It’s not everyday that a small blue creature made out of plastic overshadows an Ambassador, a guest Celebrity Chef, a W Insider, and a handful of gregarious foodies. But last night’s media introduction to the Belgian Culinary Days belonged to one Smurf – a lone ranger making great strides in international relations for Belgium. But more on his blue shenanigans later!
Belgian Culinary Days at W Doha
The Belgian Culinary Days food event is part of a wider initiative to highlight the food and culture of Belgium, and is hosted in co-operation with the Embassy of Belgium. It builds upon the success of last year’s Belgian Culinary Week, and will run from 17th-26th November with a 3-course set menu priced at QAR 250.
There will also be Belgium offerings at two consecutive Friday Brunches (18th and 25th November) at Market by Jean-Georges priced at QAR 410 with special beverages, and QAR 295 with soft drinks. For more information and bookings call +974 4453 5135.
H.E. Christophe Payot was pleased to host the 2nd edition of Belgian Culinary Days at W Hotel: “We have Belgian Celebrity Chef Frank Fol, who is also the President of the MasterCooks of Belgium, with some typical Belgian dishes but also with his special touch. He is famous as the Vegetable Chef – he even manages to add vegetables in desserts! The event is a way to show that Belgian cuisine is broader than just Mussels, fries and waffles; this is what Frank Fol is presenting in the coming days.”
The Vegetable Chef on Food:
Chef Frank Fol has curated the menu to showcase the fresh and light flavours of Belgium. The emphasis on vegetables and fruits comes from a 28 year culinary career, which has included cooking for the Belgium Olympic Team. Although he is known as the Vegetable Chef he does cook with meat and fish, but he is keen to highlight a philosophy of eating fresh fruits and vegetables.
“When we create a recipe we take the vegetables we want to prepare, and then we will see which techniques we will use to prepare them, and lastly, we will see if we will put meat, fish or nothing and it stays 100% vegetable. [I have 44 techniques to prepare vegetables and fruit, which you can find in my latest cookbook The Balanced Kitchen.] The purpose is that we have a balance of about two-thirds fruit/vegetables in our food. This forces us to be more creative with the techniques and try to use seasonable vegetables.
When we first opened everyone thought that it was vegetarian – it’s not, we eat meat and we eat fish, but in the right balance. When we cook a dish with meat it will be maximum 150g, and all the other things will be vegetables.
Everywhere in the world young chefs now understood that vegetables have become more important. We have to eat more healthier, but it’s a little bit of a resolution. We are too used to ordering fish or meat like steak – you have to make a switch. Alot of people who like to eat meat say, ‘Frank you want to change my habits’, but when they eat the food we make it’s working.
My grandmother was cooking very well, and she put some nutmeg on everything. So I like the taste of nutmeg, and use the peel of the nutmeg – the mace – in a lot of dishes as it gives the dish a sweeter and softer touch. It’s also great for cauliflowers and for brussel sprouts.”
W Doha Belgian Culinary Days Menu Tasting
W Doha Belgian Culinary Days Menus
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