December 9, 2022

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Famous restaurant reopens after chef Tom, 35, is told he's in the arrival hall: 'We don't know how much we have left, but we'll make the most of it' |  Ghent

Famous restaurant reopens after chef Tom, 35, is told he’s in the arrival hall: ‘We don’t know how much we have left, but we’ll make the most of it’ | Ghent

GhentWhen Tom van Lispitens (35) was told that he Only two or three years to live He didn’t want to travel far or bungee jumping. He and his wife, Alison Royles, 34, especially wanted their restaurant to reopen, if only for a moment. A month after they received the news, reservations were opened again. Cochon de Luxe is Back

Tom and Alison weren’t lucky enough when their restaurant reopened last year after seven months of forced closure. A few weeks later, the doors were forced to close again. Tom was taken to the hospital. Diagnosis: colon cancer. Instead of a summer full of delicacies, a year of chemotherapy followed. The president remained optimistic, but was told a month ago that he was still going strong.


Last week, we already had test evenings. It was hard but it was so much fun. Finally, Tom can be a chef again, not just a patient.

Allison Royles, wife of Tom

Fifty years suddenly had to be crushed into two or three pieces. How they would have done it remains unclear, but one thing was certain: The restaurant would reopen, even though Tom continued to receive chemotherapy. Barely a month after they received the news, it was time. From June 2, the doors of Cochon de Luxe will once again open to the general public. Test evenings were already held last week for friends and family. “It was hard but it was so much fun,” says bartender Allison. “Tom can finally be a chef again, not just a patient. At the same time, it was very difficult to realize how beautiful and carefree our lives were. We don’t know how much we have left, but we will make the most of it.”

Tom has this life spell on his arm. © Wannes Nimmegeers

For starters, Tom and Allison open three weekends in June. It seems that “we can’t see much further”. Only twelve places are covered each evening. “It’s different, but we don’t have a lot of options. That or don’t open. We will expand as quickly as we can. So keep an eye on the website and social media, because there are still places to add.”


What do you expect if you can secure a place in Cochon de Luxe? List in typical Tom style: full with single lines. There is an aperitif called ‘beautiful, life is beautiful’ and a dish called ‘feel like chicken’. “References to what happened last year, but there’s also what we planned for last year,” says Allison.

Can’t make a reservation? Then you can also help Tom and Alison by purchasing a support ticket via the restaurant’s website. If, due to our ridiculous hours, you can’t get your feet under the table with us, but still want to express your love for us (singing at our front door is nice, but not really necessary), now there’s also another nice way to cheer us up, a good support card from Old fashioned’, read there. So a couple boost, but a portion also goes to Kom op Tegen Kanker.

More information via website From Cochon de Luxe.

Tjörven (51), who has run the restaurant alone since his husband’s death two years ago, now receives the same honorary title from the Meesterkoks: “This is the final tribute to Thierry”

Eileen, 36, is terminally ill and organizes crowdfunding for one last wish: ‘I’d like to hug my second family in Australia again’

David Bruggeling, 39, died of an acute asthma attack in a Cambodian cell: ‘I felt it was bad’

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