World Chefs: Belgian chef brings mussel bar to Atlantic City

Tue Feb 14, 2012 9:22am EST
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By Dorene Internicola

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Chef, restaurateur and master of Belgian cuisine Robert Wiedmaier likes to say he found his calling as a young man and never deviated from it.

"It's my entire life," said Wiedmaier, "I'm very passionate about what I do. I was a pot washer and I cooked and cooked and cooked until I got my own place."

Raised in Germany and educated at the Culinary School of Horca in the Netherlands, Wiedmaier came to the United States in the mid-1980s.

He now has five restaurants in the Washington, D.C. area and this he will soon open an extension of his signature gastro-pub, the Mussel Bar, at the Revel resort in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Wiedmaier spoke to Reuters about how to ensure fresh shellfish, the superiority of Belgian cuisine and his passion for casual fine dining with a Flemish flair.

Q: Why Belgian cuisine?

A: "My father was born in Antwerp. My origins are half-Belgium. I lived there, worked there, went to culinary school in the Netherlands. I ended up working in French restaurants so I took my Flemish heritage and added a French flair to it."

Q: Do you think most Americans think of Belgium food as merely mussels and fries?   Continued...