Posts Tagged ‘Bernard Lahousse’

The Flemish Primitives 2011 (part 1)

Saturday, March 26th, 2011

The Flemish Primitives aims to bring together chefs and scientists to promote culinary innovation. The last two editions held in Brugge focused on food pairing and new technologies. This year the event had moved to Oostende and the more spacious Kursaal (a good choice!). The event had also been stretched over two days, starting with 10 master classes in five parallel sessions on Sunday followed by a Gala dinner prepared by 13 Belgian chefs. The second day followed the format from previous years. The focus was on a group of Belgian chefs, the so-called Flemish Primitives as well as specially invited guests from abroad including René Redzepi and Michel Bras. All chefs prepared food live on stage. In between the chefs there was also time for two sessions with researchers from KU Leuven and a presentation of Modernist Cuisine by Chris Young. (more…)

Flavor pairing revisited

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011


Foamy strawberries with coriander (cilantro) from TGRWT #3 turned out to be a delicious combination. Could it possibly be a category 2d predicted aroma similarity?

As mentioned in my previous post about the flavor pairing presentation given by Wender Bredie as part of the Copenhagen seminar on molecular gastronomy I’m really happy that the topic has been brought into the scientific community. At the same time is has also become very clear to me that the term flavor pairing needs some clarification. First of all I have come to realize that the the term flavor pairing is slightly misleadning, and I wonder if aroma similarity perhaps is a more precise term. As I see it, today the term flavor pairing is used in a range of different ways: (more…)

The Flemish Primitives 2011

Friday, January 7th, 2011

It’s soon time for the third edition of The Flemish Primitives and registration has now opened. The Flemish Primitives wants to challenge Belgian gastronomy and bring together chefs from all over the world to meet and exchange ideas built on innovation. The top name this year is without doubt the chef René Redzepi of Noma, the world’s best restaurant according to Restaurant magazine, but “the Flemish primitives” will be present (a group of Belgian chefs) as well as guests and scientists. And there are a lot of new things going on as well. (more…)

TFP 2010: Interview with Bernard Lahousse (part 4)

Sunday, March 7th, 2010


Bernard Lahousse, project manager of The Flemish Primitives.

I’ve written a couple of posts about The Flemish Primitives 2010 event (and there are more to come), but I also wanted to do an interview with Bernard Lahousse, the project manager of the event. Bernard first contacted me back in 2006 and we met at the EuroFoodChem conference in Paris in 2007. Those who’ve followed Khymos for a while may remember pointers to the “Food for design” blog and the foodpairing website which Bernard has set up.

ML: It seems you have always had an interest for things in the cross section of science and art? When we first came in contact you were writing the “Food for design” blog which covered gastronomy, science and design – what happend to it?

BL: Indeed, I’ve always been interested in the cross-section between different disciplines. Not only science-art or science-gastronomy, but many more. My belief is that the interesting stuff is happening where people with different background meet. As I lack time (and also Lieven), we made a choice to put Food for design on hold and concentrate on other topics. For me that’s foodpairing and my company. For Lieven it is his PhD.

ML: Could you briefly describe your educational background and how you ended up as a project manager for The Flemish Primitives?
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TFP 2010: Inspiration from Asia (part 2)

Friday, February 19th, 2010


Shellfish after treatment for 2 min @ 6000 bar. Fresh, juicy and tasty!

The available litterature in English (including blogs) on popular food science focuses mainly on Western cooking, although the academic litterature on Asian foods is catching up quickly. Although widespread and apparently “well known”, Asian cooking is still largely being referred to in broad categories such as Chinese, Indian etc. Having spent 10 years of my childhood in Asia I’ve always had the feeling that this wasn’t quite right, and I do indeed look forward to learn more about the science aspects of Asian food in the years and decades to come. In one of the breakout sessions (more about those in a separate post) Alok Nandi made a point that Indian cuisine is as diverse as the European cuisine. With this background it is interesting to note that two of the chefs presenting at The Flemish Primitives 2010 had taken their inspiration from Asia.
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The Flemish Primitives 2010 (part 1)

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

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, ’The Flemish Primitives’ 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 ‘The Flemish Primitives’ 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 world’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!
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The Flemish Primitives 2010

Sunday, January 10th, 2010

tfp-2010

If you’ve followed my blog more than a year you probably remember that I took part in The Flemish Primitives in Brugge in January 2009. The visit resulted in four blog posts (just in case you wonder what it’s all about): The Flemish Primitives: A travel report (part 1), Chocolate surprise (part 2), Heston Blumenthal (part 3) and Glowing lollipops (part 4). It was a day packed with experiences and interesting meetings. But let us not ponder more with 2009 – Bernard Lahousse has let me know that the next event is just around the corner. In fact it’s only a couple of weeks away. Like last year the venue is Concertgebouw Brugge and the date is February 8th, 2010 (Yes – you have to hurry up with your reservations!).

As for the program, I quote from the invitation folder (my highlights):
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The Flemish Primitives: A travel report (part 1)

Friday, January 9th, 2009

I had a wonderful trip to Brugge/Bruges to attend the foodpairing seminar The Flemish Primitives. I got to meet many interesting people including Heston Blumenthal, Peter Barham, Andrew Dornenburg, Karen Page, Ben Roche and Tony Conigliaro to mention a few. I also finally had the opportunity to talk to my fellow Swedish food bloggers Lisa Förare Winbladh (Matälskaren, Swedish only but Google can translate) and Malin Sandström (Matmolekyler, Swedish only but Google can translate) who’ve recently been awarded money to write a Swedish book about molecular gastronomy for home cooks. I even talked to several people who read Khymos! It’s always nice when I can attach some faces to the crowd out there in the big, unpersonal blogosphere.

As you see from this long post the day was packed and believe it or not – there will be a couple more posts in the next few days. One on the surprise “chocolate box” (for me this was the highlight), a summary of the interview with Heston Blumenthal and some info on the chemistry behind the glowing lollipops! I’ll also try do dig up the recipe for the chocolate dip that came with our lunch fries.
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Foodpairing website launched

Thursday, November 22nd, 2007

foodpairing.jpg

The long awaited website on foodpairings has now been launched, and they’ve also registred the corresponding blogspot name (which isn’t online yet as of today). The beautiful photos, great design and easy maneuvering makes it an excellent place to start if you are looking for some new and perhaps surprising combinations of foods. The foods are grouped into categories such as cocoa (?), dairy, fruits, meat, sea food and vegetables. One of the vegetables listed is cauliflower, and clicking it reveals that the topic of TGRWT #7 (caramelized cauliflower and cocoa) is one of several possible combinations. This is how it is displayed (an important detail is that the shorter the distance between the names, the more flavours they have in common):

foodpairing-cauliflower.jpg
(click to open the full picture from the foodpairing.be site)

As an added bonus interchangeable herbs and spices are also listed. This is how it works:

A food product has a specific flavour because of a combination of different flavours. Like basil taste like basil because of the combination of linalool, estragol, …. So if I want to reconstruct the basil flavour without using any basil, you have to search for a combination of other food products where one contains linalool (like coriander), one contains estragol (like tarragon),… So I can reconstruct basil by combining coriander, tarragon, cloves, laurel. The way to use it is to take from each branch of the plot one product and make a combination of those food products.

It should be noted that the proximity of the foods in the diagrams is based on the number of volatile compounds they have in common, not the actual key odorants. As I have elaborated on previously, pairings like these should preferably be based on odor activity values (OAV). Or to put it differently, if the volatiles shared by two foods are not the ones that actually contribute to the overall flavor, there is no reason to expect that they go well together from a chemical perspective (which is not to say that they won’t match, only that if they do, it is for some other reason). This is a limitation both of the foodpairing site, but of course also of the food blogging event They Go Really Well Together (or TGRWT) which I have initiated. Having said this, I still believe that the foodpairing site is an excellent place to start, especially if you like to improvise in the kitchen. I sincerely believe that the site will spark the creativity both of professional and amateur cooks (just like TGRWT already has)! I should add that the website is set up by the people behind Food for Design, so no wonder it looks so good!

Videos from MG seminar in Belgium

Thursday, January 11th, 2007

Videos from the MG seminar in Belgium held on November 20th last year have generously been made available for free on the net. There are four videos to watch: presentations by Prof. Peter Barham (‘Molecular Gastronomy? The science of taste and flavour’) and Prof. Jorge Ruiz (‘Methods in the kitchen: the science behind’) plus demonstrations by Kobe Desramault and Sang Hoon Degeimbre.

Also, Bernard Lahousse (who is in charge of food for design and a co-organizer of the MG smeinar) has let me know that the next seminar will be held on March 16th with the title “A world of Pinot noir” – focus is on wine, but with live MG demos. Stay tuned!