Gert Verhulst and James Cooke mourn cook Annie from ‘Ger…

Annie Deleersnyder, the woman who spoiled the guests of Gert Verhulst and James Cooke with delicious meals during their stay in ‘Gert late night’, has passed away. “You’ve always looked after us so well that they do the same for you up there,” Cooke said on Instagram.

“This morning we received the sad news that our Annietje has passed away,” James Cooke wrote on Instagram. ‘Annie’, that was the host’s pet name for Annie Deleersnyder, who was regularly seen in the talk show Gert late night. On the Evanna, the yacht where Cooke and Gert Verhulst received their guests, Annie took care of the meals.

Annie kept a cafe open in Oostduinkerke for thirty years, where she also served food. This is how they got to know Verhulst, who has a house in Oostduinkerke. “Very sympathetic and simple people”, says Annie. “One day Gert talked about his plans for a talk show. He looked for another hostess who could cook well and asked me, “Annie, wouldn’t that be something for you?” I was shocked for a while and asked for a few days to think about it, but in the end I took the plunge and I do not regret that in the least.”

Annie Deleersnyder was 74 years old. She passed away this morning after a short period of illness. “In addition to being a special cook, Annie was above all a real friend”, Gert Verhulst says. “I could always count on her and I always felt so at home and so welcome. A down-to-earth warm woman who made me realize after each reunion how important it is to appreciate the small things in life. I paid her a visit last week. She had been sick for a while, but I didn’t expect it to go so quickly. I want to thank her. For who she was and what she meant to me.”

“When I think of Annie, I can’t help but smile,” adds James Cooke. “I had so many memorable moments with her on board the Evanna. We often had the giggles, but she was also a bit our mom on the boat. Did we eat enough vegetables? Shouldn’t we sleep a little more? She always remained herself. No BV upset her. Nothing was too much to ask. And she taught us what was important. Friendship and good food. I had arranged with Annie’s family to drop by this morning but it wasn’t supposed to be. It went so fast. I will miss her terribly.”

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