Here is the brand new concept of chef Christophe Hardiquest which will replace BonBon
Absolute reference of Belgian gastronomy for twenty years, rewarded with two Michelin stars and an exceptional score of 19.5 in the Gault&Millau guide, BonBon was about to reach its peak as surprising as it was carefully considered. At 46, the man felt the need to take a step back to recharge his batteries and get closer to the essentials. Without denying his profession, quite the contrary.
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“We are born cook, we die cook” he asserts today with conviction. If the adage suits him well, he embodies it all the better as it is accompanied by a real rebirth. The past months have allowed the craftsman-creator to travel, to meet new inspirations, in the four corners of the world as well as in the surrounding nature. To get closer to what really makes him vibrate. This salutary break allows him today to come back with a brand new concept, imbued with multiple and revealing inspirations, which he is preparing to share from February 7th.
Do I believe her? “A healthy mind in a healthy body”. This 22-seat counter and private 8-seat table aims to reconcile Nature and Humans. Lies, the spirit, the soul, and mensa, the table. With an s as a hyphen as if to give even more Flavor to life. Christophe imagined this counter as a stage where transparency, education and sharing would be set up as absolute values. “In front of our guests, we will be able to make them discover each product, each ingredient and enhance them through the familiar gestures of the cook.”
A return to nature
Christophe does not miss any opportunity to recharge his batteries in the middle of the forest. Whether in the mountains, in Crans-Montana where he directs the kitchen of the hotel’s brasserie in Chetzeron, near the starred restaurant La Mère Germaine in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, where he also signs the menus, or in the forest de Soignes, in the immediate vicinity of his Maison des Saveurs located on Avenue de Tervueren: plants, wild plants and herbs, each natural smell is transformed for him into a return to basics.
This is why respecting the plant or animal product is so important to him. This involves working on each part, leaving nothing behind or neglecting what nature offers us. Rabbit kidney, monkfish cheek and turbot bards… “Man will have everything to gain by reconnecting with nature. Much stronger than us, we must relearn how to observe it and listen to it to grasp what it wants us to understand”declares the chef who does not miss any opportunity to recharge his batteries in the middle of the forest. Whether in the mountains, in Crans-Montana where he directs the kitchen of the hotel’s brasserie in Chetzeron, near the starred restaurant La Mère Germaine in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, where he also signs the menus, or in the forest de Soignes, in the immediate vicinity of his Maison des Saveurs located on Avenue de Tervueren: plants, wild plants and herbs, each natural smell is transformed for him into a return to basics. He thus fully assumes the idealistic, even utopian angle of his new restaurant with resolutely natural accents.
What is the menu?
From fermented shiitake from Brussels to spinach from the coast, via a dashi made from homemade fillet from Antwerp, the chef wants to showcase Belgian culture in all its diversity. Seaweed mustard, beetroot sashimi, a newly cooked whelk, old-fashioned sourdough, homemade oils…
In addition, the current energy context presents opportunities that should not be wasted. Christophe was largely inspired by it to promote raw cuisine, which he illustrates for example through a ceviche of Zeeland mussels or a bone marrow sushi. The wood fire to replace the gas in the kitchen is also part of the new features that will accompany the new address.
Moreover, the other cornerstone on which the entire philosophy of Menssa will rest is the relationship between food and the body. Convinced that eating well is becoming more important than ever, Christophe Hardiquest fervently hopes that each guest can leave his counter having learned to listen better to his body. He cites as an example the iodine deficiencies that characterize the Belgian population and is geared up for new preparations based on seaweed: after his famous ketchup, he will offer new compositions based on this aquatic plant, such as roasted seaweed juice and other fermentations… Nor does he hesitate to draw inspiration from his personal lifestyle to transform each experience into a new creation. Thus, the morning mixture of raw oats and honey that he concocts to keep healthy, will take the form of a sumptuous dessert in espuma version.
For the impatient, good news, the Menssa booking site will open in mid-January.
Where ? 453, Avenue de Tervueren, 1150 Woluwe-Saint-Pierre
When ? Menssa will be open in the evening from Tuesday to Saturday and Friday noon from February 7th
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