Posts Tagged ‘Belgium’

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?

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!

The Flemish Primitives 2010

Sunday, January 10th, 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):

Food pairing seminar in Belgium

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008

Bernard Lahousse, director of CREAX foods, creator of the Foodpairing website (which I’ve blogged about previously) and blogger behind Food for design invites to an international food pairing seminar in Belgium on January 5th, 2009. The concept of the event is that participating companies (sponsors) each have chosen a food ingredient. The flavor profile of the foods is analyzed at the University of Leuven and based on this data a list of pairings is suggested based on the database underlying the Foodpairing website which currently includes 360 food products. These lists are then given to 11 invited chefs who are given the task of inventing new dishes based on the pairings. These dishes will be presented at the event, accompanied by a wine which will also be selected based on flavor analysis. Hoping for more than 1000 visiting food professionals this might be the largest molecular gastronomy inspired event so far in history 🙂

In addition to presentations of the new dishes there will be keynotes by Peter Barham (professor at the U. of Bristol, author of The Science of Cooking) and Heston Blumenthal (founder of The Fat Duck, author of The Big Fat Duck Cookbook). The program also includes masterclasses by Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page (authors of Culinary Artistry, What to Drink with What You Eat and The Flavor Bible) on food pairing based on historical and contemporary recipes, and by Lorenzo Cerretani (professor at U. of Bologna) who will talk about food pairing and olive oil.

So if you have an interest in food pairing and can afford the trip and the registration fee of €245 (which includes a seminar book with all the recipes) this is certainly an event you wouldn’t want to miss! Luckily, for those who will not be able to participate, the recipes and food pairings from the event will be published on the Foodpairing website.

As a sidenote I should mention that the “They go really well together” (TGRWT) blogging event has let bloggers and foodies explore various food pairings in 10 rounds which has resulted in about 100 different dishes in total. Links to the round-ups can be found on the right sidebar on the front page of the Khymos blog. And – drumroll please – the next round of TGRWT will soon be announced, so stay tuned!

Those interested in the scientific considerations behind flavor pairings can find more info on this in previous posts. The topic however is controversial as the comments to this posts shows.