Three top Belgian chefs cook up "eat at home" idea to offset confinement

Are you among the many who are getting restless with the seemingly never-ending confinement?

If so, that is perfectly understandably and a feeling that will be shared by people everywhere.

But spare a thought also for those whose jobs are directly on the line during the terrible health crisis.

One of the sectors worst hit by the ongoing lockdown here in Belgium is the horeca trade with predictions that many restaurants will go to the wall due to the devastating loss of trade.

Happily, it is not all doom and gloom, though.

Thanks to three enterprising Belgian chefs you can this weekend enjoy something many of us are probably rather missing: a top quality meal.

It comes in the shape of a delicious three course dinner which the threesome have produced to help bring some cheer to people living in both Brussels and Antwerp.

On 1 & 2 May, leading Brussels chef Alex Joseph has joined up with two other amazing colleagues - Glen Ramaekers, of Humphrey Chez Pias in Brussels and Dennis Broeckx, of L’Epicerie du Cirque in Antwerp - to create what they have dubbed the ‘3 Amigos Box’.

This comprises a delicious three-course dinner with sides and a cocktail.

Also involved in the collaboratation is Don Papa Rum, Dierendonck meats and Badoit Water.

The special “evening in” starts, what else?, with an “Alice cocktail” (in collaboration with Don Papa Rum). Salads include “aperitivo salad”, with corn and asparagus (sourced from a local Belgian farm in Mechelen) and a “Filipino Humphrey garden herb salad”, with mango.

The meat choice in the splendid set piece dinner includes “Fat Bart’s” marinated chicken wings (apparently a favourite of Antwerp politician Bart De Wever); “Rodrigo Duterte”-style BBQ ribs and “King Hendrick’s” meat, a prime beef selection from the renowned Flemish meat specialist Dierendonck.

To take advantage of this touch of “at home” fine dining while the country’s restaurants remain closed, you can order by calling or, preferably, texting either 0472 04 95 80 (for pick ups) or 0483 43 30 80 (for delivery).

Ideally, you need to order by 4pm on Thursday for a pick up or delivery this Saturday and have to send the following details: name, address, how many of the boxes you want (min. 2 people) and whether it’s a pick up or delivery.

You can personally pick up a 3 Amigos Box in Brussels on either 1 or 2 May at Humphrey Chez Pias locatedat 36-38, Rue Saint-Laurent, Brussels or at Epicerie Du Cirque, Volkstraat in Antwerp on 1, 2 or 3 May.

Alex himself runs the contemporary restaurant Rouge Tomate on Avenue Louise, undoubtedly one of the best high-end eateries in the city.

The Californian-born chef won the Benelux 2015 San Pellegrino Young Chef competition and, before coming to Belgium, he had worked at the Cyrus (California) and Eleven Madison Park in New York. He arrived in Belgium in June 2009 for what was meant to be a 3-month work placement at Rouge Tomate. Fast forward to the present and he now co-owns the restaurant and has won many awards for his cooking in the process.

Alex says: "It always amazes me how much love Belgians have for their food and that is something the three of us, myself, Glen and Dennis, are trying to address with the 3 Amigo’s Box idea.

“People here have a good sense of quality on the plate and we’re just trying to do our bit to cheer people up during this very difficult period of confinement.”

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Martin Banks

Martin Banks

Martin Banks is a highly qualified journalist with many years experience of working within the EU institutions. He is an occasional, and highly valued, contributor to EU today, writing on a wide variety of issues.

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