It was a good beginning for Baptiste Heugens. In 2017, he strengthened the kitchen team in Two6Two – named for the house number on the Route d’Arlon in Strassen. Half a year later the young Belgian became Sous Chef, and, at the end of 2018, he become the successor of the then Chef Julien Elles. Since then, he has further solidified the restaurant in the circle of especially good establishments in Luxembourg. He became Gault&Millau’s “Young Chef of the Year 2020” with 14.5 points. Today, he is 29 years old and says: “I have never wanted to do anything else. And I could never do something else.”
After school, Heugens went to the school of hotel management in Belgium’s Saint-Ghislain, only a stone’s throw from the French border. “They were very picky about the practical training,” says Heugens. And that helped him get into the top places from the beginning. After an internship in Yves Mattagne’s Sea Grill in Brussels he could return there as Commis. “I was like a child in a sweet shop there. I recognized the care, the precision. That immediately took me in.”
He simply enjoys the work of putting things together, of thinking of original ideas. In Two6Two, Heugens practices a “modern gastronomy” – and puts “modern” into big inverted commas. “We are a young team, and we enjoy developing new techniques and trying out new things.” But it’s important that this provides pleasure and is delicious. He wants to surprise but, at the same time, it must guarantee the “gourmandise” of a plate for his customers.
It’s important for him that meat, fish and vegetables are equal in the kitchen and on the menu. Thus, a three-course menu has three choices. “That allows four people to eat completely different things at one table. They are not bound by conventional decisions.” That calls for a little bit more effort in the kitchen, but it can be arranged, so Baptiste Heugens.” It doesn’t limit us and is very attractive for the guests.”
“I have never wanted to do anything else. And I could never do something else.”
Most important, however, is that vegetables are treated just as lovingly and with as much care as meat or fish. “We really work with the vegetables. We give thought to vegetarian dishes. “Without it becoming something that we force ourselves to do. And without it becoming something that is possibly slightly less good than the rest. I want it to be on the same level as the other dishes on offer.”
The vegetarian options should be “a real choice”: “Every course is constructed in the same way as the meat or fish option.” No, the Two6Two is certainly not morphing into a vegetarian restaurant. It’s really only about providing the best possible dish for the guest: “There is nothing I don’t like to work with in the kitchen.”
He wants “a kitchen that everyone can relate to,” – and that is possibly also the explanation for the fact that the place is well-visited at midday as well as in the evenings. More than 30 to 35 seats are not available. With four cooks, including Baptiste Heugens, the team is manageable: “We want to shine through quality and not quantity. And to look after our guests.”
How important would a Michelin Star be for him? “Hopefully one day,” says Baptiste Heugens. “We are working towards it. We don’t want to keep that a secret.” But one has to work hard on oneself and on the dish. “If it does happen one day, then we will certainly be happy. But the first priority are the clients: those who visit us must leave satisfied.”
“The kitchen symbolises humility and the wish to learn and to progress,” according to Baptiste Heugens. “It’s a job that has given a huge amount to my private life and enriched me. For me, the kitchen is the school of life.”
Find his masterclass in the Autumn edition of KACHEN magazine.
262, Route d‘Arlon — L-8010 Strassen
Tel. +352 / 621 213 208