March 29, 2019

European Presidents Forum 2019 Concludes in Mechelen, Belgium

Paris, France · 29 March 2019: European Presidents Forum 2019 Concludes in Mechelen, Belgium

The European Presidents Forum was held in Mechelen, Belgium, 24 – 25 March, 2019. Presidents and chefs from across the European continent convened to shape collective goals for gastronomy and the culinary profession in Europe and around the world.

The Forum opened with remarks from Frank Fol, president of The Mastercooks of Belgium, Ben Weyts, Flemish Minister for Tourism, and an address by Worldchefs President Thomas Gugler. Continental Directors Neil Thomson, Alain Hostert, and Domenico Maggi presented on regional projects, and representatives of each respective national association delivered individual country reports over the course of the two-day event. 

Young Chefs had the opportunity to attend a “Field 2 Fork” study tour. Following, they prepared a lunch using farm produce alongside a team of Belgium’s Young Masters, led by Global Chefs Challenge gold medalist Sam Van Houcke. Fol, also Chairman of the Young Masters, noted that “the association views the participation of the next generation of chefs as an important part of the program in Mechelen." 

The Forum also included a gala dinner hosted by Salons van Dijck and prepared by Mastercooks Axel Colonna-Cesari of Restaurant Centpourcen and Bart De Pooter of Retaurant Pastoralehe. The meal featured full pairings designed by Master Beer Sommelier Sofie Vanrafelghem.

Congratulations to Chef Fol on receiving a Worldchefs Presidents Medal in Mechelen, awarded by President Thomas Gugler, to recognize his leadership and commitment to the profession.

Worldchefs extends sincere appreciation to each attendee for their contributions to the Forum’s international dialogue and the culinary community at large. This Worldchefs gathering was a key opportunity to unite influential voices in the industry, with European countries representing half of Worldchefs national association membership.

Special thanks to The Mastercooks Belgium, The Young Masters, Tourism Flanders, and Meet in Mechelen for organizing a fantastic 2019 European Presidents Forum.

Thank you as well to Mechelen Mayor Bart Somers, the Lamot Conference and Heritage Centre, Het Anker Brewery, and BelOrta for their valued participation.

To view event photos, visit our Flickr page here.

The next Worldchefs Asian Presidents Forum will be held in Thailand on 26 May, 2019.

Early Bird Registration is now open for the 2020 Worldchefs Congress & Expo in St. Petersburg, Russia. To learn more and to register now, visit

Photo credit: Kueng-Ming Khaou and J.Rochette


The World Association of Chefs’ Societies, known as Worldchefs, is a dynamic global network of 110 chef associations worldwide. A leading voice in the hospitality industry, Worldchefs carries 91 years of history since its founding at the Sorbonne by the venerable Auguste Escoffier. Representing a mobilized international membership of culinary professionals, Worldchefs is committed to advancing the profession and leveraging the influence of the chef jacket for the betterment of the industry and humanity at large.

Worldchefs is dedicated to raising culinary standards and social awareness through these core focus areas:

Education – Worldchefs offers support for education and professional development through the landmark Worldchefs Academy online training program, our expansive network of Worldchefs Certified Schools and curriculums, and the world’s first Global Hospitality Certification recognizing on-the-job skills in hospitality; 

Networking – Worldchefs provides a platform for connection to chefs around the world, and a gateway for industry networking opportunities through endorsed events and the preeminent biennial Worldchefs Congress & Expo;

Competition – Worldchefs sets global standards for competition rules, provides Competition Seminars and assurance of Worldchefs Certified Judges, and runs the prestigious Global Chefs Challenge;

Humanitarian & Sustainability – our Feed the Planet and World Chefs Without Borders programs relieve food poverty, deliver crisis support, and promote sustainability across the globe.

For more information about Worldchefs, visit us at

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