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Royal Club of Gastronomes in Belgium

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2017 Events

9 December

Sea Gill **

Chef : Yves Mattagne

Web site


 Comments of the President
We promised it in 2016, we did it in 2017: the Club returned to the Sea Grill restaurant for its 79th annual gala dinner. The guests were pleased to welcome Dr Jean Vitaux, President of the International Academy of Gastronomy. At the end of the evening, he commented on the dinner in the presence of Chef Yves Mattagne. After some original appetizers, a slightly smoked creamy parmentier mousse and a quail egg wisely highlighted some caviar of huso dauricus. The ensemble was particularly pleasant in the mouth and married well with a dry wine of Sauternes with beautiful notes of pear and quince (Clos des Lunes d'Argent, 2014). To follow, Yves offered us some very large langoustines from Iceland. The perfect control of the cooking of these delicate crustaceans (served for a large number of diners), was noted by Jean. He saw the sign of a great chef. The Domaine Saint Amand 2015 - pale gold dress, very balanced and with a beautiful material - came to accompany the dish. For the main course, an original preparation of a doe fillet contrasted with the more conventional preparations that some diners had tasted in October during a tour organized by the Club in the Black Forest. Here an Asian-inspired sauce and sweet spices highlighted the melt-in-the-mouse meat. For this dish, sommelier Fabrice D'hulster had offered a wine from Toro, very lively on the palate and with aromas of plums and blueberries. The diners finished the meal with a chocolate dessert whose bitterness was amplified by a passion-fruit gel, and contrasted with caramel and popcorn. A round of applause to thank Yves and his team closed the evening. [Photos] [Menu]

19 November

Colette *

Chef : Thijs Vervloet

Web site


 Comments of the President
On 19 November 2017, after a journey in the Black Forest, the members of the Club found themselves in the province of Antwerp. One of our members made a nice discovery in the commune of Westerlo. There, in the living-room of an old house that belonged to his grandmother, the young and talented chef Thijs Vervloet, opened his restaurant to which he naturally gave the name of his grandmother: Colette. This former second of 't Zilte worked for Joël Robuchon and Johan Segers. Thijs offered us a classic cuisine with intense, yet balanced, flavours. As soon as we arrived, Thijs and his wife welcomed us warmly. Beautiful seasonal products were put in the spotlight and their cooking was exemplary. The hare saddle, hunted in the surrounding area, melt in the mouth and was accompanied very well by salsify and vinous pears. This dish was following a magnificent creation around the fleshy and still moist-from-the-ocean langoustines, prepared in three ways: ravioli, tartar and pan-fried. Chocolate lovers enjoyed a superb and light bitter chocolate pudding. Despite the small team, the service was effective. The sommelier had prepared an interesting selection of flasks, one of which, from Bulgaria, was breaking some a priori. Here's an address to watch! [Photos] [Menu]

24 September

Le Cor de Chasse *

Chef: Mario Elias

Website


 Comments of the Honorary President
On Sunday, September 24, 2017, the Royal Club of Gastronomes in Belgium lunched in the heart of the peaceful village of Wéris (Province of Luxembourg), known for hosting the largest concentration of megaliths in the country, between the valleys of Ourthe and Aisne, near Durbuy, in an old farm luxuriously converted into a restaurant and hotel: Le Cor de Chasse. Chef, Mario Elias, offered us innovative cuisine. With his team he likes to propose several declinations of the same product, like those big langoustines that we appreciated as a starter in two servings. He also likes to use the vegetables and plants of his garden, which is next to the dining room. Quality cuisine, in a peaceful location.. [Photos]

22 July

Boury *

Award of "Prix au Chef de l'Avenir"

Chef: Tim Boury

Website


 Comments of the President
On July 22nd, 2017, the Royal Club of Gastronomes in Belgium awarded its Prix au Chef de l'Avenir to Tim Boury, chef of the eponymous restaurant. The award was supported, this year, by the International Academy of Gastronomy. The restaurant is located in an old bourgeois house entirely renovated to today's modern standards. The welcome by the brother and the wife of the chef is very warm and smiling. The eye is attracted by the bright colours of the decorations on the table dressed with a perfectly ironed white tablecloth, then the gaze is on the verdant garden bordering the large terrace. A refreshing towel flavoured with eucalyptus wakes up the smell, and a small ball of sorbet cleans up the palate. The meal can begin. A Bollinger champagne accompanies a ballet of very varied appetisers and encouraging the journey of the taste buds (tom yam soup with salmon, cherry tomatoes with basil, oyster of Marennes-Oléron, etc.). Then comes the first dish: a sashimi of line-caught sea bass of excellent quality adorned with a cream skilfully perfumed with horseradish. Then turbot: thick and juicy, combined with crab of the North Sea and magnified by a juice of bouillabaisse. The palate is subdued. We're asking for more. Main dish of summer deer from Austria. Melting on the palate, it is accompanied by lettuce and celeriac, bringing freshness and lightness to the dish. For dessert: big very sweet black cherries married with elderberry flower. The bottles are judiciously chosen by Frederik who introduced us to a fruity and refreshing Pinot Noir from August Kesseler, perfectly suited to the deer. The guests are conquered by the creativity of the chef, the quality of the dishes, the emphasis on the basic products, but also by the team brilliant by its celerity and kindness. A great moment of culinary plenitude and a well deserved "Award to the Chef of the Future" for a chef who has not finished to surprise us. [Photos] [Menu]

8 July

Hof van Cleve ***

Award of "Prix Cristal" of the Club and of "Prix au Sommelier"of AIG

Chef: Peter Goossens

Website


 Comments of the President
On July 8th 2017, the Royal Club of Gastronomes in Belgium awarded its Cristal Prize to Peter Goossens, head of the three-star restaurant Hof Van Cleve. In a rural setting, the guests were welcomed by a team of waiters who showed them the way to the tables of a sunny terrace, to taste appetisers accompanied by a Deutz champagne. The place exudes elegance and a sober luxury. In the dining room, the team led by Mrs Goossens is remarkably efficient, attentive to the slightest detail while favoring the comfort of the customers. A little less than a year ago Club members had been delighted with Goossens' meal, which earned him the prize. The Chef continues his upward path towards perfection while reinventing himself: since the last visit, he has offered a completely new menu, all his porcelaine dishes have all been replaced, the presentation of the dishes has adopted a slightly different, more dichotomous style. Goossens astonishes us with improbable associations like chicken livers and melon. He amuses us by playing on the textures, as in this dish of langoustines and zucchini. He dazzled us by the cooking of his extraordinarily tender burbot. The quest for excellence does not stop at the plate. And the Club presented sommelier Mathieu Vanneste, the Prix au Sommelier on behalf of the International Academy of Gastronomy. Mathieu is a wine enthusiast and like no other knows how to tune the dishes with amazing flasks at reasonable prices. He has a gift to find unusual vintages around the world and to present them with all the restrained poetry that one should. An obligatory visit for any gastronome in Belgium! [Photos] [Menu]

17 June

The Jane **

Chef: Nick Bril

Website


 Comments of the President
Upon arrival in front of the building which houses "The Jane" we understand that this restaurant is really out of the ordinary. In this old chapel of a military hospital transformed by the German architect Piet Boon the chef Nick Bril prepares an inventive cuisine of high flight. The space is bright and the coloured stained glass windows let an almost divine light on our large wooden table facing the choir, now serving as a kitchen. The appetisers and the light dishes follow each other at a regular and pleasant rhythm for a spectacle of more than four hours. Elegant and meticulous presentation with lots of bright colors. Top quality products. Little cooking. The bottles chosen and presented by the young sommelier Gianluca Di Taranto were just as surprising as the dishes. Finally, one notes the efficient and smiling service that is distinguished by unusual outfits. A great moment of gastronomy which did not prevent the members of the Club and their guests to then go for a cheese tasting with expert affineur Frederic Van Tricht. Van Tricht leur a savamment commentés. [Photos] [Menu]

21 May

Bartholomeus **

Chef: Bart Desmidt

Website


 Comments of the President
It is comfortably seated in leather armchairs, with views of the North Sea and the sand beach of Knokke and its white barracks, that members of the Royal Club of Gastronomes in Belgium and their guests have enjoyed the meticulous and tasty cuisine of Bart Desmidt in his restaurant Bartholomeus. Fish plays a key role in the kitchen of Bart, a fisherman's grandson. But his register is much more extensive. The important thing for him is the quality of the product and the season. Little quibble here. In his own words: "The product first and foremost. I always want the combinations to be consistent in terms of tastes and not too much on the plate. The host must be able to taste everything he is eating. It is the taste that counts in the first place and one must be able to recognise the product. In my eyes, the essential base remains a good piece of meat or fish". And that's what we found through a delicious and very fine lunch. A subtle combination of Wagyu beef and Gillardeau oyster. Perfect cooking of a large langoustine from Brittany associated with slightly crunchy Maline asparagus. And a surprising chocolate dessert! Indoors, Sandra, Bart's wife, and her team, provide excellent service and are committed to responding effectively to guests' requests. [Photos] [Menu]

23 April

L'Eau Vive **

Chef: Pierre Résimont

Website


 Comments of the President
The small XVIIth century mill where chef Pierre Résimont established his restaurant, is in the middle of a wooded environment and it enjoys an exceptional charm. The conservatory that extends the old building allowed the members of the Club to enjoy the view of the large terrace caressed by a river, the Burnot. The chef offered us a colorful and precise cuisine featuring seasonal produce. The asparagus enjoyed a rather unusual preparation, thanks to a delicious Muscat sauce. The milk-lamb of the Pyrenées, whose flesh was particularly tender, had a fine and crisp skin which enhanced the taste of the meat. We rejoice at the bright and fresh colours of the dishes.. [Photos] [Menu]

18 March

Comme Chez Soi **

Chef: Lionel Rigolet

Website


 Comments of the President
As previous years around the same time, after their annual General Assembly, members of the Royal Club of Gastronomes in Belgium, rejoiced at restaurant Comme Chez Soi. The Chef, Lionel Rigolet, sells happiness, guests were unanimous. From the selection of the products (nobachi shrimp, hops sprouts, Duroc pork) to the choice of seasonings, Lionel pays attention to all the details. He puts back sauce on the forefront, light and flavourful sauces which subtly magnify the product. Welcome and service are always extremely smiley and Lionel’s wife together with the highly professional, discrete and efficient team put the guest at ease. [Photos] [Menu]

18 February

Bruneau *

Chef: Jean-Pierre Bruneau

Website


 Comments of the President
The period from November to February is the black truffle season, tuber melanosporum. This rare, odorous and precious fungus has made many people dream. How to best serve it? We asked Jean-Pierre Bruneau to prepare for our Club a feuilleté of truffle with foie gras. And Mr. Bruneau does not joke with truffle : each guest received an entire "black diamond" of about forty grams. The heroes of the meal were taste and products; no unnecessary decorations here. To start, a seared lobster was applauded for its garlic-flavoured sauce. After the truffle pastry, we could enjoy some of the very first milk lambs of the year. From the Pyrenees in this case. A delicate white meat that melts in the mouth, accompanied by an extensive collection of vegetables. To conclude a traditional Grand Marnier souffé cooked to perfection. For wines, we opted for the sommelier's recommendations of relatively young vintages of Bordeaux (Château Haut-Plantade 2014), Burgundy (Savigny 1er Cru "Les Guettes" of the Louis Jadot estate) and Côtes du Rhône Les Abeilles 2013 by Jean-Luc Colombo). The attentive and considerate service of Véronique Dury and her team was at the height of this 40+ years old Belgium institution. [Photos] [Menu]

13 January

Bouchéry

Chef: Damien Bouchery

Website


 Comments of the Président
Clean decor. Thoughtful simplicity. Abundance in lightness. Extensive use of plants. Not so well known, yet well matched wines. Smiling service. Here are some impressions of the first 2017 dinner of the members of the Royal Club of Gastronomes of Belgium. Damien Bouchery is one of those cooks who has begun a transition to a new way of eating: vegetables, cereals, fruits, are highlighted by high-quality meats and fish, especially Frédéric Antoine's poultry. A "natural" cuisine. The spelt homemade bread is made from sourdough. The great selection of biodynamic wines proposed by Alexander sublimates the dishes and avoids headaches. Digestion is light. [Photos]