Where dose Christophe Hardiquest find main inspiration for his dishes?
I find the inspirations of the dishes in old Belgian cookbooks dating between 1850 and 1975. The inspiration comes also from a journalistic and historical work from a few people that help me discovering all these old and some already forgotten Belgian treasures… This project started 2 years ago, and deeper we dig, the more I have an impression that this will be a never ending process. Really exciting!
What is for Christophe Belgian cuisine and what distinguishes Belgian cuisine of other European cuisines?
The Belgian “cuisine”, is originally a cuisine with many different influences: French of course, but also Dutch and Spanish. They all have left a legacy of know-how. It’s a popular cuisine. It’s a cuisine with a soul. Also with very precise flavors, like acidity, bitterness and also yeasty tastes. It can be brutal, but there’s also a nostalgia, and of course, it’s absolutely “gourmand”.
What are the most typical ingredients?
Belgian grey shrimps, mussels, eel, pig, rabbit, chicory, potatoes, jet of houblon, dairy products, many kinds of beers of course, chocolate etc…
Have you also used some old cooking techniques?
Yes, we use old techniques like: pickling, lacto fermentation, home made maturing, smoking etc…
How are you choosing guest chefs?
Chefs are chosen because they have a similar approach, as we do, with their own territories. They have respect for their traditions and are also willing to find ways to keep their roots alive.
Out of Belgium, what are cuisines that attract you most and why?
To be honest, of course I’m attracted by many different cuisines in Asia, South-America etc… but what I like best is to discover street food all over the world because it’s on the streets that we discover the real flavours of a country.
What are your other plans beside Bon Bon Origins?
It’s still linked to BON BON BON ORIGINS, but we will explore other universes… At the time of speaking, this is all still a secret. More to come soon!