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At home, eating good and tasty food always was a natural thing; on Sundays, my mother loved to conjure a lavish meal, and often I was hanging around in the kitchen to help her with something. More than half of the vegetables came from my father's garden, which was organic, though this word was unknown to us back then. Actually, I was in the kitchen a lot, from the moment I was big enough to see the top of the kitchen counter, not only I was part of the dish washing team with my older brother, we also knocked together all kinds of simple dishes. That was when I specialized in pancakes (crêpes).


Many years later, after not very culinary student years, which affected my body somewhat, I slowly moved towards vegetarianism. Like many, first the meat disappeared from my plate and was replaced by fish and next, plant-based alternatives, but because of my interest in delicious and healthy food, a while later I found my way to the health food store. This new world kept me busy for a while until the moment I got curious about things like umeboshi, seaweed and other exotic sounding ingredients. After my first trip to India in 1999, I took my first cooking classes: staring immediately with 5 days in La Ferme du Bois-le-Comte (BLC) with Katrien Cocquyt. One thing led to another and a few months later, I started a shiatsu course at Dumai (now 4D Life Academy), where I also did other courses like Iron Shirt Qi Gong, Bagua and Daoist meditation, mainly with Dirk Oellibrandt. That way, I regularly returned to BLC, also to help in the kitchen as a volunteer with chefs like Mark Hanna, Bob Lloyd, Simone Parris and Katrien Cocquyt.


After a short career as theater technician, I decided to leave home for a few years in 2002; I left on a one way ticket to India, and after a month I landed - planned ahead - in the Osho ashram in Pune, India, where I spent working in and around the kitchen for 4,5 months. Next, via Bangkok and Hong Kong, I travelled to Nanjing, China, to visit my best friend Tom. This visit was extended to an 8 month stay; I started to teach English, something I went to do in Taiwan as well, in early 2004. In Pune, I had met someone who studied at a special cooking school, and eventuallly in November 2004, I went to New York myself to enroll at Annemarie Colbin's Natural Gourmet School. During my time there, I also worked in vegan organic restaurants as Quintessence, Candle 79 (upscale brother of Candle Cafe) and Whole Earth Bakery.


When I returned to Belgium in February 2006, I started cooking for various groups in Orval and elsewhere. As a confirmed and also flexible vegan, I joined the culinary team of EVA (Ethical Vegeterian Alternative) in Ghent, for which I cook on a voluntary and professional basis, like the Eat cafés, as part of the Thursday Veggieday campaign. I started to teach cooking classes at EVA, and since the spring of 2008 also in the East-West Center in Antwerp. This was right after my 3-month trip to Thailand, where I married the love of my life Nuni, so that explains my interest in Thai cuisine ;)


Catering is becoming a bigger and more important part of my cooking adventures, with returning customers as the Institute for Attention and Mindfulness IAM, Jong Groen!, and others.

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vivaVega!

BE 0628.608.696
ING: 363-1472917-12
info[at]vivavega[dot]beinfo[at]vivavega[dot]be
Mobile: 0496/38 43 99
Museumstraat 10
9220 Hamme - Belgium

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vivaVega!

contact person:
Tino Don Porto Carero - Museumstraat 10, 9220 Hamme, Belgium - info@vivavega.be - Mobile: 0496/38 43 99 - www.vivavega.be

BE 0628.608.696 - ING: 363-1472917-12