eat! BRUSSELS, drink! BORDEAUX, back at last!
In early September 2021, Brussels International put the flavours of the regions, cities and provinces with which the Brussels-Capital Region is linked to by cooperation agreements, in the spotlight during its annual eat! BRUSSELS, drink! BORDEAUX culinary festival.
For the past nine years, eat! BRUSSELS, drink! BORDEAUX has been promoting the Brussels hospitality industry each year. The culinary festival, which was cancelled in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, was back at last, running from 2 to 11 September 2021, in the elegant setting of Gare Maritime at Tour & Taxis. To celebrate the return of the festival, the organisers pulled out all the stops with a brand-new formula, called “Dinners”: food was served to the table this year around, by some of the best Brussels-based international chefs.
Discovering the cuisines of the partner regions, provinces and cities of Brussels
On Monday 6 and Tuesday 7 September, two international evenings put the spotlight on the regions, provinces and cities with which the Brussels-Capital Region (BCR) is linked to by cooperation agreements, inviting the taste buds of foodies on a journey around the world.
For this delicious international event, Brussels International brought together Québec, the European Metropolis of Lille, the cities of Havana, Istanbul, Xi’an, Quito and Kinshasa, as well as the Region of Île-de-France and the Federal District Brazil.
The Ambassadors of Turkey, Cuba and Ecuador to Belgium, as well as Valérie Lacroute, Vice-President of the Regional Council of Île-de-France, responsible for Agriculture and Food, Bernard Clerfayt, the Brussels Minister responsible for Employment and Vocational Training, Digital Transition and Local Authorities, and Barbara Trachte, State Secretary of the Brussels-Capital Region, responsible for Economic Transition and Scientific Research, attended both these events.
Brussels International rolled out the red carpet for a delegation from the Region of Île-de-France
In the past, eat! BRUSSELS, drink! BORDEAUX has often given official foreign delegations an opportunity to travel to Brussels. They come to see how the Brussels-Capital Region pays homage to the chefs of their cities and regions and their cuisine. This year, Brussels International welcomed a delegation from the Region of Île-de-France (IDF), led by Valérie Lacroute, Vice-President of the Regional Council of Île-de-France, responsible for Agriculture and Food. The event took place just two weeks before the signing of the renewal and expansion of the cooperation agreement between the BCR and the Region of the IDF, which is entering its 19th year.
The delegation spent two days discussing and exchanging good practices on the theme of food. Bruxelles Environnementdiscussed its strategy during this two-day event, with special emphasis on the Good Food Label and the activities it has developed with school canteens. Hub.brussels, meanwhile, presented its support programme for the hospitality industry and the Kokotte incubator. The delegation also visited the Stock, which is currently under renovation, and the future Belgian Beer World centre, as well as the Greenbizz sustainable economy incubator and BeCook and Foodiz. The visit ended on a happy note on the evening of 6 September, when the participants had the opportunity to taste some of the exceptional cheese produced in the Île-de-France.
A voyage to tickle the taste buds
On Monday, the trip kicked off in Brazil, with a Caipirinha 2.0 and a velouté of burnt sweetcorn, served by Michelin-starred chef Marcelo Ballardin. Then, a refreshing shrimp ceviche swept off participants to Ecuador, followed by a stopover in Québec with a surprising dish of fir-smoked scallops, concocted by Andréanne Marcil. After that, the journey continued in Xi’an, China, with its famous Rou Jia Mo. The participants were able to taste a more upscale version of this classic street food recipe from Shaanxi. The meal ended with a selection of cheeses from the Ile-de-France region, served by affineur Julien Hazard (Île-de-France).
On Tuesday, the journey started in Cuba, with a mojito and a surf & turf tamal as an appetiser. Then it was back to Europe, for a terrine baked in sourdough bread with onion ice cream from Chef Alexandre Suergiu (European Metropolis of Lille). Next up was Africa, with diners being served goat meat ravioli, with red onion jam and a sorrel foam, a dish that was prepared by chef Alfonso Videira from Kinshasa. The main course then took the participants to Turkey, with a lamb and dried fruit stew served in a pilaf crust. Dessert consisted of a selection of cheeses from the Hauts-de-France, served by Le Comptoir du Samson (European Metropolis of Lille).
All in all, a journey that tickled everyone’s taste buds. It goes without saying that everyone is already looking forward to what 2022 has in store for gourmets!