Behind every culinary story lies a host of driven people. De Stadt Van Luijck too would not exist without these driving forces. Meet our team, a group of young, talented and ambitious high-flyers in the kitchen and the dining room.

Pajtim Bajrami

"My entire youth has been about cooking. I was never interested in going out, I just wanted to be the best at finding the right combination of flavours. I was able to gain experience in a variety of top kitchens and to see what (not) to do. Now I’m at the helm, I try to outdo myself at all times. My wife Ardita is a huge and very welcome support in this enterprise and, along with the rest of the team, we try to create a culinary experience
that will long be remembered.

"I strive for perfection every day. Every plate that leaves my kitchen must entrance people.”

Willem Sels

At just 22, Willem is one of the youngest talents in the kitchens of De Stadt Van Luijck. Willem’s passion for cooking emerged at a tender age and he started work in the restaurant soon after leaving training. His career started in patisserie and he worked slowly but surely towards becoming Pajtim's right-hand man.

​Willem applies the same standards and his ambition is to create a fully-fledged kitchen.

Keanu Loomans
Maître d'Hôtel

"I was fifteen when I ended up in the catering industry without any previous experience, via a learning-contract. It didn't take long before my interest in wines, cheeses and general gastronomy shone through. I was given the opportunity to work in various quality establishments in Limburg and the surrounding area, both front-of-house and in the kitchens, and it was there that I discovered my passion for this area."

​"It was my dream to work as the head waiter at a location such as this and I seized the opportunity with both hands. I love a slightly relaxed, homely atmosphere in which people feel at home and can really be pampered. Personally, I am hugely enthusiastic about food and drink in general so I’m always open to improvements or innovation."

Gunther Craninx

Gunther also developed a passion for cooking at a young age. “I love pampering people. I discovered my passion for wines while I was training at the hotel school in Herk-de-Stad and then specialised in wines and beverages at Ter Duinen in Koksijde. Since then I have won a number of prestigious awards such as the ‘Meilleur Jeune Sommelier du Val de Loire’ and ‘Trofee Jo Vanderhassel’.”


“Above all, a good wine must offer good value for money so that it always meets expectations. I still rely on traditional wine tasting to select our wines, and the flavour and finish are always the key criteria. I have a preference for European wines and you will see that manifested in the most varied way in the choice of wines with the dishes. There is always a French wine in there somewhere, but we also have Belgian, German and Italian wines, always depending on the dish served.”