“Welkom in Luxembourg!”: the welcome of the 550 guests of the Culinary Innovators of Gault & Millau was done under the colors – and the flavors! – from the Grand Duchy with the last three chefs of the year from the yellow and red guide at the helm: Cyril Molard (2020), René Mathieu (2021) and Ryodo Kajiwara (2022).
After a praline as surprising as it was refreshing, the guests of the gourmet event organized in Kemzeke, in the north of Flanders, were able to taste the mischievous tree and its sweet potato ketchup signed Rene Mathieu, all in a decor in his image: 100% vegetal. “The mischievous tree lends itself perfectly to the theme of the event, which is the meeting of art and cuisine”, agrees the chef of La Distillerie.
A few meters further, Ryodo Kajiwara chose to work the fish in a rice tuile with garlic mustard seasoned with a sashimi of Luxembourg trout marinated in miso. “It’s the meeting of Japanese flavors and Luxembourg products”, summarizes the chef of the year 2022.
And then, the gourmet route traced in a maze of greenhouses led the gourmets to earth with the carrot from Sandrine, the confit Luxembourg piglet, the condiment of romaine and cumin signed Cyril Molard. “The goal is clearly to highlight local Luxembourg products”, underlines the chef of the restaurant Ma Langue Sourit.
René Mathieu’s pralines opened the ball for 100% Luxembourg appetizers.
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The distillery chef’s trick trees were particularly well displayed in the vast complex of greenhouses where the event was organised.
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Ryodo Kajiwara has chosen to marry a Japanese rice cracker with Luxembourg trout, a delight!
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Cyril Molard highlighted the land with the Luxembourg piglet accompanied by carrots from Sandrine.
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From one participant to three ambassadors
The gourmet route made up of a dozen stops highlighted the signature of chefs who came mainly from Belgium and the Netherlands. But with three ambassadors, Luxembourg has offered itself a nice showcase with informed gourmets based mainly in the north of Belgium, whose appetite to come and eat in Luxembourg has been well awakened.
“Our objective is to show what the Luxembourg gastronomic scene is through these three chefs of the year who embody the country’s resources in terms of forests, rivers and land”, abounds Laurent Fery, director from Gault & Millau Luxembourg.
In 2018, René Mathieu took part in the Culinary Innovators where he also won a trophy. “I cannot represent Luxembourg on my own,” admits the world champion of plant-based cuisine. His two acolytes were also able to take the measure of the event and the doors it opens both to foodies in search of discoveries and to other high-flying chefs.
Oyster, caviar, asparagus and aged beef
In this regard, a complete list of dishes would border on the indigestion of gourmet information, but let’s content ourselves with a top three of the most attractive plates of this 5th edition of the Culinary Innovators. In first position, here is the Zeeland oyster accompanied by its white butter ice cream, salicornia, oyster sauce and caviar: a signature composition Hans Neunerchef of the Ocean Restaurant in Portugal.
The Zeeland oyster sublimated in this composition with caviar and salicornia, all signed by the chef of the Ocean Restaurant in Portugal Hans Neuner.
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White asparagus cooked by chef Bruno Timperman meets mackerel in a bacon version for a light and delicious land-sea cocktail.
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The meat lovers savored the barbecue-grilled matured Carima beef with its perfectly caramelized crust right down to the last bite, as well as the accompanying carrots.
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The combination of hot and cold was particularly surprising and although the Zeeland oyster is not our favourite, it went perfectly with this composition, which is as elegant as it is delicious.
And what would spring be without its asparagus? The chef’s Bruno Timperman at the restaurant Bruut met gourmet weights and mackerel bacon for a succulent seasonal and light plate.
Finally, an experience on the terrace delighted grill lovers with both vegetables and fine meats which quietly took to the embers during an evening rich in discoveries. The Chiefs Luc DeLaet (Butcher’s Store) and Jules Koninckx (Maven) dazzled the taste buds with a flank steak tartare served on half a grilled lime accompanied by a shot of vodka (yes, yes, you read that right!) followed by a piece of aged Carima beef grilled over charcoal wood accompanied by caramelized carrots, pepper and chickpea cream as well as pieces of chorizo and harissa, a real explosion of textures and flavors in the mouth.
Let’s not forget that the 5and edition of the Culinary Innovators was also marked by the awarding of ten prizes to chefs who have done well in terms of product use, sustainability and entrepreneurship.
The Gault & Millau guide plans to publish its 20and Belux edition on November 7th. Notice to amateurs!
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