Written by Valerie Kuster
Written by Valerie Kuster
Being in Australia doesn’t make me forget about my recent trip to In de Wulf. After the 12 amazing courses we already enjoyed we were invited to come to the wood oven in the garden where Kobe himself would prepare an extra dish just for us. His version of the Northern French flammekueche accompanied by a nice home brewed beer called Mirabelle, named after his daughter. Both were really good again (of course) but the best thing is we had a chance to talk to the chef himself. Someone I respect very much for the things he’s doing at In de Wulf, De Superette and probably at (on my still ‘to visit’ list) De Vitrine as well.
It’s been more than a week already since my visit to Michelin starred restaurant In de Wulf and I still have no idea where to start. The 18 course menu? The beautiful location in the southern part of Belgium? Late night snacking with all of the staff? The breakfast the next day? Or the warm personality of Kobe Desramaults that shines through in everything? Which I already noticed visiting The Superette a few weeks ago.
Though you might not expect to read this much on a photography blog, I would recommend the foodies to stay tuned.
Kobe wants to take the whole process of cooking from beginning to end into his own hands by collaborating with local breeders and farmers and by foraging intensively. There are a lot of fields, dunes, and forests around Dranouter (where In de Wulf is located) where he and his entire team collect herbs, sea buckthorn, seaweed, mushrooms, poppies, meadow sweat, flowers… you name it. Because of this, and because of working seasonally, the menu changes daily.
So much happened in the 24 hours I spend there and I will share all of it with you but it’s too much for one post so I’ll start where I started: lunch. Entering the restaurant with a warm welcoming we were offered a tour through the kitchen right away before we got to our table.
We started our lunch with beet with a crumble of rye and lemon verbena followed by a crispy pork skin cracker with aioli, dusted with mustard powder. A very good start but it got even better with the arrival of the whelk clams with bay leaves vinaigrette, accompanied by a tartar of mussels from the North Sea. The smoked mackerel that arrived after that was in my opinion the best looking dish with smoke still coming out of the curry plant. But all the following dishes were very beautiful presented, well balanced and very tasteful as well. A poached egg yolk with radish flowers, Judas’s ear mushrooms with celeriac butter juice (!), asian style squid, smoked oyster on pine branches, raw scallop from Duinkerk with raw chestnut and fermented leak juice, smoked potato with a buttermilk potato espuma and a roasted root vegetable salad with topinambur and carrot. The 6 months riped and short roasted milk cow with red onion looked (and tasted) so delicious I even forgot to make a picture. Or maybe that was because I was quite impressed by mr. Desramaults serving this dish himself. They saved the best for last: the boudin noir (blood sausage) with a beetroot sauce and caramelized baby onions. Next to that a crispy pork head snack served on a pig’s skull. Normally I’m not a big fan of blood sausage and eating pig brains didn’t sound too appealing to me at first but in the end this was the best dish I had that day.
After this we had an extra course, specially made for us by Kobe himself in his wood oven outside but I’ll share pictures of this later.
We ended our meal with 3 desserts. The first one with beetroot, rose hip and yoghurt was my favorite, though I’m normally a bigger fan of heavy chocolate desserts. The second one was a new interpretation of the carrot cake with caramelized white chocolate and fermented carrot. The last one a mousse and a granita of apple.
The drip coffee was served with beignets, a meadow sweat cheese tart, a chocolate bar filled with caramel and a jelly of sea buckthorn with a verbena powder. This lunch accompanied by good wines and home-made juices was almost perfect but I told you it was a 24 hour lasting experience so keep posted for more on In de Wulf!
Heuvelland (Dranouter), Belgium
Ghent, only a ninety minute drive for me and still last year was the first time I visited this beautiful city with it’s cosy streets and relaxed atmosphere. De Vitrine and In de Wulf are still on my to do list but I decided to start with Kobe’s newest place ‘Superette’ for brunch. Kobe Desramaults started this wood fired bakery last May and together with his souschef Rose Greene and bread expert Sarah Lemke and they instantly made this place a must visit when you go to Ghent. The menu changes regularly but I was lucky to get myself a pastrami sandwich (yes, fetish! See my recent Katz’s post) with sauerkraut and Keiemtaler cheese and it was mind-blowing! The pumpkin cake with quinces and burrata made a good dessert for me. What else was perfect were the take-out cannelés from the bakery. Same thing for the bread, the croissants, the spelt frangipane, the monkey bread, chocolate cookies, the kouign amman pastries with chocolate, the butter.. Yes, I liked Superette. My next visit to Ghent will definitely include visiting De Vitrine.
Besides to breakfast and lunch Superette also serves dinner. You can find the menu on their website.