Restaurant Cecila in central Brussels may be closing its doors on 26 August but will return in a new location, the Brussels Gault & Millau young chef of the year 2017 Mélanie Englebin told Food and Wine Gazette. She may have become famous for sending out a Brussels politician from her restaurant when the pedestrian zone threatened to kill many businesses in central Brussels but this is not the sole reason why she has decided to move on.
“The kitchen I have is small and therefore places certain constraints on me. I would like to have a bigger kitchen to be able to develop my cooking and also add staff in the kitchen. I want to also increase the amount of covers to around 30 to 35,” she said.
Known for her love of seasonal ingredients and in particular fish she showcased some of her favourite all time creations during a press lunch recently (see our Instagram feed for more). These dishes are the ones that will be served over the coming weeks. “I might change a few dishes in August but in principle, I wanted to offer clients the last possibility to try some of the dishes that have made Cecila what it is today. Some of these dishes might find their way to the new restaurant,” she said though it is evident that the cooking is set to evolve and become more ambitious.
She still does not know in which part of Brussels (or outside Brussels) she will open her new restaurant. “I am looking at the South of Brussels and the Brussels periphery up to Overijse,” she said. “I’ve seen places but I’ll decide when I see the right place,” she said.
Mélanie hopes that the new Cecila will open in November.
One of the dishes she served was Pigeon and Calamari which was served with girolle mushrooms, broad-beans, peas, blueberries and a pigeon croquette. This is a dish that she has created 2 and a half years ago and is one which she normally serves in autumn or spring.
At the moment the young chef serves a fixed menu. “I had tried working with an a la carte menu but the kitchen is too small and it became too complicated. But I would really like to offer my clients the possibility to eat a la carte and come the dishes they like or have heard about,” she said.