If you follow my blog, you can’t have missed it. 2018 was the year that my region Brabant was awarded European Region of Gastronomy. Last week we had the end-celebration of the theme year Brabant Celebrates Food. This whole year the province Brabant has organized all kinds of activities related to food and gastronomy. As a proud ‘Brabantse’ I visited many events in my own province this year and experienced the gastronomy of Brabant in many ways. I did many cool things such as sleeping in a glass box and having a dinner by 3 Michelin star chefs. As the year is coming to an end, so is the theme year of Brabant Celebrates Food. But as true Brabanders with a heart for gastronomy we ended the theme year with a big end-celebration.
Visit Brabant invited several international journalists to be part of this end-celebration and showed them a few of the gastronomical things that Brabant has to offer. Part of the program was a celebration lunch. I got to invite some of my favorite fellow Dutch bloggers for this very special lunch program. So last week I enjoyed this wonderful lunch surrounded by a few of my favorite people like Cecilia from Ceskitchen, Ellen from Fab and Fit on a Budget and Gabriela from I am foodie traveler.
The lunch took place in a very unique location; the former women’s wing of the prison in Breda. It was a very original setting for the closure party of Brabant Celebrates Food. The table was beautifully decorated by Enjoy Pure Styling, who also decorated our table at the Brabants Bloggers Breakfast that I organized a few months ago. She showed the hospitality of Brabant with the decorations on the tables and colors that suited this season wonderfully.
We really got spoiled during the lunch. We started with an amuse bouche by Soenil Bahadour. Soenil is the chef of two Michelin star restaurant de Lindehof in Nuenen. He can turn any ingredient into something really special by using seasoning and techniques from his roots in Surinam.
The starter was made by Tim Bressers, ambassador of the European Young Chef Awards and sous-chef at Restaurant Taste by Dirk in Den Bosch. Soenil made the main dish again. I got a vegetarian version with regional vegetables prepared in the Soenil way. It was incredible to experience how much flavor he can give to ‘simple’ local vegetables.
After all this food it was time for a little walk. We had a walking tour that showed us several Blind Walls paintings. The Blind Walls Gallery is like an open-air museum throughout the city Breda. On many spots in the city you’ll find graffiti work from international artists inspired by stories from Breda. You can download an app to find all the artworks or book a tour with a guide that can tell you all about the stories behind the works.
After our walk we went to a real Brabantse pop-up restaurant. Food design studio Ravanello has a unique pop-up restaurant in the month December in Breda. They’re located in ‘De Teruggave’, the former tax office of Breda. Ralph from Ravanello created a real Brabants dessert for us, with ingredients, recipes and colors from Brabant. And with the typical Brabant word ‘hoedoe’, which means ‘goodbye’.
A very symbolic dessert as we also say goodbye to the year of Brabant Celebrates Food. It’s time to pass on the stick of European region of Gastronomy to the next region. But even though this theme year has passed, there are always so many ways to experience gastronomy in Brabant. You can book a room at the oldest hotel of the Netherlands for example or enjoy a food and walking tour in Den Bosch.
As a proud Brabander living in Tilburg, I’m often sharing restaurant and hotel reviews in Brabant. Subscribe to my monthly newsletter to never miss a new post.