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Chef Seppe Nobels: A culinary visioniary

Born: August, 23, 1982 Bonheiden
Current projects: Chief of Academy Instroom Antwerp + Project Oud Gasthuis Mechelen during Construct Europe

Philosophy of cooking

Emphasis on the connection between food and environment
Prefers local products sourced directly from the garden

Instroom Academy

Global chefs infusing local products with their unique twists by Seppe’s guidance
Training academy
Payments for meals goes towards training refugees and non-native newcomers
Clear Dutch communication encouraged with students. Together we create a new future in Belgium for each of them

Restaurant Misverstand

2022 – 2023
Two successful seasons on television (VRT) where Dieter Coppens and Chef Seppe Nobels guide eight people with young dementia to run a restaurant and show what this kitchen brigade is capable of. After the first season, the kitchen staff was so incredibly grateful that a second season was created.

Chef Nobels’ culinary accolades

2005: 4 out of 6 prizes at the Best Junior Chef of Belgium competition
2010: Restaurant Graanmarkt 13 opened
Pioneering figure in Belgium’s Urban farming movement
2015: Best Young Chef in San Pellegrino’s Guide + Chef of the best vegetable restaurant in Flanders in the Green Gault & Millau

Ongoing projects: Social employment at Mechelen’s Oud Gasthuis

New venture in Mechelen as from January 24 as part of the Construct Europe city festival
Transforming Oud Gasthuis into an open space for newcomers
Blending memories of trainees’ homelands with Mechelen’s food culture and local produce

Gesture for AFS

Would like to support AFS
Presentation of 6 refugees at the event, each sharing their story
Willingness to close Gasthuis for the evening to make the event impactful

Seppe Nobels is a culinary maestro with a heart for social change creating opportunities intertwined with culinary innovation

Seppe Nobels is more than a celebrated Belgian chef, he’s a culinary, visionary weaving sustainability and community into the fabric of his work. Currently heading the Academy Instroom in Antwerp, Seppe has carved a unique niche in the culinary world, where the connection between food and its origin is a paramount.

Instroom is not a typical restaurant; it’s a training academy. Chefs from around the world, by Seppe’s guidance, infuse their unique twists into dishes crafted  from local produce. It’s a magical experience, where the alchemy of flavors meets a commitment to training. 
Instroom is not just a gastronomic haven; it’s a collaboration between Seppe Nobels, GATAM Vzw, VDAB and the city of Antwerp. Guests don’t pay for their meal but for the training or refugees and non-native newcomers.

Seppe is well known in the culinary world. In 2005, he clinched out 4 out of 6 top prizes at the Best Junior Chef of Belgium competition, he is also a pioneer of  the Urban Farming Movement in Belgium, advocating for the cultivation of vegetables and herbs on rooftop gardens and promoting sustainability.

In 2015, his dedication to excellence was recognized when he was named the Best Young Chef in San Pellegrino’s guide. The same year, he earned the title of  Chef of the Best Vegetable Restaurant in Flanders in the Green Gault&Millau – We’re Smart.

Seppe’s commitment to culinary innovation doesn’t end with Instroom Academy, his most recent project involves a move back to Mechelen for a social  employment initiative. As part of the Mechelen city festival Construct Europe, Seppe will transform the Oud Gasthuis into a welcoming space where newcomers will be introduced to gastronomy, fostering a blend of memories from their homelands with Mechelen’s food culture and local produce. The visionary approach is not just about food it’s about creating opportunities.

And the story continues; Restaurant Misverstand. Experienced the heartwarming journey of 2 seasons on television (VRT) in ’22 and ‘23, where Dieter Coppens  and Chef Seppe Nobels lead 8 individuals with young dementia in running a restaurant. Witness the capabilities of this remarkable kitchen brigade as they unfold their talents and passion. The gratitude from the kitchen staff after the first season was so touching that it paved the way for the creation of a second  season.

Despite typically declining event requests, except for the public sector, Seppe is making an exception for AFS. He would love to collaborate, he supports our  organization as our mission and values are very close to his own. 6 refugees will be presenting at the event, each sharing their story as an introduction to a dish. In an extraordinary gesture, he is even willing to close Gasthuis for the evening to make this impactful event happen, together. Seppe Nobels goes beyond the kitchen, he is a culinary maestro with a heart for social change.


  • Seppe’s Kookboek voor Kids. 2009. Uitgeverij Book & Media Publishing.
  • Vegetables that sparkle the conversation. 2015. Uitgeverij Lannoo – Best Vegetarian Book in the World, Gourmand Cookbook Awards, 2016.
  • Greens that taste like friendship. 2016. Uitgeverij Lannoo.
  • Een kookboek, 2021 Uitgeverij Lannoo met dit boek wint Seppe Nobels als eerste Belg het gouden kookboek der lage landen.