Gert de Mangeleer, the chef of three Michelin star restaurant Hertog Jan in Zedelgem, Bruges hosted a four hands lunch with Yusuke Takada from 2 Michelin star restaurant La Cime in Osaka, Japan on 24 August.
Also present for the event were chefs Zaiyu Hasegawa of restaurant Den in Tokyo which holds 11th place in Asia’s 50 Best and 45th place in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants) and Hiroyasu Kawate, chef of Florilège, 14th in Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants. They helped Yusuke prepare his dishes for the four hands lunch before cooking with Gert a dinner on the same day.
The event, organised with the support of Visit Flanders and Arts Flanders Japan aimed to raise awareness of this Belgian region while introducing a few Japanese and international media to some of Gert and Joachim Boudens favourite suppliers and fellow chefs.
Takada is the most western of the three chefs that cooked at Hertog Jan, also because of the time he spent in France during his formative years.
The lunch was characterised by the subtle flavours of Takada’s cuisine who took inspiration from the produce he found at Hertog Jan’s garden as well as the produce which he is familiar with given his time in France and the bold flavours of Gert’s cooking.
Maybe Takada’s best dish of the day was the collaboration with Gert de Mangeleer which resulted in a combination of duck and eel. Takada served a perfectly cooked aged duck breast with a smoked eel sauce which he served with ‘burnt’ paprika while Gert complemented the dish with duck liver, eel and young radish. A unique and unusual combination which worked incredibly well.
Takada served a black pudding of pork Seigneur de Vidaigne with a Brussels sprout and clam mayonnaise, whiting, kohlrabi and Spanish sorrel and another dish with celeriac, cepes and goats cheese topped with hazelnuts. For dessert, he went for a classic combination of white chocolate with strawberry and verbena.
On the other hand, Gert started the lunch with Belgian cured beef, cucumber and sprat served in the form of a canneloni. It was followed by crispy pork skin with rilettes and Babi Pangang.
He then served mackarel with cucumber and royal Belgian caviar. Maybe his most stunning dish of the lunch was a new creation which combined raw langoustine, beetroot and raspberry and which was not only stunning in presentation but also in the taste and texture.
For dessert, the Belgian chef made a classic (which he sometimes serves in the form of a savoury dish. This was a potato, vanilla and coffee tiramisu, a surprising but stunning dessert.
Gert de Mangeleer will this month spend two weeks in Japan and he will reciprocate the visit by cooking at La Cime.
All photos by Piet De Kersgieter.
We were guests of Hertog Jan, Visit Flanders and Arts Flanders Japan.