November 7, 2023
Viki Geunes, the chef of the three-star restaurant Zilte in Antwerp, takes a seat in De Tijdcapsule. In four episodes he answers questions about his past, present, future and infinite time.
What does your morning routine look like?
‘Short but sweet. I prefer to start the day as soon as possible. I need to take more time to eat breakfast, but most days I’m out the door after a quick first coffee. If I have some time to spare, I prefer to stay in the shower longer. I am a real sun child and need warmth.’
When I drive around in my Jaguar, I am transported to the 1960s.
Chef of the three-star restaurant Zilte
‘When I arrive at the restaurant, I check the orders and manage my team. In addition to being a chef, I am also a manager, HR manager, electrician, plumber and much more. Since our third Michelin star, I have been more concerned with public relations and Zilte’s international fame. I estimate that I spend about 25 percent of my time in the kitchen, the other 75 percent is spent on the business side.’
What still makes you nervous?
‘From situations I don’t know. I’m quite a control freak. When you play at this level, it’s almost necessary. You not only have to worry about the dishes that are on the table, but also about all the other details, down to the smallest speck of dust in the room.’
How do you relax?
‘By going to the sea, where I can enjoy the apparent infinity of the horizon. I also have a Porsche and a vintage Jaguar car in the garage, which I like to cruise around on weekends. When I drive the latter, I feel transported to the 60s and 70s. That period has something mystical to me.’
How many unread emails does your mailbox have?
‘Two people in my team have access to my mailbox and monitor it for me. I wouldn’t be able to control that myself.’
What is your Achilles heel?
‘I’m quite gullible and have a hard time saying no. I used to be more impulsive, but I have learned to use the phrase ‘I’ll get back to you’ more often instead of always agreeing straight away.’
What is your financial guilty pleasure?
‘I really like buying art. The works that I like are a reflection of myself. I like to recognize myself in my collection.’