You know what is the difference between a local “farmer/craftsman” and multinationals? The sparkle in their eyes! When you see and hear the local “farmer/craftsman” talk you see the excitement, enthusiasm and the love or better the passion for their product and for what they do…. which results to unbelievable products waaaaaay above average quality! The 2 I mentioned in my previous post are just two examples, but every single person I talked to on this little ‘trade fair’ had the passion in their eyes. Another good example of such a person is Frank van Eerd from Bisschopsmolen, who really knows everything about whatever has to do with bread, pies and baking, a walking encyclopedia if you ask me! Next time I’m in Maastricht I just have to pass by his bakery to buy and try some stuff!!
I have to admit that after all that talking (and I talk a lot) I started to feel hungry and thirsty, lucky for me they were just ready to serve a wonderful lunch prepared by 3 Michelin star chefs that I now am a big fan of: Hans Snijders (Chef Chateau Neercanne) took care of the appetizers, Arabelle Meirlaen (Li Cwerneu) and for the main course they choose the chef that up to today has prepared the best piece of lam I ever had in my life, Giovani Oosters (Vous Le Vous). They made a lunch all prepared with local ingredients and served with wines from local vineyards.
And man what an incredible table! You might recognize this from my post about “friends of the taste”, where you basically all eat at one long table and sit with people you have never seen before 🙂 which for me couldn’t be better as I was surrounded by the people from Livar, Schorpion, “tourisme de la Province de Liège”… and boy did we talk, good thing there was enough things to smear the throat.
I unfortunately wasn’t able to take nice pictures of the eye catching dishes the chefs prepared as there was not enough light for good pictures, but like I said they all 3 convinced me taste more of their food (yes, again more restaurants on my wish list), I can only suggest you guys to the same :-)What I can do is list what we had and what you’ll notice is that they all have a motto that they highly valued just like me “Keep it simple” as that is 98% of the time the best!
Appetizers which were served with perfectly matching Brut Nature Gold sparkling wine from Schorpion:
Trilogy of ham:
- ‘Jambon d’Ardenne’ mousse (from Montenauer) with cave mushrooms jelly
- Jamón de la Sierra’ (Livar) with spelled bread (Bisschopsmolen)
- Crispy Livar porkneck with a “Loonse’ syrup sauce
First course that got served with one of Belgium’s most famous white wines a 2011 Genoels-Elderen Chardonnay:
- Mackerel fillet marinated in fleur de sel with a spray (yes, like a perfume spray) of Lambertus juniper and bergamot accompanied by a refreshing beet and Montzen goat cheese.
Main course served with an Aldeneyck Pinot Noire, again a very nice choice a little herby and full of taste despite its young age (made me think of Burgundy wines).
- Livar bacon (cooked 3 days at 69°C) with mushrooms from the Kanne caves, a sauce of Val Dieu triple and potato gratin with Livar pork cheek, turnips and parsnips from De Wroeter. Sprinkled with Maasland’s land seasoning salt
Dessert: my all-time favorite rice pie by the Seigneurie de la Vervi-riz!! Man that is some damn good pie.
If you feel like trying all this of having the same breathtaking experience or want to know more about this region and maybe visit some local farmers do check the website from “heart of europe” you won’t regret it! I know I will be back in this region very very soon 🙂