A temple of gastronomy in Drauffelt

When crossing the village of Drauffelt, always bathed in the mist of the bottom of the valley, one cannot imagine the fire hidden within the walls of this beautiful Ardennes building marked with a "YR".

As a perfect leader of the troops, Yves Radelet is at all the places. It is true that for several years, the renowned chef and his jovial wife Jennifer have been on all the fronts of gastronomy. In addition to the restaurant, the Ferme de Drauffelt seems to be following the same destiny and success. They have gone from being restaurateurs to being producer-restaurateurs. A main goal links the different projects: to master the chain of taste and to sublimate local products for the palates of their customers, who are becoming more and more numerous, and also more distant.

Yes, after leaving the capital and falling in love with this small part of the Eislek, it was a daring gamble. But now, every weekend evening, a real migration takes place from Luxembourg City to Drauffelt. A flock of gourmets come to discover the best restaurant in the north of the country (Explorator 2017, in which Manoir Kasselslay, a few minutes away, was also nominated). How can we explain the success of this warm couple? Perhaps by the experience of the Belgian chef who, before setting up in the middle of nowhere (admittedly), had worked with the best in Brussels, Durbuy, Saint-Vith and in the capital, until he opened his first restaurant in Rue du Curé in 2005 and then in Belair in 2008. A pioneer in creative and molecular cuisine, at a time when Luxembourg gastronomy seemed to be in a state of uncertainty, the chef caught everyone's eye, winning the title of "Grand of Tomorrow" in 2006 and then "Chef of the Year" in 2008 by Gault&Millau.

More than his reputation, does Yves Radelet's success not simply come from his natural passion for the art of living, good food and his search for the right taste? His cuisine is reassuring and exhilarating, his plates generous and complex and his products of quality, highlighting all that the soil and his hands do best. The customers are not mistaken. They come and return for the culinary experience. In the (old?) days when restaurants were accessible, Yves Radelet and his team offered us a continuous show in the restaurant, cooking among the customers. Is this a search for transparency or a desire to stay as close as possible to his guests? Definitely both. Having had the chance to observe the work in the workshop, the whole of what is offered is prepared within the four walls of the restaurant. The fonds are always steaming on a kitchen corner, ready to be mixed with other ingredients to form exceptional sauces. From bread to salamis, all finished products are made in Drauffelt.

While enjoying a coffee, we discover the new restaurant room, renovated and extended during the months of closure. If the owners want to keep it a surprise, we can tell you that we can't wait to sit at their table!

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Ferme of Drauffelt

In addition to the restaurant, the couple has created its own brand, "Ferme de Drauffelt", which offers a wide range of cheeses, yoghurts, sausages and pâtés as well as fresh pasta and other products. The basic products are sourced from local farms and processed and matured here in Drauffelt. A short climb down a spiral staircase takes us to the paradise of the many cheese lovers. 

The cow's and goat's milk from the Eislek is beautifully enhanced by the cheese makers present. At the back, in several stalls, dozens of Caprices de Drauffelt are slowly maturing. We fall for the goat's cheese and the red brick of Drauffelt, which to us is similar to a Brie cheese. In our bag on the way back, we also put a dozen creamy fruit yoghurts. A wide range of products from the Ferme de Drauffelt is available in supermarkets in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg (Match, Cactus,...). You will find everything you need for an aperitif, a picnic or a cheese platter, but the main course can also be taken away! The Drauffelt jars have appeared, offering dishes simmered in beautiful Weck jars to be heated in a bain-marie. Beef bourguignon, veal blanquette or Liège-style pork (a must for a chef coming from Liège), these jars for 2 people allow you to take home all the know-how of the cook. The chef also makes a point of filling the jars copiously. You'll have something for your appetite!

Science and technology in the face of gastronomy

Another surprise during our meeting. Between the orders, the cheese factory, the kitchen and the renovation work, Yves Radelet has taken on a new challenge: being 100% recyclable. The health crisis having led the couple to offer take-away menus, the chef's environmental awareness pushed him to embark on a rather crazy project. Today, it is two engineering students who occupy the restaurant's tables. Their objectives? To develop suitable packaging that reduces the amount of plastic while using fully recyclable plastic raw material. These new containers are used to support the use of cardboard for certain foods. The students are also working on different moulds to create almost limitless plate presentations. Impressive! As in the past, we feel the urgency of the chef to move forward, to have a fresh look at gastronomy based on the technologies of his time.

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We remember his work on freeze-drying with the Agrobiotech of Gembloux, which allowed him to create his own molecular technique to extract the liquid from certain foods by cold in order to bring out their taste. This constant research had also allowed Yves Radelet to free his own kitchen and to be in pure creation, giving him the necessary wings to open his own establishment.

A nod to Jennifer Murgia-Radelet (Hostess of the Year 2019), who comes, with her communicative good humour, to put the icing on the cake.  

Short circuit, "home-made" production, independence... the couple seems to excel in all their projects. With a clientele that is always on hand to follow the producer-restorers in their wildest projects. And what if the secret of their success was also, quite simply, this furious desire to please and to give pleasure? If this is the case, they have succeeded !


Address: 11, Duerefwee - 9746 Drauffelt Luxembourg

Opening hours : 

Friday: 6.30pm - 9pm

Saturday: 18h30 - 21h00

Sunday: 12h00 - 14h00

Website: yvesradelet.com