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Kookeet culinary festival 2015 Bruges - review

By September 27, 2015 , , , , , , ,

The first time I went to Kookeet was two years ago on my last visit to Bruges. When I say I went it was more I stumbled across the event while wandering the city. It was a nice surprise to end up at such a culinary event.

This year it was a deliberate visit, I came to Bruges specifically for the festival this year and what a treat it was! There are not that many culinary festivals that can boast a host of Michelin starred chefs all gathered in a small area and cooking for you, the public. 

The weather was certainly in their favour this year and added to the ambiance where large crowds gathered in the venue behind Bruges station.

This years event was their 5th anniversary and had moved to a bigger venue to accommodate the celebrations. The event focuses on Restaurants within Bruges but this year they had guest chef Peter Goossens from 3* Hof van Cleve which is not local Restaurant in Bruges.

Peter Goossens being interviewed for Belgian news

Hof van Cleve's Beef with basil, mushrooms and a Vin Jaune jus

The event is curated by many local chefs, amongst them, Dominique Persoone of The Chocolate Line aka The "shock-o-latier" . He said that for him the aim of the event is to bring chefs together as a team and make good food more accessible to people who would not normally dine at some of the starred establishments. 

Dominique busy with his "surgical" team

The chocolate lines' "A Kiss from the night nurse"

The event has high standards and each participant has to strive to meet them. In order to keep those high standards the have "secret diners" who try the dishes and rate their experience of each chef. If someone doesn't make the grade, then they may not be coming back the following year. 

Rock-Fort's rock lobster with shellfish bearnaise

'T Zwanntjes's scallop with black pudding, celery and mushrooms

Bistro Bruut's Tartare of west Vlaams beef with pickled cabbage, chorophyll and dried capers

A'Qi's Bird Bunny; quail breast with cabbage, parma ham chips, tomato chutney and raita foam

Patrick Devos North sea shrimp with structures of cauliflower, blinis, lobster sauce with Belgian caviar
Sans Cravate's chef Henk van Oudenhove

Sans Cravate's "This is not a stew with chips"

Weinebrugge's "cake" of smoked duck and goose liver, pear and mango chutney with an almond crisp

La Tache perparing their Bollwood burger on the Big Green Egg, which had the biggest queue!

It's not only Michelin Starred chefs in attendance, but also lots of local chefs who produce excellent dishes. Its is very reasonably priced EUR 4, 6 or 8 depending on the dish and the portions are good too.

An added bonus this year was also the Kookpaleis whereby you could enjoy demos from some of the chefs in attendance. I attended two, one which was a Madeira wine tasting and the other which was a cookery demo by Dominique Persoone as well as a Q&A session with him. The audience also got to try some of his chocolates and freebies were thrown into the audience from some of his plantation spice collection. My other half kindly caught one for me!

Kookeet continues today (September 27th and tomorrow Monday 28th) for those of you who would like to attend.

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