We are a very heterogenous group in terms of origin, mother tongue and experience. As a team, we represent the linguistic and cultural diversity that forms the Food Community of our region.
Tom Smeets, our President, is Dutch, born in Belgian Limburg. After finishing his studies at VUB, he decided to stay in Brussels. Perfectly trilingual, he has always combined the social and urban research with a down-to-earth approach to exploring nature: he loves biking or wandering in cow meadows. He is now very active in the socio-economic field coordinating an organisation called FeBIO (Brussels Federation of Initiatives for the Development of Employment).
Patrick Böttcher, our treasurer and spokesman is a Swiss who chose Belgium as a place to live. He ran a pharmacy in Brussels before becoming political advisor for the Belgian green party. He is also very active in the promotion of natural wines, as well as chronicler at RTBF, blogger and writer. Furthermore, he organises events such as Vini, Birre, Ribelli. Since 2016, he is also the national coordinator of the Slow Food Alliance des Chefs – Belgium.
Rémy Bossert, our secretary, is an Alsatian and a peasant's son. An engineer by training, he is an "e-communication" consultant. But he is above all passionate about products of the terroir, cooking, home-made ‘charcuterie’, wine (rather biodynamic or raw), rugby, aerobatics, etc. He also holds a professional diploma as a cook and butcher.
He is also very involved several associations where he promotes Slow Food: president of the association for the promotion of Alsace, former president of the Boitsfort Rugby Club (2014-2016), member of the Board of Directors of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry France-Belgique, member of the Grand Council of the Confrérie St Etienne, the Alsatian wines brotherhood.
Alisson Duprez is from Tournai. From her earliest years, she is involved in preserving the traditions and folklore of her city. Having arrived recently in Brussels, she is determined to making her city greener and healthier, being involved in projects in line with her values such as her association Zero Waste Belgium. She loves to find all the creativity and diversity of her country on her plate. She also knows all the actors of alternative consumerism in Brussels.
Véronique Socié is French and was recently awarded Première Fromagère de Belgique 2016-2017. After working in the cheese sector in her native region of the Jura, she went to Belgium to work in the Fromagerie Saint-Michel in Waterloo. In Summer 2017, she will become manager of the first cheese bar in Brussels.
Jean Hummler is French but has resided in Brussels for many years now. In addition to numerous activities related to the promotion of Slow Food, he manages Moeder Lambic - a place to be for all artisanal beer lovers. He also specialises in organising public events.
Philippe Renoux is also French, originating from Perpignan, from where he brought a gourmet, intuitive and generous cooking spirit that he exercised until 2016 in his restaurant Orphyse Chaussette, in the center of Brussels. As a food activist, he is now promoting a Slow Food products’ approach in several institutions, including the European Commission.
Jean-Pierre De Leener is a market gardener in Sint-Pieters-Leeuw in the Brussels periphery. He embodies the commitment to organic farming and the respect for the local agriculture. Jean-Pierre promotes organic food through various activities, taking place for example in the famous Marché des Tanneurs. In addition to the social and political activities, he is also the Chairman of RABAD (Brussels Network for Sustainable Food).
Eric Klitsch is a Belgian and Managing Director of Brussels Relocation, a company whose mission is to host and house expatriates in Belgium . He is also an administrator of the Association of Belgian Relocation Agents (ABRA). He is passionate about Slow food culture and travel.
Marta Messa, is Italian, born in Bra - the cradle of Slow Food movement. After her studies at the Albert-Ludwigs University of Freiburg (Germany) and world-wide professional experience, she joined Slow Food International, where she is currently holding the position of Slow Food Liaison Officer in Brussels.
Alice Codsi is French-Lebanese. She is the founder of the Brussels team of Slow Food Youth Network (the "youth" part of Slow Food) and the founder of Food Surplus Entrepreneurs Network Brussels.
We form a strong group that thanks to its multidisciplinary activities, professional approach and strong commitment to voluntary work is able to provide a comprehensive service to the Convivium.