Christophe Hardiquest, chef of Brussels 2 Michelin star restaurant Bon Bon will this week be hosting 19 chefs from across Europe from Albert Adria to Fulvio Pierangelini, Davide Scabin to Enrico Crippa, Mauro Colagreco to Magnus Ek.
Following our extensive interview which you can read here, this is a question and answer interview from our series where we get to know a bit more about the chefs we interview.
Who would you consider to be your mentors?
Alain Passard. He is a good friend of mine. I would describe him as a genius of simplicity. I love his power. He works with contrast. I really like him and his personality.
I also like Pierre Gagnaire. He is a real artist, a crazy artist. His career is crazy. When you read his book and where he is coming from, you can understand his story.
Your best meal ever?
Alain Passard. With several simple things.
Who are the new chefs to watch in Belgium
I would mention three young chefs from the Flemish part of Belgium. Tim Boury and Maarten Bouckaer of Castor. Then there is Michaël Vrijmoed.
What made you choose cooking as a profession?
Only the generosity of sharing a meal. When we cook, we feel we are giving a part of us. That was how I felt when I was 15 years ago and seeing my grandmother cooking for other people. It was important for my character and it is the reason why I cook.
Do you cook at home?
Always. I like to cook simple things at home. Tomatoes with shrimps, pasta. My wife also cooks a lot.
Is there something you don’t eat?
Before yes but now I eat everything because it is a part of my job. Before, I would not eat octopus but now, I can prepare it and I like it.
What’s your favourite dish?
For me it would be Hachis Parmentier with tomatoes, mushrooms, spinach and potatoes. It is a dish that reconnects me to my childhood.
What technology in a professional kitchen do you think should be in a home kitchen?
I love the vacumn system. It is incredible what you can do with this.
What are your favourite places to eat in Belgium and outside.
In Belgium, there are to many places but one place I love is Friture Rene in Brussels. It is a place where you can go and eat extremely well and its simple. A chef needs simple things during the weekend. I love to eat meat balls, chicory, the typical Belgian dishes, comfort food.