Chef Rob Pronk: Belize’s Chef of Chefs


Following the tradition of great Dutch chefs, Chef Rob Pronk started his illustrious culinary career at the age of 16 in a remote region of the Netherlands. While attending culinary school he worked in some of the countries top hotels and restaurants.

At the age of 21, Chef Rob started traveling the world to gain international culinary experience and exposure. He worked at some of the best-known restaurants in Switzerland, Germany and the UK.

A short vacation to the Island of Aruba ended up in a nine-year stay for Chef Rob in the Caribbean. As an executive chef for hotels and food management companies, he picked up a great appreciation of the Caribbean culture and cuisine.

Chef Rob Pronk of Chef Rob's Gourmet Cafe in Hopkins, Belize.

Belize has been home for Chef Rob, and his wife Corrie, for the past twelve years. Before opening his restaurant in the small seaside town of Hopkins, he worked in Belize City for at the Radisson Fort George Hotel as Executive Chef and at The Lodge at Chaa Creek in Cayo, where he was Food and Beverage Manager. He also starred in the country’s first culinary television show and establishing the country’s chief culinary competition: A Taste of Belize.

In 2009, Chef Rob and his wife opened Chef Rob’s Gourmet Café in the Garifuna village Hopkins. Located in a refurbished house on the edge of town, the open-air café features the chef’s creations from the freshest vegetables and seafood, and highest quality meat.

Fresh Gulf Lobster at Chef Rob's.

Chef Rob is a part of a growing group of chefs who are taking Belize’s unique combination of Caribbean and Central American flavors to a new level. His signature dishes include Caribbean bouillabaisse and grilled local rib eye with rum sauce, served on the veranda of his charming clapboard building with a faded photo of communist founder Leon Trotsky hanging on the wall.

Chef Rob is committed to the using the freshest ingredients in all of his dishes, especially seafood. He is very opinionated on the recent events of the BP Deepwater Horizon explosion this summer in the Gulf of Mexico.

“I feel for the fisherman and seafood industry in Louisiana,” says Chef Rob. “Oil has recently been discovered here in Belize, and there is talk of offshore drilling. I sincerely hope that does not happen. I don’t want have to close my restaurant and lay off my staff because of an oil spill.”

Chef Rob is a recognized culinary and sanitation trainer, and a Certified Food and Beverage Executive within the American Hotel Association.

Red snapper with pitaya sauce.

Chef Rob is regularly praised on TripAdvisor review after review, “Who would have thought in the sleepy little beach town of Hopkins in Belize we would find such a great place to dine! Chef Rob is from Holland and has traveled the world. I am not sure how he ended up here but I am so glad he did!”

More about tourism in Belize click here.

Contact Chef Rob at:

Belize fisherman prepare to fish the waters off of Chef Rob's restaurant.

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