmets” after the War in May 1946.


The Club regularly organises, on a monthly basis, lunches and dinners in restaurants severely selected by the Board of Directors. The President or a member of the Board bears full responsibility for the organisation of each event. From time to time, a trip is organised in a wine region or with a prominent gastronomic interest.


The Club has, for many years, published a review. On June 30th, 1933, the first issue of a weekly magazine was entitled “La Bonne Auberge.” In 1938, it became fortnightly with the “La Bonne Table.” After the war, the review changed name to “L’Échanson des Gourmets,” the last issue of which appeared in January 1962.


Starting 1955, the Club began awarding two awards to restaurateurs, chefs, maître d’, sommeliers, or craftsmen who honour their profession and whose talent has been valued by the Club. The Club also aims at promoting national and international talented young restaurateurs.


The ambition of the President and the Board of Directors is to make the Club of Gastronomes in Belgium a place for gastronomic flourishing and to ensure the transmission of this heritage to new generations.


A gastronomic guide for Belgium edited by La Bonne Auberge, ancestor of the Club.


The “Club des Gastronomes” was officially created on 31st December 1938 before Mr Georges Le Cocq, notary in Ixelles. The creation was published in the “Moniteur Belge,” the official journal of the Kingdom of Belgium, on 14th January 1939.


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