Co-founder, CEO @ Vive la tarte, Inc. Goethals has made a mark on the local food scene in the San Francisco Bay Area since his American debut in 2011. He delivers Belgian cuisine with a “California flair”, while simultaneously planning the launch of a food center in San Francisco with a planned opening of May 1st. In discussion with IES director Jeroen Dewulf, Goethals explained his path from Belgium to opening one of the most anticipated new eateries in San Francisco. Goethals began by renting a small commercial kitchen for a catering operation. Through an innovative menu of high quality breakfast offerings and desserts that link the best of Belgian culinary science with Californian gastronomical tastes, Goethals gained clients such as tech giant Twitter and quickly expanded his business. There is more than an incidental link between the food scene and the tech scene, though: a former consultant himself, Goethals has applied the principles of start-up management to Belgian food with his work at “Vive la Tarte,” innovating rapidly while always listening to the customer. True to the Belgian spirit, Goethals’ artisanal baking collective rolls its dough on vintage equipment and employs dedicated expert chefs for every stage of production. And true to his California location, he has developed sub-specialties in vegan and gluten-free cooking, while sourcing seasonal and organic ingredients. Goethals brought several samples of his delicious baking for the audience, which were received with great approval. While Goethals is proud of his success as an entrepreneur, he stresses that quality trumps scale. Instead of a franchise, we can expect “Vive La Tarte” to promote the richness of Belgian food right here in the Bay Area with an operation built on transparency and sustainability. Best of all, Goethals plans to offer cooking classes through his new food center in San Francisco.