Chef cook Kamo is the new guest of honor at Pistolet Original

08.04.2019 - Editorial

Founded by the passionate Valérie Lepla, Pistolet Original is a top-of-the-range snack concept based on the stuffed pistolet, presenting Belgian products of quality and their producers. 

Chef cook Kamo is the new guest of honor at Pistolet Original

It has become quite a tradition of Brussels’ Pistolet Original to invite guest chef cooks twice a year to have limited edition pistolets recipes that will be offered à la carte for six months. Faced with the ever greater success for this exclusive formula, Pistolet Original reiterates its concept and signs its eleventh edition. As a guest of honor for this new edition, comes the famous chef Kamo, the only Japanese starred chef in the country. He offers a subtle and tasty blend of Belgian and Japanese culinary traditions around Teriyaki salmon.

Chef cook Kamo is the new guest of honor at Pistolet Original

The young Kamo has climbed the ladder of gastronomy in Belgium. For more than 10 years, he has continued to impress by offering a cuisine full of flavors in his now famous restaurant Kamo.
The Teriyaki salmon pistolets will be available from the 22nd of April onwards at a price of 8.50€.

To find out more about this culinary experience, as well as the chef-cook himself, we sat down with chef cook Tomoyasu Kamo and Pistolet Original creator Valérie Lepla.

Chef cook Kamo is the new guest of honor at Pistolet Original

Chef Kamo

1. Best Belgian gastronomic experience ever?
I love the Belgian restaurant « Couvert Couvert » in Leuven. Their presentation, their philosophy ... everything is perfect. From the first spoon until the last everything is an absolute finesse, which is why I find it perfect.

2. When did you realize that gastronomy was the most important thing in your life?
I do not really like to use the term « gastronomy » because it is my cooking, and at the base of this is family. It is always cooking with the heart. That is the most important thing. It is important to show a little gastronomy side but it is important that the base comes from the heart. 
Since I was six years old I had to prepare lunch for my brother and me because my parents were working. Cooking for me is normal and it makes me happy, so for it feels natural. 

3. What is the best place to shop?
I like the Marché Matinal de Bruxelles, because they have a very good choice. I usually go there two or sometimes even three times a week. 

4. Which magazine / book / site makes your mouth water?
Here in Belgium I do not really look at a lot of magazines. I mostly look at culinary magazines from Japan. However I always prefer contacting the chefs directly to exchange ideas with them directly.

5. Which Belgian food artisan merits a statue?
There are a few, Damien Boucherie from Bouchéry for example, the chefs from Le Chalet de la Foret, so I would say my Brussels chef-friends.

6. What makes the perfect food pairing?
I think it is very simple: salt and pepper. It is simple. And when it is simple, I like it.

7. What Belgian talents should we interview soon? Why?
I would say Stephan Jacobs . He is young and very talented. If you have time, it would be a great interview to make.

Chef cook Kamo is the new guest of honor at Pistolet Original

Valérie Lepla, founder of Pistolet Original

1. Have you always been an entrepreneur?
Yes. Since I was a student I worked in the gastronomy. I created my first company in 1994, which was a press agency called Agence Cinna. After that I worked for a short while as a consultant in gastronomy and by working with and for others, it inspired to do create something myself, so I created Pistoles six years ago.

2. What radical changes do you expect in your industry?
I do not expect any radical changes, because I settled in something that was in my mind quite clear. However, nowadays the general attitude has changed, concerning for example the way we eat, or even the packaging. It is all part of the job now and I try to adapt to these changes constantly in my company. Initially my desire was really to think about the quality of what we eat. Even if we are a small gastronomy – I am not afraid to say that I make sandwiches, only in my case my sandwich is called « Pistolet » - I think we are in another level of quality. We try to demonstrate to people that only because you eat a simple food does not mean that you should stop being careful about the origins of your food. You should always be careful where the products comes from, how they were treated and how the preparation was done. We prepare everything ourselves at Pistolet and we know exactly where our products come from. We know where and how they are treated which for us is very essentiel.

3. What is on your bucket-list?
I would not say that I have nothing more to prove but now at my age - I started working at a very young age - I do not think I will need a lot of challenges. I would rather return to a little more cooking because that is my passion. Whether it is cooking at home or with others, I do not know yet. I would rather decelerate, return to my passions and take care of my family. 

4. Who has been or still is your mentor?
This is a very difficult question because I do not have just one. I have been lucky enough to meet so many inspiring people. It would be lying and against my life philosophy to say that I have one mentor. I have met extraordinary people, and there are two or three in the past few years who gave me the courage to continue doing what I am still doing today and who told me that it is still worth what I am working. To create a company in the field of gastronomy in Belgium is very difficult. You have to have courage. 
The people who inspired me are chef cooks and friends. There is also a journalist who I find exceptional. He is a writer and photographer quite know for the field of gastronomy called Jean-Pierre Gabriel. I had an eye-opening conversation with him ten years ago, in which we discussed that I need to do something for myself in this field of work. It was an emotional discussion, which inspired me to such an extent that I was ready to want and build my own personal concept. Another inspiring moment was meeting the family of « La Villa Lorraine » who showed me another form of gastronomy. It taught me a lot in terms of generosity and gastronomy which was a very important professional life experience.

5. Tell us about a problem you face everyday, for which no one has found a solution yet.
It is mostly the management of employees. Nowadays it seems complicated for the new generations to be motivated, to feel pleasure at work, to respect the hierarchy and the administration around everything has become absolutely unreasonable.

6. Which Belgian entrepreneur inspires you the most?
I never have one name or just one example. Generally, for me, independent entrepreneurs who still have the courage to create a business - especially a local neighborhood business - those people I admire a lot.

7. What Belgian talents should we interview soon? Why?
Definitely Stephan Jacobs, a young chef cook who got rewarded his first star by the gastronomic guides at the age of 23. He is now working on building his own restaurant on a farm. I respect him a lot because he does things alone. He does not have many people around him and it fascinates me, to see someone like that at his young age, to be an entrepreneur, a creator, whos results are absolutely fabulous.

8. What are your guilty pleasures?
Definitely singing in the car. Gastronomical-wise: sausages, eating dry sausages. 

9. What about a "guilty pistolet"?
It would be difficult to answer because the pistolets are like my children, choosing just one child would be inappropriate.


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