Again I was lucky that all the practical details worked out so I could attend this year’s Flemish Primitives in Brugge. For some one who’s not attended, it’s not so easy to grasp the concept and ideas behind The Flemish Primitives (TFP). And I admit, even though I’ve been there twice it’s not so easy to convey it in a short way. First of all the name is rather cryptic (unless you’re into art) as it refers to early Netherlandish painting. The link to food is described as follows by the organizers of the event (my highlights):
In the 15th and 16th century, â€™The Flemish Primitivesâ€™ were masters in combining their talent with new techniques. Techniques they developed by interacting with other disciplines like manuscripting, sculpting, etc. This way of working changed the painting techniques in all of Western Europe forever. The event â€˜The Flemish Primitivesâ€™ wants to continue in the same spirit. Respect for food products and beverages, the knowledge of the classic cooking techniques combined with a stimulation of new techniques and creativity. By promoting interaction between scientists, the worldâ€™s most famous chefs and artists, the event wants to deliver a creative boost for the food industry and gastronomy in Belgium and the world.
Considering last year’s sucess it was no big surprise that this year’s event was sold out (and the foyer of the Concertgebouw was equally full in the coffee breaks). And with the memories from last year I arrived in Brugge with great expectations. One main difference from previous years was that the scientific parts were much better integrated throughout the day. Scientists were on stage alongside the chefs, explaining their work. Also, contrary to last year’s back stage kitchen, they had now moved the kitchen onto the stage, flanked by a bar, some sofas and laboratory mezzanine. A good decision!