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THE FLEMISH REVOLUTION-BELGIUM CHEFS: DAVY SCHELLEMANS

The Électrons Libres, is a group of chefs that are as individual or a leaders of a group have taken a unique route that goes beyond the learning process. Their philosophy transforms the cuisine of the present time as well as the cuisine of the future in a specific area (place) or country. Sometimes they are the leaders of a culinary movement but often, they are alone in their search.

Davy Schellemans is another hyper talented young chefs native of Flanders. Just in his early thirties, he opened his own restaurant last year (26 seats) in Antwerp after have been (among others) the Sous chef of Kobe Desramaults (In de Wulf), one of the leaders of this movement flemish (Flemish Foodies). Indeed, it is created in this corner of Belgium, a cuisine intense, personalized and highly creative.

Schellemans have a unique menu of five courses (just 45 euros) which change weekly or biweekly depending on the product and seasons. This “menu” will allow him to focus on the finish and the essence of the products and the flavors. The first time we see “sa cuisine”, we understand immediately that this chef has a unique vision and creativity in the kitchen without blinkers and without limit.

A singular chef with an environmental conscience to follow in the coming years!

Q+A WITH DAVY SCHELLEMANS:

1-(Scoffier) How do you explain the philosophy behind your “cuisine” at Veranda?

DSchellemans– I don’t have a philosophy, just want to serve good food and let people have a nice evening. For me “good food” is not too complicated, neither technical but made with love.

2-(Scoffier) Do you have a flavour or taste from your childhood that is again memorable?

DSchellemans– A flavour not really, more a smell.The smell of fresh tomatoes is something I will never forget.

3-(Scoffier) Do you have a particular foods (or products) that you often use in your recipes?

DSchellemans– For me, acidity and texture are really important. These are two (2) things you will find always in my dishes.

4-(Scoffier) You worked as Sous chef of chef Kobe Desramaults, what you learned at the restaurant In de Wulf? Is there any other people who inspired you in the kitchen?

DSchellemans– Kobe gave me the drive and many other chefs are inspiring me but at the end, it is really important to do your own things.

5-(Scoffier) Seen from outside, there is real effervescence in Flanders and several creative young chefs. Do you perceive this movement and the energy?

DSchellemans– Many young chefs are opening restaurants with a very personal approach where food is always the most important, something that I really like! Every person is unique and that should reflect in the dishes and the atmosphere.

6-(Scoffier) How do you develop (process) your recipes for your menu? What are your source(s) of inspiration?

DSchellemans– My most important sources are my suppliers. They reach me the products and I have to bring them together. I don’t think too long about new dishes, I just start cooking, taste, and then fine tune…

7-(Scoffier) In the book of Kobe (Desramaults), he talks a lot of regional producers, is it easy for you to find “all” locally?

DSchellemans– Herbs, vegetables and fish from the north sea is quite easy to find but my meat still comes from France. The hype right now is “local”, before it was “molecular” and therefore “fusion”. My point is that every chef has to do what he has to do.

8-(Scoffier) Can you give us a detailed recipe (Signature dish or other) that is characterized the cuisine of Veranda (& Davy Schellemans)?

DSchellemansRecipe: Chinese Broccoli with pickled Onions, cream of Lemon, Chioggia Beets and fresh Herbs.

9-(Scoffier) What are your goals (ambitions) as chef and for your restaurant?

DSchellemans– My goal is to give people a nice evening every single day and to develop my style of cooking but most of all to enjoy what I am doing!

RECIPE: Chinese Broccoli with pickled Onions, cream of Lemon, Chioggia Beets and fresh Herbs

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INSTRUCTIONS & PROGRESSION RECIPE

Ingredients (4 pers)

-12 chinese broccoli
-30 cl soy sauce
-10 cl Yuzu juice
-4 lemon peel
-10 cl lemon juice
-10 cl sugar water
-1 beetroot sliced
-Olive oil
-Red wine vinegar
-4 young onions
-40 g alcohol vinegar
-200 g sugar water

To finish (to taste)*:

-Spinach – Amaranth – Citrus tagetes (branch + leaf) – Nasturtium – Roasted sunflower seeds.

Preparation

1. Cook the broccoli and let cool immediately in ice water. Warm before serving in soy sauce with yuzu juice.

2. Cook the sauce for the lemon peel 3 times after each other, change the water every time. Mix with lemon juice and sugar water.

3. Marinate the beetroot in a mixture of olive oil and red wine vinegar.

4. Cook the onions in a mixture of sugar water and alcohol vinegar.

5. Divide the broccoli and beet slices on a plate and garnish with the sauce and spinach, amaranth, citrus tagetes, nasturtium and sunflower seeds.

FURTHER INFORMATION

VERANDA/Chef-owner Davy Schellemans
Guidenvliesstraat 60
2600 Anvers (Belgium)
Phone: +32 (0) 3 218 55 95

PRESS

1. Video about Davy Schellemans by FrenchfoodTV, March 2011
2. Review by Gilles Pudlowski, December 2011
3. Interview, A Point Magazine #16, Printemps 2012
4. To taste the cuisine of Davy Schellemans in North America, it will be the guest of chef Dominique Crenn, November 9th (Omnivore Food Festival San Francisco).

NOTE: Credit for the photos: Charlie De Keersmaecker (Portrait), Roos Mest Dagh (Food)

Tous Droits Réservés. Copyright Scoffier © 2008-2012

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