Mid-July, Peter Goossens wants to land in Knokke. In Hotel La Réserve he then opens La Rigue. With a restaurant name that waves with the same initials as that of the luxury hotel. Sounds poetic, but make no mistake, behind the name lies the French concept of ‘rigueur’: extreme precision, a characteristic of his internationally renowned kitchen style.
In restaurant La Rigue, Peter Goossens and his team will present a cuisine that is very close to his heart. Classics from the Belgian and French restaurant kitchen will be perfectly executed based on local ingredients with a focus on product and taste. This approach is packaged as a mission statement in the restaurant name. With the same “rigueur” or sense of care and detail that has characterized its acclaimed kitchen signature for more than thirty years, La Rigue will receive its guests. “In La Rigue I keep going for finesse and perfection, because that’s in my genes,” said Peter Goossens. “My suppliers, with whom I have been working for years, have been briefed and are involved in my new story about product and taste. Only the best ingredients are good enough for my guests and for my dishes. Think of accessible classics of which I am crazy myself. Such as steak tartare, vol-au-vent, salads with freshly peeled North Sea shrimps and shrimp croquettes, langoustines, grilled turbot, chicken on the spit, eel in green and always served in a top version.” The kitchen of La Rigue offers a very varied menu with grill dishes and preparations on the spit. And this for both hotel guests and restaurant visitors from outside.
Bringing classic dishes to the table in a refined form, with suitable recognizable details, is the mission. Anyone who expected that Peter Goossens would take a calmer approach after leaving Hof van Cleve at the end of this year is wrong. “Managing this project is completely my thing. Nice that La Rigue has given me new ideas. I notice that both in the Hof van Cleve and in the team in Knokke that we are forming.” There is great interest in this type of kitchen, which will be completely in the zeitgeist with a special vibe. And where professionals at this level, both in the kitchen and in the service, will find great satisfaction and can gain new knowledge. “People, young and older, apply spontaneously, which creates an extra good feeling. With much or less experience, having the right spirit is ultimately the most important thing.”
Restaurant name with triple bottom
The dishes are served in a more than elegant and contemporary restaurant setting with a separate breakfast bar in a smooth, friendly atmosphere with a view of the Zegemeer and a unique south-facing terrace. That naturally includes a French name. “One of the special steps in the creation of a restaurant is finding a distinctive name. We actually got over it pretty quickly. With La Réserve as a starter and a pun around the concept of ‘rigueur’, a French term that seems to typify my approach to cooking,” he says delicately, “we soon arrived at La Rigue.” A rigue also stands for a flat-bottomed boat that sails on the Upper Rhône and riguus means ‘surrounded by water’ in Latin. Nautical references that go well with this prime seaside location.