The Belgian cuisine through the eyes of the Lady Chef of the Year 2023


Did you know that every year a female chef in Belgium is elected Lady Chef of the Year? On Oct. 23 2023, Manon Schenck received the award: "The flavours of this Lady Chef speak to the heart." The proof of the pudding is in the eating, so after a heavenly meal at La Table de Manon, the Lady Chef joined us at the table. How does she perceive Belgian food? Let’s find out! 

Belgian food and drinks: we are proud of that!

To strengthen the collaboration between the food industry and gastronomy, is for the second year in a row main partner of the gastronomy event ‘Lady Chef of the Year’. This partnership is a first initiative to strengthen ties with the gastronomic sector and this with one aim: to strengthen together the image of Belgian food and drinks at home and abroad. Because on our plates or on shop shelves: Belgian food and drinks are world-class. Together, we are ‘Small country. Great food."! 

"I always knew I wanted to do this job. Being of French origin, I moved to Belgium 8 years ago to open the restaurant La Table de Manon. I enjoy adding nods from my adopted country to my dishes, for example a revisit of the peach with tuna, inverted moules-frites... Small anecdote: the first time I heard about peach with tuna, I was initially very sceptical of the dish, but a friend prepared it for me once and it was delicious."

"I think Belgian cuisine stands out from other European cuisines because of its diversity. In such a small country, we find in the north and south completely different culinary identities. Inland, in the Ardennes and Gaume for example, there are many more traditional recipes with game and charcuterie, while on the coast, we find magnificent fish from the North Sea. This, in my opinion, is what makes Belgian gastronomy particularly strong."

"I love using beer in my dishes, in sauces, such as the "Mariage Parfait" gueuze from the Boon brewery, which enhanced a lobster dish. I also use it instead of milk in waffles for a more local touch, and in some pastries as well, especially fruity beers like Kriek. We also have a nice presence of wines, bubbles, and Belgian alcohol that we love to introduce to our customers."

"I believe it's important not to hesitate to meet with local producers, who are now very numerous in Belgium, so they can talk about their products and then showcase them in our dishes, promoting Belgian cuisine in the process. Also, don't hesitate to use "grandmother's recipes" and update them with modern flavours and presentations."

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