Michael Hendeles Club Ketjep
Michael Hendeles
Flagrants Délices Founder

Describe yourself, your background and what you do today.
I studied civil engineering at ULB and have always been an independent entrepreneur. Three years after finishing my studies, I started my own IT company, which I then sold off 19 years later. I didn’t know what to do afterwards so, as I’m an epicurean by nature, so I decided to learn how to make good food. A few years later, I created the first Belgian jerkies.

How would you describe your attitude to work?
I’m a perseverant and voluntary person – I can’t stand failing and always listen to my intuitions. I’m also a perfectionist so I’m allergic to vagueness. And, like any self-made worker, I don’t have a roster.

On a personal note, what would you say you’re the proudest of?
I’m really proud to say that I was able to switch career, and I think I’m able to adapt to any situation. On a personal level, I’m proud of the values I taught my children: it’s about what right, not what’s beautiful.

What do you think distinguishes Belgium, and its people, from the rest?
We don’t take ourselves too seriously and have great self-derision and consensus-building skills.

If you had to nominate three people that, to you, best symbolised Belgium in its full glory, who would they be?
Eden Hazard, Jacques Brel and Hergé.

If you had to take out-of-towners to one essential restaurant in Belgium, which one would it be?
Hof van Cleve in Kruishoutem, no hesitation.

If you had to take visiting guests out on a Sunday tourist trail, where would you take them and why?
The Atomium and Manneken Pis, Brussels’ two landmark symbols.

Sauces, in Belgium at least, are intrinsically linked to French fries. What’s your combination of choice?
Samouraï and Dallas sauce.

Why do Belgians do it better?
Because they don’t show off and are humble, often trilingual and hardworking.