Well travelled Belgian brings a wealth of experience to a new role in Cambodia
Nicola van Heemsbergen from Belgium brings a wealth of culinary experience gleaned at some of the world’s best hotels and restaurants to his role as the new executive chef at Hyatt Regency Phnom Penh.
Van Heemsbergen embarked on his path as a professional chef almost 30 years ago when he completed a traineeship at t’Fornius, a Michelin-starred venue in the Belgian city of Antwerp that is rated as one of the country’s finest restaurants. And he has not looked back since those early years — setting out on a culinary odyssey as a chef that has taken him to glamorous locations around the world.
Notable assignments along the way include stints at Michelin-starred restaurants like Lasserre in Paris and the legendary La Pyramide in Vienne, France. Previous hotel experience, meanwhile, includes periods at properties like Dubai’s Burj Al Arab, Raffles Singapore, The Peninsula in Manila, and Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti in Tanzania. Most recently he worked at Marineau, one of the best seafood restaurants in Antwerp.
Now he is applying his culinary expertise to the new role of overseeing the Food and Beverage offerings at Hyatt Regency Phnom Penh. The property has earned widespread acclaim since its opening in January 2021. Most recently, it was ranked “top city hotel” in Cambodia at Asia’s Best Awards 2022 by the leading travel publication Travel & Leisure Southeast Asia.
Van Heemsbergen will oversee the operations of all five food and beverage outlets, including the hotel’s two main dining venues, FiveFive Rooftop Restaurant & Bar and Market Café Restaurant & Lounge while upholding Hyatt’s commitment to sourcing the most sustainable and seasonal products from Cambodia by working with local farmers, growers, and distributors.
“I’m looking forward to showcasing my passion for cooking with fresh, natural, and locally produced ingredients to create inspirational dining experiences for our guests,” said Nicola van Heemsbergen. “Phnom Penh’s Food and Beverage scene is quickly maturing and through the hotel, my goal is to put the city’s culinary offerings on the map.”