This is Jean François Schevenels, the owner of Liège Café, an upscale patisserie, bakery and restaurant in Sandton, one of the wealthiest districts in Johannesburg. He is the proud fourth generation of artisan pastry chefs from Liège Belgium. Before moving to South Africa, he had been honing his craft in Michelin-starred restaurants in Europe.
With a menu offering such wonders as “Waterzooi de Poisson” (Belgian fish stew, salmon, mussels and kabeljou served in creme sauce and vegetables julienne), “Chateaubriand Béarnaise” (seared beef fillet , Béarnaise sauce served with fries and fresh vegetables), and authentic homemade “Liège waffles topped with Chantilly cream and dark chocolate ganache”, Mr. Schevenels was a pioneer. He was bringing French-Belgian gastronomy, tradition and art-de-vivre to South African culinary explorers and gourmets.
Liège Café opened in August 2014 with great fanfare featuring Miss South Africa. After a few months of operation, its ratings skyrocketed. Tripadvisor gave a 4.5 out of 5 stars and #4 out of 132 restaurants in Johannesburg, reviewers were ecstatic: “You’d be hard pressed to resist the call of crisp, buttery, croissants, brioche, tarts and sweet pastries” wrote the magazine Food & Home Entertaining, “It’s heaven in earth” went the magazine Hello Joburg.
Customers were sending plenty of stars: “What a nice surprise to find real fine dining in the heart of Sandton (…) I will definitely be back …. again and again and again” commented one, “My 21st birthday celebration was a huge success and was more than I ever expected it to be (…) By far one of my favourite restaurants in Jhb!” applauded another.
Read the rest of Liège Café’s story in the article on linkedin “Why Brands Need to Partner with Change to Win in the African Retail Boom”