After chef training at the hotel school in Namur, Philippe Debra continued his schooling in the great "maisons" in Belgium. A first summer internship at the Karmeliet in Bruges was a veritable culinary revelation. A discovery of flavours and a breathtaking creativity.
Following a collaboration with the chef Attilio Basso at the Ecailler du Palais Royal. A rigorous, instinctive chef who teaches a commitment to the profession.
Philippe Debra started to make quiches somewhat by chance, in 1994: "I was making a delivery to a natural food store and I was asked if I could make savoury pies. I had never done that, but I accepted. I cooked them some large vegetable pies." Les Notes de mon Jardin was born.
Philippe Debra then quit his job in catering, found a workshop and started selling his quiches in grocery stores. At the time, he did everything himself: "I cooked, I was cooking pies and I would deliver them." At the same time, he began selling in the markets, assisted by his wife, Isabelle.
The trigger? An article in Le Soir, whose effect was immediate. Then a second, in Gault et Millau, which gave real credibility to Notes de mon Jardin among the professionals in the catering industry.
The first major customer followed: Pâtisserie Debailleul. "To see my quiches in their shop window, it was like having one of my creations at Cartier: a dream ! ", exclaims Philippe. A partnership that has never stopped since. And a paramount meeting: "He was someone truly generous, who opened doors for me, explained to me how it worked and gave me advice that I still apply today."
It was also at this time that the founder of Notes de mon Jardin started bake off or "uncooked frozen". A method used in pastry making and which Mr Debailleul initiated. "This method allows larger quantities to be produced, to divide the work into several phases, and provide a larger assortment, while guaranteeing the freshness of the product.", explains Philippe Debra.
A few years later, another partnership is taking place: the Pain Quotidien in the Place Dumont in Brussels orders some quiches. A real success, which opens the doors to all the shops in Brussels, and then Belgium, to Notes de mon Jardin.
A major development, which requires a larger team and more space. Philippe then decides to embark on the construction of a new workshop in Tubize. Completed in 2007, it was designed completely according to the needs of the business and in compliance with HACCP standards. Philippe Debra is delighted: "It is larger, more suitable, more functional. We
have been able to meet demand and expand the business. We had already some customers abroad, but the new workshop has enables an increase in export."
Cette même année, Isabelle, son épouse, quitte son poste dans une grande banque belge pour assurer l’important travail administratif de la nouvelle entreprise.
And, since 2009, Notes de mon Jardin also has biological soups. Still, the lure of vegetables.
The journey continues...