Brusselicious 2012 - A year celebrating gastronomy
The city of Brussels is set to showcase a major culinary initiative with a focus on its food and drink heritage in 2012. Central to the festival, are a number of food events such as chocolate tasting, food demonstrations, beer rallies, trade fairs and a whole programme of foodie themed initiatives. Innovative and creative cuisine using traditional methods and local produce is central to the aim of this festival.
The gourmet year will put its great chefs in the spotlight and will prove that gastronomic excellence is available virtually everywhere in the city from markets, star-studded restaurants, street corners, parks or the smallest of bistros.
For an idea of what is in store, feast your eyes on some of the events that are on offer!
The Frietkot Walk: All year round
Fritkots are a version of the Chippie and there is no better place than Brussels to demonstrate the appreciation of the humble fry than a special walk dedicated to take you to ten of the city's most famous chip stalls. Recipes involve expert double frying at specific temperatures to attain the "perfect" chip and with an array of mouth-watering sauces to compliment the finished product. The experience is something that surely can't be missed!
Cinetmatec - Films on Food: All year round
A total of 24 international films, aired twice a month will be entirely dedicated to the world of gastronomy. A family film will be shown every month on a Saturday. The films end with the opportunity to taste the food featured and by the end of the year, an entire menu will have been covered. Starting from January at Salle Ledoux at Cinematek. Tickets start at just €12 per person.
Brusselicous Breakfasts: All year round
Hotels the length and breadth of Brussels will be boasting the best in pastries in celebration of the Brusselicious festival this year. Typical breads and other regional produce of Brussels will feature on menus for the whole year.
The Tram Experience: February
Very much part of everyday Brussels life, the tram is put to work as an exclusive mobile restaurant! Enjoy a gastronomic meal created by Michelin starred chefs throughout the year. A 2 hour circuit whizzes you on a tour departing every evening for up to 34 diners. The price for this exclusively romantic experience is €75 per person and commences on Valentine's Day.
Brusselicious XXL: April - September
A demonstration of 35 monumental sculptures characturing typical Belgian food and drink products such as chips, mussels, Brussels Sprouts, chocolate bars and a glass of beer. Local artists have been given a free reign to design the objects which will be displayed in some of the most popular public parks around the 19 districts of Brussels from April to June this year. The full collection will be gathered for display in Brussels Park from July to September.
Dinner in the Sky: June
As the title suggests, this major feat involves a restaurant venue on a platform suspended 40 metres above the ground with the help of a crane! Meals are prepared by Michelin starred chefs and there are four locations for each event, each will take place in a different location in the centre of the city. Seven of the most renowned Brussels' chefs will be hosting the meals: Yves Mattagne of SeaGrill**,Lionel Rigolet of Comme chez Soi**,Pascal Devalkeneer of Chalet de la Forêt*,David Martin of La Paix* -Giovani Bruno of Senza Nome*Luigi Ciciriello of La Truffe Noire* and Patrick Vandecasserie of La Villa Lorraine. Sites include the Atomium, Place de Palais, Boise de la Cambre and the Cinquanternaire. Meals are served daily twice a day and cater for 22 places from 4th June to 1st July.
Dinosaur Dinner: June
On the 14th -15 June,The Gallery of Dinosaurs at the Brussels Museum of Natural Sciences will be the backdrop to one of seven thematic dinner venues during the Brusselicious festival. One of many interesting venues, the dinner marks an exhibition which looks into the five senses.
Mussels and Chips @ Brussels Beach: July
One of the seven thematic dinner locations, this involves an opportunity to enjoy Moules Frites against the backdrop of the man-made beach at Brussels Le Bains in the (hotly anticipated!) heat of July. Enjoy generous portions of chips and mussels and relax on the shores of the sandy beach created each year for the city's sun-worshippers. The dinner takes place on 23rd July 2012.
Brusselicious Festival: September
The highlight of this prestigious festival takes place from 6-9 September. Representing its milestone event, a superb banquet is planned. Hundreds of marquees will be erected and a food festival extraordinaire is predicted. Samplers, food demonstrations, speciality food producers will represent the very best in breweries, chocolatiers, bakeries etc. Admission will be free and visitors need only pay for the drinks and food they consume. Visiting on an empty stomach is suggested and prepare for the feeding of a lifetime! 6-9 September 2012
Brussels Wine Week: September
Not something most would associate with Belgium but wine making is alive and thriving in Brussels. Belgian Winegrowers will be profiling their best wines to consumers in a variety of events. Most notable is but from 21 -23rd September, dedicated to roadshows, seminars, tasting and visits to wine cellars.
Savouring Brussels - Slow Food: September
The Karikol Convivium has introduced the concept of Slow Food in Brussels and Savouring Brussels festival is the annual event celebrating this concept. Its theme this year is Brussels' vegetable gardens and celebrates the flavours of fresh produce and the use of seasonal vegetables. Over 70 restaurants are involved in the venture and will engage in coming up with special menus to celebrate the festival.
Chocolate Demonstration by Master Chocolate makers: October
Every day, from the 1st October, there will be an hour's demonstration by Maison des Maitres Chocolatiers on the Grand Place. Everything you wanted to know about chocolate, cocoa, pralines, and Caraque,( a type of chocolate made from flavoured or spiced solid chocolate) specially created for Brusselicious will be explained, demonstrated and available to taste!
Brussels Chocolate Festival: November
This event takes place during Chocolate week, from 1-11 November 2012. The Brussels chocolate festival has dedicated itself to a series of evening events including visits to workshops, entertainment and conferences. Takes place at Brussels Tours and Taxis from 1-4 November 2012.
Chippie Festival: November
The Chip stand is a national institution in Belgium and therefore it is fitting that the best chip stands in Brussels are given the chance to show off their delicious products. The competition begins in November 2012.