Chambre Séparée

  • Frederic Hooft
  • Kobe Desramaults
  • Travertine
  • Walnut
No matter how earthy and pure Kobe Desramaults’ kitchen may be, the interior of his newest restaurant—Chambre Séparée—breathes a totally different atmosphere. No rough walls, no brutalist references, no rock ‘n’ roll, but rather luxury materials in a cinematic setting, inspired by Ghent interior designer Frederik Hooft. At first sight, it looks like a bad match. Desramaults’ restaurant is located in the Belgacom tower, a concrete construction whose vintage brutality perfectly matches his kitchen. After all, for Desramaults everything revolves around the open fire, where he sears, cooks or smokes his top products. But that primitive primeval instinct does not dominate the interior at all.

Hooft made a resolute choice to use a palette of sophisticated materials. The floor is covered with green carpet, the lobby is furnished with travertine, the bar is clad with walnut, and the splashback behind the stove is made with deep-green Italian tiles. Hidden behind enormous curtains lies a discreet reception area with Utrecht chairs by Gerrit Rietveld; a chambre séparée, you could call it, that would fit right into a chic hotel lobby in a metropolis. This cosmopolitan vibe is what makes this restaurant interior so surprising—by Desramaults’ standards.

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Theatricality is important here, both in the interior and on one's plate. Because Desramaults considers his menu to be a perfectly timed suite of snacks, or a theatre play that has its own structure, rhythm, and tension. Hooft understood this perfectly. The restaurant he drew is like a luxury stage where the guests are simultaneously actors and spectators in the open kitchen. And Desramaults is the director, keeping his team firmly in line.

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