Tag Archives: gastronomy

eat! BRUSSELS, drink! BORDEAUX goes for big innovations in seventh year

On 6, 7, 8 and 9 September this year, the eat! BRUSSELS, drink! BORDEAUX festival will once again take over Brussels Park. The public will be able to go there to discover the signature dishes of about twenty Brussels chefs. To achieve the perfect balance and introduce new combinations, some fifty Bordeaux wine growers and wine merchants will be offering a wide range of wines that illustrate the simplicity, diversity, quality and accessibility of Bordeaux wines. A wonderful opportunity for Brussels residents and visitors to treat themselves to a delightful moment of relaxation and conviviality.

eat Brussels

The eat ! BRUSSELS, drink! BORDEAUX festival has again called on the best Brussels chefs. The seventh festival is full of innovations:

• A wider variety of restaurants. Several new chefs who have emerged from the Brussels scene will take part in the adventure to introduce the public to their emblematic dishes.

• For this year’s festival, a cheese bar and a dessert counter will be introduced to round off the chefs’ offerings. Every day, the cream of our cheese makers and pastry chefs will take turns introducing visitors to new flavours.

• This year, the Bordeaux Wine School is breaking new ground with the “secret gaming table”. The game is modelled on black jack and the participants are invited to bet on the characteristics of the wine in a blind tasting. The age of the wine, its flavours, its “appellation d’origine contrôlée”, etc. The bets are open and good humour guaranteed.

eat Brussels

Twenty-odd Brussels chefs

New chefs representative of Brussels are joining the celebration and will be enriching the festival’s offering. They will each be presenting visitors with a signature dish that symbolises their culinary identity, costing just 9 euros!

The unmissable TCHIN VITTEL zone

The TCHIN VITTEL zone offers visitors cooking workshops throughout the festival. In the company of the talented bistronomy chef Bruno Antoine, they will concoct their bistronomy box, which they will then be able to enjoy in a friendly atmosphere.

eat Brussels

Innovations

Dessert counter

Several great pastry chefs will take turns every day to complete the festival menu. They will be offering sweets lovers delicious dessert selections at the set price of 9 euros. Bordeaux wine growers and wine merchants will be glad to recommend you a wine that makes a perfect match for your dessert dish.

The chefs:

Nikolas Koulepis – Pâtisserie Nicolas Koulepis Anaïs Gaudemer – Cokoa Loic Henon & Joaquim Braz de Oliveira – Forcado Yasushi Sasaki – Pâtisserie Sasaki

Cheese bar

There is nothing like tasting a selection of cheeses accompanied by an excellent Bordeaux wine. Why not have a sweet wine with a blue cheese? This year, eat! BRUSSELS, drink! BORDEAUX is offering you the chance to meet several great Brussels cheese makers. They will introduce you to new flavours with their original selection.

The cheese makers:

Julien Hazard – Julien Hazard Affineur Véronique Socié – La Fruitière

Hélène Milan – Le Comptoir du Samson Octave Laloux – Saint Octave

Simply Bordeaux

eat Brussels

The Wines of Bordeaux, a key partner in the festival, are once again taking part in this gastronomical journey. The festival is a unique opportunity to discover the merits of the wines of Bordeaux and to meet nearly 50 Bordeaux wine growers and wine merchants who will share their passion in a congenial and relaxed way. These men and women who make the wines of Bordeaux will tell you their stories and share their anecdotes. These easy-to-drink, accessible wines, the result of the meticulous blending of several grape varieties, will thrill people’s taste buds. A unique opportunity to discover the new, fresh and fruity Bordeaux reds, the dry white wines, the rosés, clairets and sweets wines which make wonderful apéritifs and go well with all styles of cooking. Wine pairings devised for the occasion will also be offered for the chefs’ dishes, the desserts and the cheese boards presented at the festival.

The Bordeaux Wine School workshops

(c)VISITBRUSSELS -E.Danhier

The Bordeaux Wine School tent offers a straightforward and entertaining overview, so that you no longer mix up Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, can match food with wine or even, quite simply, put your sensations into words. This year in addition the “secret gaming table”, festival goers will be able to explore new workshops on the subject of wine and gastronomy. The Wine School is joining forces with the chefs attending the festival to present unexpected wine pairings. The mouth-watering Choco’Bordeaux will thrill gourmets’ taste buds… All the workshops will be accessible with the WINE PASS.

The Bordeaux “Master classes”: another way of exploring the wines of Bordeaux Comfortably installed in the very beautiful Salle des Guichets of the BIP Building, novices and well-informed amateurs are guided through the estates and regions of the Bordeaux grands crus. 4 master classes will enable you to explore a Bordeaux wine family in more depth:

  • Sweet Bordeaux Master Class: a master class on the original pairing of sweet white Bordeaux wines with Belgian cheeses
  • Crus Classés de Graves Master Class: the Crus Classés de Graves will be presented in Brussels for the first time. The 2014 vintage will take pride of place
  • Master Class on the great wines of the Médoc: the Conseil des vins du Médoc [Wine Council of the Médoc] will introduce 6 “appellations” by way of 4 different vintages (2005, 2011, 2012 and 2015)
  • Grands Crus Classés de Saint-Emilion Master Class: a stroll through the prestigious Grands Crus Classés of Saint-Emilion
eat Brussels

Enjoy cashless!

BORDEAUX has switched to a cashless payment system. Visitors can obtain their swipe cards from one of the ticket offices, put money on them and use them as they please throughout the festival. This swipe card picks up your credit and/or Wine Pass. To pay for your drinks, simply place your swipe card on the cashless terminal and payment for the credits or tastings is automatically deducted. The chosen formula is simple. One credit is worth 1 euro.

eat Brussels

The dishes

All the chefs offer their signature dishes, their desserts and their cheese boards at a single price of 9 credits (i.e. €9). The credits are valid all over the festival site for buying dishes, soft drinks, beers and/or coffees.

Bordeaux wines:

Bordeaux wines can be discovered through a tasting route. Visitors must acquire a Wine Pass for this purpose (charged to their magnetic card). This Wine Pass is available on presale until 30 June at the price of 15 euros. The price will then change to 16 euros (€20 at the door) and includes, among other things, no fewer than 10 tastings (7 “Tent” tastings + 3 tastings of your choice), one Wine School workshop, one Omer beer tasting and one Vittel water. A great way to discover the wealth and subtlety of the wines of Bordeaux.

Have you have enjoyed Bordeaux wines? How was your experience? Please share with us in the comments section below.

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David moves on from Nahm and leaves a legacy of Thai food behind

After 18 successful years, multi-award winning chef David Thompson has concluded his involvement with Nahm, the restaurant he created with Como Hotels. Renowned worldwide for his dedication and commitment to Thai food culture, David took the decision to leave Nahm last year in order to continue his work exploring and protecting the history and legacy of Thai food and flavours and to pursue new opportunities through Aylmer Aaharn, the Thai food group he co-founded in 2014. Final Dinner Service under Chef David Thompson will be on Monday 30th April 2018. 

Photo Credit: mycitylife.com.au

Chef David Thompson, who was presented a lifetime achievement award in 2016 for his dedication to Thai food culture at Asia’s 50 Best, has left Nahm at a point of excellence. The restaurant has remained on the World’s 50 Best Restaurant list for 7 consecutive years and was recently awarded a Michelin star in Bangkok’s inaugural year of the guide. 

Photo Credit : nytimes.com

David Thompson visited Thailand for the first time in his twenties and immediately got enchanted by the country, the culture and some of the cuisine. He hardly knew that in next three decades he would be one of the fines Thai chefs of his generation. That fated journey in mid 80s resulted in the beginning of his love affair with Thailand, its food culture and gastronomic history.  Initially he achieved success back home in Sydney in the 90’s, opening two popular critically acclaimed restaurants: Darley St Thai and Sailors Thai.  His research and connection with Thailand continued, as did his love for the language and people, allowing him to tap into ancient recipes and deeper layers of Thai food culture. In 2001 this research cumulated in Nahm, which opened in London and within 6 months it had achieved a Michelin star (the first Thai restaurant to do so).  In 2010 David took a decision to live in Thailand full time and opened Nahm in Bangkok. David Thompson also opened Long Chim in Singapore at the city’s Marina Bay Sands shopping mall in 2015 and in just third week of opening he was cooking for more than 50 of Asia’s finest chefs and restaurateurs.It was indeed a feat of sort for any cook. 

Photo by Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images

David Thompson writes: “Nahm grew into an extraordinary restaurant with its success acknowledged in so many ways. I believe that this has been due to the hard work and talent of all those involved, but most particularly the staff. For me, the most rewarding aspect is that Nahm has been a happy restaurant. Even as Nahm’s reputation grew, refined its service and succeeded as a business, the restaurant always retained its sense of sanuk; the pleasure in looking after customers. The application of culinary integrity in the kitchen was never to the cost of the joy in doing what we all loved. This is what I will always remember. It is a rare restaurant that can achieve all of this”. 

Nahm restaurant in Bangkok. Photo courtesy: cwfoodtravel.blogspot.in

Nahm opened at COMO’s Halkin Hotel in London to immediate critical success and was awarded a Michelin star within six months. David received the ‘London Chef of the Year’ award at the Carlton Evening Standard Food Awards in 2003. Throughout this time David worked on his highly regarded cookbook, Thai Food, which provides a comprehensive overview of Thai cuisine, features over 300 recipes, and has won an extensive array of celebrated book awards. David opened the current Nahm restaurant at the Metropolitan Hotel in Bangkok in 2011, again with the COMO Group. Aylmer Aaharn, the Thai food group headed by David Thompson, currently manages operations across six countries including Thailand and Australia.

Have you ever been to Nahm and tasted some of Chef David Thompson’s preparation? Share your experience in the comment section below.

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Block the dates! Seventh edition of the Eat! BRUSSELS, Drink! BORDEAUX this September

On 6, 7, 8 and 9 September, lovers of good food and wine have a date with Eat BRUSSELS, Drink! BORDEAUX Once again, the festival will spotlight the big names in Brussels gastronomy and the wines of Bordeaux. The visitors can embark on a culinary voyage, tasting the signature dishes offered by the great chefs of Brussels. All amid the greenery of the Parc de Bruxelles.

For the seventh year of the Eat! BRUSSELS, Drink! BORDEAUX festival, the best chefs in Brussels are once again taking over the stoves in the pop-up kitchens set up in the Parc de Bruxelles. Each of them will offer a gourmet public his (or her) signature dish. A great opportunity to discover the talents of Belgian gastronomy in a pleasant, convivial setting. visit.brussels have been in partnership with Les Vins de Bordeaux for the last five years.

Over fifty wine growers and wine merchants will be present at the event to show off the full range of wines from Bordeaux – reds, whites, rosés and crémants – that will be the perfect partners for the dishes concocted by the chefs. The 6 families of Bordeaux wines are each represented in their own special pavilion. Bordeaux Red & Bordeaux Supérieur Red; Côtes de Bordeaux; Saint-Emilion Pomerol Fronsac; Médoc & Graves; Sweet Bordeaux; Rosés, Dry whites and Crémants de Bordeaux. The Bordeaux Wine School will offer workshops in which novices can be initiated into Bordeaux wines and the more experienced can enhance their knowledge.

New features in 2018:

– An updated offering: New chefs will be joining the event to fly the flag of their restaurants. Several signature dishes will also have a vegetarian version. Ten restaurants have already confirmed their attendance. Returning are Vincent, Garage à Manger, Brinz’l, Le Tournant, Augusta, Rouge Tomate, Racines and Stirwen. And two new participants have already confirmed: Crab Club and San Bol.

– New cheese and dessert bar

– The festival will have 4 new, original themes for the Masterclasses: Crus classés from Graves, grands crus classés from Saint-Émilion, grands vins from Médoc from the 2015 vintage, Sweet Bordeaux & Belgian cheeses.

– The eat! Awards: This year, the eat! Awards will make their appearance. They will reward the chefs who were most successful during the event.

Photo: VisitBrussels/ ©E.Danhier

Have you enjoyed any such gastronomical event? How was the fun? Share your experiences in the comments section below.

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A date for foodies this weekend in Brussels!

From 7 to 10 September 2017, foodies have a date at the “eat BRUSSELS, drink! BORDEAUX” festival. Taster portions of dishes or original desserts at the “Masterclass Bordeaux”, passing through the workshops of the Ecole du vin de Bordeaux (Bordeaux School of Wine), the great chefs and wine growers will stimulate the visitors’ taste buds all through the festival.

For its sixth year, the “eat! BRUSSELS, drink! BORDEAUX festival is putting on a marvellous spread, once again calling on a selection of the best Brussels chefs right in the middle of the Brussels Park. Wine lovers can also devote themselves to their passion, thanks to the various workshops offered by the Ecole du vin de Bordeaux. All of which offers the public a delicious gourmet break.

Twenty-odd great chefs
New chefs representative of Brussels are joining the celebration and will be adding their own spice to what’s on offer at the festival. They are offering the visitors a signature dish representing their culinary identity at the fixed price of 9 Euros.

Something new: a sweet note
Several pastry chefs complete the festival’s menu. They are offering sweet lovers delicious plated desserts at the fixed price of 9 Euros.

Perfect match
The Wines of Bordeaux, a key partner in the festival, are once again taking part in this gastronomic journey. Nigh-on 50 Bordeaux wine growers and wine merchants will be coming to Brussels to unveil the history and the secrets of their wine. 3 new gourmet workshops offered by the Ecole du vin de Bordeaux. A rendezvous lovers of wine and gastronomy must not miss, the Ecole du vin de Bordeaux pavilion offers an entertaining and educational overview of the various wines (red, dry white, sweet white, rosé and Crémant de Bordeaux), soils, grape varieties, blends, etc. A wonderful initiation into the art of tasting.

Photo: VisitBrussels/ ©E.Danhier

This year, the Ecole du vin de Bordeaux is offering three new fun gourmet workshops:
– “Choco’ Bordeaux” in collaboration with the chocolatier Laurent Gerbaud
– “Matching wines with pastries” with the pastry chefs Yasushi Sasaki, Baptiste Mandon and Khalil Menzi, to experiment with daring combinations.

Bordeaux “Masterclasses”
This year, the two masterclasses are dedicated to the Saint-Emilion Grands Crus Classés and the 30th anniversary of the appellation Pessac-Léognan. The visitor will be guided through these two representative regions of the Bordeaux wine growing region.

Photo: VisitBrussels/ ©E.Danhier

Workshops with the chef Bruno Antoine
Visitors will have the chance to create their own TCHIN VITTEL Bistronomy Box in a relaxed atmosphere at a cooking workshop that is just as exciting and gastronomic as it is goodnatured. All under the guidance of Bruno Antoine, one of the most creative chefs on the
Brussels bistro scene.

The festival is changing to a swipe card
To allow visitors to enjoy the festival to the full, “eat! BRUSSELS, drink! BORDEAUX” is moving to an electronic payment system. Visitors can obtain their swipe cards from one of the ticket offices, put money on them and use them as they please throughout the festival. This swipe card will combine all functions for meeting their needs: credits for tasting the dishes they choose and/or their Wine Pass.

Want to have local food while on travel! TTC partners VizEat!

Want to have some authentically local food while travelling abroad, but are afraid of what hotels serve in name of local dishes? Also, you might be interested in having local food in authentically local environments such as homes, but don’t know how to in a new city! Here is a brand new initiative.

The Travel Corporation’s (TTC) award-winning family of brands including Trafalgar, Insight Vacations, Contiki, Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection, Busabout and Evans Evans partnered globally with VizEat, the innovative and immersive food experience platform, bringing travellers together by offering immersive culinary experiences with their 22,000 local hosts in 110 countries. In 2014, the app was first launched in Paris and it has now become the world’s most popular meal sharing platform with guests being welcomed into a global network of hosts’ homes while making authentic connections with both locals and travellers.

TTC’s travel brands will be able to connect their guests to these VizEat hosts who are trained chefs and home cooks where they will share their delicious meals and learn about new cultures with other travellers  and foodies from across the globe. They will sample regional specialties and traditional cuisine in unique locations with a relaxed ambience. Travelers can enjoy a pasta making class in Rome, embark on an interactive market tour in Barcelona, indulge in a wine and cheese tasting party in Paris or join a Tuscan chef’s table and sample gastronomic delicacies.

“Our partnership with VizEat will enable our guests from across our 30+ TTC travel brands to discover amazing and fun culinary experiences in each destination which we visit while also interacting with the local people and creating unforgettable memories,” said Brett Tollman, Chief Executive Officer of The Travel Corporation. “We also share similar values by offering experiential experiences and meeting like-minded travellers from around the world.”

Beginning this summer, TTC’s guests will have an opportunity to enjoy these immersive food experiences on selected trips or as optional experiences through the assistance of their knowledgeable Travel Directors and Tour Managers.

“We’re thrilled to announce this global partnership with TTC and this marks a great opportunity for more travellers worldwide the chance to uncover immersive culinary experiences with locals wherever they go,” said Jean-Michel Petit, Chief Executive Officer of VizEat. “It’s a great match for both of us: TTC family of brands plans the most memorable experiences for their clients and VizEat is aligned in this search for unforgettable and authentic moments.”

The Travel Corporation (TTC) is a highly successful international travel group. No matter what your taste, whether you are a family or a couple, a group or traveling solo – TTC offers something for everyone. Its multi-award-winning portfolio ranges from luxury hotels and boutique river cruises, to independent holiday package companies and a variety of guided travel experiences.

Created as a joint initiative between The Travel Corporation’s (TTC) family of brands, the TreadRight Foundation is a not-for-profit that works to help ensure the environment and communities we visit remain for generations to come. Founded by Brett Tollman, Chief Executive Officer, TTC, to date TreadRight has supported more than 40 sustainable tourism projects worldwide. As an official Diamond Sponsor of the UN International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development 2017, TTC is dedicated to bringing the industry together with a shared goal of benefitting local communities and the environment.

VizEat website and apps are now available in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Chinese. Anyone can sign up to become either a host or a guest. The mobile apps for VizEat are available for download for iOS and Android. Apple selected VizEat in the TOP 3 Apps of 2016 and  CEO Tim Cook went for a VizEat lunch in Paris early February.

Tram Experience Season 4 with Lady Chefs

For its fourth season, visit.brussels is bringing back the Tram Experience from 21 August 2015 to 17 July 2016. Throughout the season foodie passengers will embark on a maiden voyage through the heart of cuisine offered by the best lady chefs.

Diner des Vignerons belges - Diner van de Belgische Wijnbouwers (c)VISITBRUSSELS -E.Danhier
Diner des Vignerons belges – Diner van de Belgische Wijnbouwers (c)VISITBRUSSELS -E.Danhier

Many of today’s big name chefs were captivated early in life by the pleasant aromas wafting from the kitchens of their mothers and grandmothers, those humble magicians of daily grub. They definitely knew how to get the most out of a simple stew, a frugal handful of vegetables fresh from the garden, or a comforting sweet, which was all the better for all the love they put into it.

This honest family cuisine inspired many of these chefs to embark on their career paths. While the men and women of today both do the cooking at home, too few women are calling the shots in our best restaurants.

Tram Experience Visitbrussels _ E.Danhier
Tram Experience Visitbrussels _ E.Danhier

Women’s cuisine is nonetheless rich in the subtleties and emotions we wish to share through the different menus that will be offered on board the Tram Experience during this 2015-2016 season.

In keeping with the spirit of openness to the world that Brussels is known for, besides the kingdom’s best lady chefs the Délice network of gourmet cities around the world were called upon. The line-up will thus combine the best with the best by bringing in lady chefs from extremely diverse backgrounds.

And, as in every year, the Tram Experience also promises a few (heavenly) surprises. All aboard!

A rich and diverse line-up 

Tram Experience Visitbrussels _ E.Danhier
Tram Experience Visitbrussels _ E.Danhier

As in every year, the season is comprised of a series of menus rotating every four to six weeks. They are commissioned by the lady chefs and cooked on board by chef Denis Roberti who practised the recipes with the appropriate chefs. Each menu is sampled in the studio and validated by a tasting committee sponsored by chef Lionel Rigolet ** (Comme chez Soi, Brussels) prior to being served on board the Tram Experience.

A prestigious ambassador of Belgian cuisine

Arabelle Meirlaen * (Arabelle Meirlaen intuitive cuisine, Marchin) will get the ball rolling this coming 21 August. This almost goes without saying since she is unquestionably Belgium’s foremost lady chef, as evidenced by her Chef of the Year 2014 title awarded by the Gault Millau Guide of Belgium. Her cuisine is extremely personal and largely inspired by the plant kingdom so it seemed logical to open the doors of the Tram Experience to her right away this summer at a time when nature is fully expressing its flavourful richness and palette of many colours.

Local ingredients enhanced by a starred chef

Chef Mariangela Susigan * runs a restaurant called Gardenia, opened by her own mother in the 1970s. Located in Caluso, in the countryside northeast of Turin (Italy), the restaurant has its own garden full of vegetables, herbs, and spices which play an essential role in this chef’s cooking. Her style draws its inspiration from Piedmontese cuisine, while prizing emotion and creativity.

Laurence’s favourites

The holiday season promises to reveal one of the schedule’s big surprises. This woman has away of collecting stars, five in total, and yet she does not cook. Not a single customer of this great Belgian eatery will have escaped her notice, and yet she is hardly ever mentioned. She has spent her life at the side of two of the greatest Belgian chefs, but very few really know her. It’s safe to say that Laurence Rigolet, daughter of Pierre Wynants *** and wife of Lionel Rigolet **, does not like to be in the spotlight. Nevertheless, she is the one who welcomes and takes care of each customer at Comme chez Soi, the famous Brussels institution.

Start-ups of Belgian cuisine

2016 will get off to an auspicious start. Stéphanie Thunus * and Mélanie Englebin, named Discovery of the Year 2014 by the Gault Millau guide Belgium, are well acquainted and even went to school together. One runs Au Gré du Vent out in the country in Seneffe, and the other operates Cécila, a stone’s throw from Grand-Place in Brussels. One draws inspiration from family farm ingredients while the other is decidedly oriented towards the sea. Make no mistake: both run their respective restaurants with an iron fist in a velvet glove. Their cuisine is meticulous, perfectionistic, and inspired. They will author two menus where their dishes will intermingle with harmony and finesse. Two of tomorrow’s greats, the challenge is on!

A culinary icon still relevant today

Another new foray abroad with a legend of world gourmet history. However, nothing foreshadowed that Eugénie Brazier, daughter of modest farmers born in Bresse just before the dawn of the 20th century, would become such a legend. Opening her restaurant in Lyon in 1921, Mother Brazier would be the first woman to earn the highly sought-after three rosettes from the Michelin Guide in 1933. She would also be the first two-time three-star winner with her restaurants in Lyon and neighbouring Col de la Luère. It would take more than a half-century for such a feat to be repeated by the great Alain Ducasse.

Again it would be with her that a young Paul Bocuse, just back from the war, would learn the fundamentals of his trade while minding the cows, doing the washing up, and tending the vegetable garden. Mother Brazier is no longer with us but her image lives on under the leadership of one of France’s most talented chefs: Mathieu Viannay **. Chef Viannay, with his two stars and membership in the Grandes Tables du Monde, bought the La Mère Brazier restaurant in 2008 in Lyon, and modernized it without forsaking its roots. The famous spring chicken in half-mourning, Eugénie Brazier’s signature dish, is still there but now shares the stage with chef Viannay’s more modern offerings.

The Swedish-Mexican menu, a contrast of flavours

The menu – Puebla (Mexico) and Göteborg (Sweden)- will be one of great contrasts. Two cities that seem to have nothing in common, two chefs from very different backgrounds, terroirs combining land and sea, the Mexican sun and the harsh climate of Scandinavia.

Yet now cuisine is universal and these regions some of the most interesting chefs of our foodie world. Menus that will certainly be full of high-flying discoveries with Liz Galicia (El Mural de los Poblanos) for Puebla and Karin Andersson (Toso) for Göteborg.

North and South, an unprecedented collision of gourmet worlds

Next up is a new North-South culinary collision. Dishes coming from radically different places whose only common thread is the gourmet excellence that the Tram Experience requires.

On one side, the Cape Winelands (South Africa) are a cluster of villages located in the heart of South Africa’s most beautiful wine growing region and one of the most beautiful areas in all of Africa, just a few kilometres from the Cape. The village of Franschhoek, once founded by Huguenots who fled France, has kept the French way of life close to its heart. There you can find many vineyards bearing French names and some of the country’s best restaurants. Chef Michelle Theron runs a restaurant in one of these wine-growing areas : La Motte. It is one of the country’s ten best eateries, and for many it will be an opportunity to discover South African cuisine largely unknown to the general public.

On the other side, another woman of excellence, Svetlana Riškova, chef of Elements restaurant in Riga, the capital of Latvia. Svetlana has made her presence felt as one of the shining lights of Baltic cuisine, which is expressive and very close to nature and is full of surprises. Beyond the geographical contrasts, these two menus will offer above all a contrast of terroirs to be discovered right away.

An unparalleled culinary stage designer

To close out the season on a beautiful note, the Tram Experience has called upon a somewhat unexpected individual: the Belgian Bénédicte Bantuelle is not, strictly speaking, a chef. She defines herself more as an Artistic Director, a stage designer whose purview extends well beyond the kitchen. Bénédicte considers cooking to be an entirely separate artistic discipline. Only recently has she started to apply her multifaceted gourmet talent for the benefit of Agence La Bouche, which creates culinary concepts.

She is also Damien Bouchery’s partner. Together they cofounded the Bouchéry restaurant that has without a doubt become one of the most desirable places to dine in Brussels today. At Bouchéry, the approach is reflected in even the most minor of details: house breads and cheeses, natural wines, cuisine that is totally in step with meticulously selected seasonal products.  Bénédicte had carte blanche to write the season’s last menu.

It’s highly likely she’ll be inspired by Damien’s cuisine but also that she’ll surprise with her inspired and unbounded vision of tabletop delights in a 360° approach.

Tram Experience Visitbrussels _ E.Danhier
Tram Experience Visitbrussels _ E.Danhier

A few key figures

  • 10,000 to 12,000 meals are served on board each year;
  • Nearly 300 tours per year;
  • More than 25,000 km covered since the project was launched;
  • Service is offered year round from August to July, six days a week;
  • Six people on board: 1 driver, 2 individuals in the kitchen, 3 in the dining room;
  • Already more than € 8,000 paid to Samusocial to date.

New for 2015-2016

The “Tram” and “Experience” menus

Tram Experience Visitbrussels _ E.Danhier
Tram Experience Visitbrussels _ E.Danhier

The major innovation for the next season is the menu which will now be broken down into two plans. The “Tram” menu corresponds to the current version, that is, six courses (three appetizers, first course, main course, dessert, bubbly, water and wine as desired). This menu will however be capped off with after dinner drinks following the meal.

The “Experience” menu addresses a comment made by some customers who would have preferred a longer gourmet experience exceeding the 2–2.25 hours currently offered. As a result, a longer session will be scheduled each Friday from now on. This one will include an additional dish for a total of seven courses (three appetizers, two entrées, a main course, and a dessert), still accompanied with water and wine and served over the course of more than half an hour. The “Experience” set menu will follow a somewhat different route to Dumon Square in Stockel. Here, too, an after dinner drink will complete the set menu.

It is the chef of the Tram Experience, Denis Roberti, who will author this additional dish, allowing everyone to discover the uncommon talent of this chef who has been preparing all of the recipes from the numerous starred chefs represented on board for three seasons.

Tram Experience Visitbrussels _ E.Danhier
Tram Experience Visitbrussels _ E.Danhier

The guest table

Another innovation has already been tested on a small scale last season and will be fully implemented this year. This is the guest table. This four-person table with host two couples who do not know one another at a discount price. Each seat sells for € 10 less per person than the regular price. Given the success of this configuration, it will be extended throughout the new season.

Rates

  • Six course “Tram” menu € 95 (VAT included) per person excluding booking fees
  • Seven course “Experience” menu 115€ (VAT included) per person excluding booking fees (Fridays)
  • Guest table sold with at discount of € 10 per person
Tram Experience Visitbrussels _ E.Danhier
Tram Experience Visitbrussels _ E.Danhier

What’s included in the price?

“Tram” menu:

  • Six courses (three appetizers and three dishes (first course, main course, dessert)
  • Bubbly, wine, still and sparkling water
  • An after dinner drink

“Experience” menu:

  • Seven courses (three appetizers and four dishes (two entrées, main course, dessert)
  • Bubbly, wine, still and sparkling water
  • An after dinner drink
Tram Experience Visitbrussels _ E.Danhier
Tram Experience Visitbrussels _ E.Danhier

Tour duration 

  • Tram menu: approximately 2 hours – 2 hours 10 minutes
  • Experience menu: approximately 2 hours 45 minutes

Menu variations

At the time of reservation, it is possible to select a vegetarian menu.

Tram capacity : 34 seats (7 tables of 2, and 5 tables of 4)

On board personnel

One host, two servers, a chef and assistant, and, of course, the driver. All Tram Experience drivers are volunteers and have been selected based on their great skill at driving appropriately in all circumstances.

On board WC

One WC is available during the tour

Tram takes you from Europe to North America

Tram Experience:  Visitbrussels _ E.Danhier
Tram Experience: Visitbrussels _ E.Danhier

Board this Tram to travel to North America from heart of Europe. Seems funny? No it sounds rather yummy!! Starting this week until 8 March 2015, the Tram Experience is offering you the chance to enjoy a two-hour trip in North America. For the first time, Brussels’ gourmet restaurant is delighted to be welcoming chefs from beyond Europe’s borders.

Montreal, Puebla and Chicago: three cities, three chefs

Tram Experience: Visitbrussels _ E.Danhier
Tram Experience: Visitbrussels _ E.Danhier

For its third season, which began last August, the Tram Experience is offering customers the chance to enjoy a gastronomic journey exploring some of the biggest foodie cities in the world. These cities, part of the Délice network of which Brussels is also a member, have sent their best chefs to give food-lovers a real treat for one year. So far, some of the best chefs in Europe have joined in the travelling restaurant adventure. Today, for the very first time, we will be welcoming renowned chefs from the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. Chefs Laurent Godbout (Montreal), Ángel Vázquez Castelán (Puebla) and Andrew Zimmerman (Chicago) can’t wait to be part of the Tram Experience, whose culinary reputation has travelled across every border. Together, they have come up with three different menus that will alternate approximately every two weeks until 8 March 2015.

TRAM EXPERIENCE

Tram Experience: Visitbrussels _ E.Danhier
Tram Experience: Visitbrussels _ E.Danhier

How do you fancy boarding a tram that has been fully decked out as a modern gourmet restaurant? Aboard you will be served a three-course meal put together by top chefs from some of the best gourmet food cities of the world, whilst you tour Brussels by night for two hours. Building on its success ever since it was launched in 2012, the Tram Experience has built up an international reputation and is a huge draw for visitors as well as chefs from around the world. The gastronomy of the 21st century has become increasingly global in recent years. To any self-respecting foodie, it doesn’t come as a huge surprise to see leading chefs from all over the globe. And no city other than Brussels – multicultural and open to the world – could better welcome these different gastronomic settings.

Tram Experience: Visitbrussels _ E.Danhier
Tram Experience: Visitbrussels _ E.Danhier

The chefs, who concoct the menus, are not on board. It is the catering company led by expert-chef Denis Roberty which creates and finalizes all of the dishes onboard right in front of food enthusiasts. Tram Experience is remarkably sponsored by top chef Lionel Rigolet who brings along rigour and expert knowledge, the hallmarks of a two-starred chef at the helm of one of the most prestigious culinary institutions: Comme Chez Soi.

Tram Experience: Visitbrussels _ E.Danhier
Tram Experience: Visitbrussels _ E.Danhier

The Tram Experience takes one on an exceptional journey into the gastronomy of some of the major gastronomic cities of the world. These cities – amongst which Brussels – are member of the Délice network and have appointed their best chefs to treat food lovers to outstanding gourmet dining all year round. Délice is an international network of likeminded cities engaged in promoting the benefits of culinary excellence and good food. Created in 2007 by the City of Lyon (France), Délice gathers 21 cities from 4 continents whose culinary heritage and expertise play a major role in defining themselves as the greatest food destinations. These cities are Aarhus (Denmark), Barcelona (Spain), Birmingham (UK), Bordeaux (France), Brussels (Belgium), Chicago (USA), Gothenburg (Sweden), Helsinki (Finland), Lausanne (Switzerland), Leipzig (Germany), Lisbon (Portugal), Lyon (France), Madrid (Spain), Montreal (Canada), Osaka (Japan), Puebla (Mexico), Rabat (Morocco), Riga (Latvia), Saint Louis (USA), Stavanger (Norway), Turin (Italy)

Gourmet festival embellished by the best Bordeaux wines

eat! Brussels Photo: ©E.Danhier
eat! Brussels Photo: ©E.Danhier

The Brussels gourmet festival embellished by the best Bordeaux wines

From 11 to 14 September 2014 and for the third consecutive year, the eat! BRUSSELS festival will show off the entirely international nature of Brussels gastronomy. Around 20 restaurant owners from the Brussels-Capital region, and from 10 provinces and partner towns, will come together at the Bois de la Cambre for four days of gustatory passion. In addition, this year, VISITBRUSSELS and the Conseil Interprofessionnel du Vin de Bordeaux [Interprofessional Council for Bordeaux Wine] have decided to get together to create a joint event: eat! BRUSSELS, drink! BORDEAUX. Brussels will therefore become the first European city and the third international destination, after Hong Kong and Quebec, to welcome around sixty winegrowers to its festival dedicated to gastronomy.

Asian, Moroccan, Italian, Lebanese or Greek – the identity of Brussels gastronomy is far from being limited to Belgian mussels and fries. Brussels is at the crossroads of all nations and its gastronomic reputation is well renowned. With its eighteen award-winning restaurants, the city has more stars than cities like Berlin, Rome or Milan. And if fine dining is blossoming without any doubt in the European capital, eat! BRUSSELS, drink! BORDEAUX is one more opportunity to recall this by bringing together some of the best brands in the city.

eat! Brussels - Photo:  ©E.Danhier
eat! Brussels – Photo: ©E.Danhier

For its third reincarnation, the gourmet festival has the privilege of hosting the Bordeaux winemaking tourist event, “Bordeaux Fête le Vin” [Bordeaux Celebrates Wine]. The event has been renamed “eat! BRUSSELS, drink! BORDEAUX” for the occasion. Thanks to the “Wine Pass”, a tasting passport, a visitor will be able to go into various pavilions where Bordeaux winemakers will show them the numerous wines from their region. Great wine lovers (or novice) will be able to refine their oenological knowledge through entertaining and educational workshops.

eat! Brussels - Photo: ©E.Danhier
eat! Brussels – Photo: ©E.Danhier

For gourmands and gourmets, tasting portions will be offered by chefs at low prices (from € 4) so that visitors can do a culinary tour of the world in a single meal. The tastings will be prepared on site at each booth. Food lovers will also have a whale of a time taking part in culinary workshops organised on the spot by the Mmmmh! cookery school. Local, regional and national crafts will also be featured in the Crafts Village. Spices, salted meats, ice cream, honeys, meats, cheeses, coffees, jams, truffles, teas, oils, smoked salmon and artisan sweets will tickle visitors’ taste buds.

As they do every year, several of the best Brussels restaurants attend the festival by taking a stand. Each will offer one or more tastings to visitors who will therefore be able to take advantage of the diversity of culinary nationalities that are present.

Tram Experience heads for 3rd season

Tram Experience Visitbrussels _ E.Danhier
Tram Experience Visitbrussels _ E.Danhier

For the third season this year The Tram Experience will be moving to the partner cities of the Délice network. Délice is a sort of club bringing together good food cities of the world. Initiated by the City of Lyon a few years ago, the network is directly supported by cofounding cities such as Brussels or Barcelona. Today, Délice has about twenty members and its growth objectives rather aim new horizons and distant continents.

For this new season, Tram Experience will proceed in the same direction. Not only does season 3 stand for outstanding gourmet dining, it is also open to the world and takes you on a memorable culinary journey. On your trip, you will dive into different parts of the world, near and far, but always fascinating. All season 3 long, you will savour first-rate dishes signed by chefs from major gastronomic cities of the world or, on the contrary, by chefs whom you’ve probably never heard of, from cities of which you thought, perhaps a bit naively, that their cooking did not stretch further than nondescript but honest family dishes.

Tram Experience Visitbrussels _ E.Danhier
Tram Experience Visitbrussels _ E.Danhier

This year, you will have a bucket load of reasons to come back many times to discover each new team, each new city and its chefs who have done us the honour of joining us in this endeavour. With Tram Experience, expect nothing less than a unique, surprising and typically Brussels experience aboard a vintage tram with its somewhat obsolete comfort, an offbeat way to (re)discover the beauty of our city whilst enjoying the finest food Brussels has to offer.

Brussels

Brussels has a long and proud gastronomic history. The servings are general, tasty and irresistible and local specialities are wolfed down with relish. Brussels is the capital of 500 million Europeans and its gastronomic cultures is largely influenced by this convergence of many diverse influences.  Most of the world’s cuisines are for that matter present in the city. The local cuisine, a subtle variation of French cooking, reflects the influence of the country’s different regions. Seafood from the coast, salted foods from the Ardennes, not to mention the many foreign influences that have gradually found their way in Brussels.

Tram Experience Visitbrussels _ E.Danhier
Tram Experience Visitbrussels _ E.Danhier

Brussels has two to three thousand restaurants, 40% of which serve Franco-Belgian cuisine. World cuisine consequently very well represented. There are more and more starred restaurants but also mid-range restaurants that contribute to the city’s well earned reputation. Chip stands are worthy representatives of local street food, with some thirty such establishments that have come into their won. Food trucks are also increasing in numbers and constitute a major trend these last years.

In addition to the Tram Experience, Brussels provides an entire series of gastronomic experiences that are as unique as qualitative with such events as Culinaria, Brussels in the Sky, eat! Brussels, drink! Bordeaux or Eatcolor.

The Tram Experience

Tram Experience Visitbrussels _ E.Danhier
Tram Experience Visitbrussels _ E.Danhier

Eight times a week the Tram Experience tram will be riding through Brussels on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evening at 8pm, on Friday- and Saturday evening at 6.30pm and at 9.30pm and on Sunday at 12am. The place of departure will be at Place Poelaert. Only the two Friday services will be starting from the Tram Museum, Avenue de Tervuren 364, 1150 Brussels.

  • The rate is €89 (VAT included) per person, including wine and water, except for exceptional meals (for instance, during the festive season).
  • A meal served on board includes 3 appetizers and a 3-course menu (starter, main course, dessert) concocted by starred chefs. It also includes champagne, white wine, red wine, still and sparkling water. There are no other beverages on board.
  • The chefs who sign the menus are not on board.
  • The meal is put together and finalised by catering company Les Garrigues www.traiteur-garrigues.com in accordance with the exact requirements of the chefs and all menus are tested and approved by a tasting committee sponsored by Lionel Rigolet before making it on board the Tram Experience.
  • Tram Experience generally proposes eight trips per week.
  • Advance booking is exclusively online by credit card or bank card www.tramexperience.be or in VISITBRUSSELS’ tourist information offices.
  • Tram Experience is designed for reservation per table for 2 or 4 people. It is not possible to book for an uneven number of passengers.
  • It is possible to book the entire tram, only on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
  • The capacity of the tram is 34 seats: 7 tables for 2, and 5 tables for 4.
  • The trip takes about 2 hours.
  • Staff on board includes one headwaiter, two waiters, one chef and his assistant… and the driver of course.
  • There is a toilet on board.

eat! BRUSSELS, drink! BORDEAUX: time for Dine & Wine

Photo: VisitBrussels/ ©E.Danhier
Photo: VisitBrussels/ ©E.Danhier

From 11 to 14 September, the Brussels restaurant festival is once again coming to Bois de la Cambre/Ter Kamerenbos. Over four days, restaurateurs from throughout the Brussels Capital Region and this year along with wines from Bordeaux as well as its partner cities, provinces and regions are coming together. During eat! BRUSSELS, drink! BORDEAUX, they will share their know-how and passion for delicious products with connoisseurs and foodies who are always looking out for outstanding quality, new taste sensations and adventures.

This year, the enhancement of Brussels gastronomy is to be accompanied by sampling various Bordeaux wines in the company of winegrowers from that region. 

Photo: VisitBrussels/ ©E.Danhier
Photo: VisitBrussels/ ©E.Danhier

eat! BRUSSELS provides an excellent picture of the gastronomic diversity that Brussels is rich in. On the menu is a melting pot of discoveries from the four corners of the globe. Participating restaurants channel all their creative energies into astonishing and spoiling every visitor, young and old alike, with whom their chefs are already eager to share their know-how and passion. Thanks to the smaller portions, visitors can enjoy several cuisines at one mealtime, and as it were embark on a culinary journey. The creations conjured up by the restaurant chefs can be savoured at reasonable prices (from €4.00) in the form of tastings prepared on the spot. Each restaurant provides one or more dishes. Entry to the festival is free.

Amateur chefs will be in their element in one of the various workshops set to take participants on a journey through different parts of the world. Attention is also given to local, regional and national craftsmanship, in an Artisans’ Village set up especially for this purpose.

drink! BORDEAUX

The festival is being organised in the heart of the one of the capital’s most beautiful green settings, and this year has the privilege of welcoming the ‘Bordeaux Fête le Vin’ to Brussels. For the occasion, the wine festival is being rechristened eat! BRUSSELS, drink! BORDEAUX. With a tasting pass, the “Wine Pass”, visitors can wander around the various pavilions where winegrowers from Bordeaux will help you discover the numerous different wines from Bordeaux. In the ‘École du Vin de Bordeaux’ pavilion, fervent wine lovers have the chance to perfect their oenological knowledge during engaging and educational workshops.