About me

I’m a twenty-seven year old food lover living in Brussels. Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve loved baking cookies, cakes, desserts… As a student, I started cooking for myself and learned to love this as well. I went a year abroad to Spain, which is where I really started to pay attention to food: I explored the culinary treasures of the Spanish Southern kitchen and had more time to experiment in the kitchen myself. As an archaeology student, I went to excavate in Turkey, where I discovered the fantastic Turkish kitchen. Ever since these travels, I’ve been hooked on Mediterranean food, leaning towards an Eastern twist. One of my most treasured cookbooks is Turquoise by Greg and Lucy Malouf. I’ve yet to find one recipe in this book that doesn’t turn out to be delicious. Another great book is Bismilla Arabia by Merijn Tol and Nadia Zerouali.

Another passion of mine is party foods. I adore throwing parties, and making sure my guests have enjoyable finger foods is priority number one. The number one party food cookbook you can’t get around is definitely Martha Stewarts’ Hors D’Oeuvres Handbook. If you’re in the USA or can afford international shipping, buy this book! It’s my bible.

Furthermore, I get my inspiration from an ever-expanding collection of cookbooks and my favorite magazine, delicious. Some of the basic ones I can always depend on are Elizabeth David’s cookbook, Jamie Oliver’s books, the Cordon Bleu handbook for culinary techniques and my oldest and most trusted companion, the vegetarian student cooking guide .

You will notice that I post very few dishes including meat. That’s because I’m a vegatarian. I do eat fish, mainly because it’s too good to resist. However, I rarely eat ‘substitute products’ such as tofu or quorn. They’re definitey not a part of my weekly meals. In fact, I tend not to select anything on a restaurant menu that is labeled ‘vegetarian’ because I know it’s likely to be an attempt to recreate a meat dish, without meat. To me, it’s totally acceptable that coq au vin, vol-au-vent and cordon bleu contain meat. Why ruin them by replacing their most flavorful ingredients by something like tofu? Ever since I mistakenly ordered a vegetarian menu that turned out to be tofu vol-au-vent (oh the horror!) I abstain from anything called ‘vegetarian’ on a menu. Mostly, these dishes are created by cooks who think that a) vegetarians only eat vegetables (rabbit food, as some like to call them) and b) that we want something to resemble as closely as possible to what our carnivore neighbor is having. Wrong!

I just cook without meat, it’s as simple as that. I guess that’s what draws me to these Mediterranean kitchens: it sometimes seems like we’ve forgotten how to cook without meat in Belgium, while in the kitchens of the Middle East, Italy, Spain, Greece, all the way to India, places where meat used to be/still is quite a delicacy, people remember how to make the best of the land’s fresh produce. That, and I just love the way they aren’t as thrifty with spices the way we tend to be.

As an archaeologist, I’m always curious about ancient methods of cooking and preserving things. Nowadays, we all have a refrigerator – but how did people keep their foods fresh before? There were so many interesting ways to preserve food like drying, pickling, salting… I’m also interested in the traditional cooking methods that are mostly done by machines these days: how many people know how to make mayonaise (or even what it’s made of), vanilla essence, crème anglaise, broth, pate brisé or even pizza? We have so little time to make these ourselves these days, yet they are so much tastier (and cheaper) when we do it. When I have time, I make these things myself.

Lastly, I intend to post restaurant and eatery reviews on this blog. In July 2011, we moved to Brussels, a completely new culinary environment for me, one that’s filled with people from the entire world, some of which have been good enough to open restaurants which offer their local best. So far, we’ve tried Indian, Brazilian, Basque, Ethiopian, Thai, with hopefully more to come. In due time, I’ll write out some reviews of these experiences. Hopefully, this may help you find a good place to eat in this great and diverse European capital city!

7 Comments

  • Jeroen
    25 oktober 2011 - 9:01 am | Permalink

    Hey Aude,

    Ziet er goed uit! Lukt alles?

    Jeroen

  • Aude
    25 oktober 2011 - 9:08 am | Permalink

    Ja hoor! Dit weekend geen tijd gehad om nog een post te schrijven, maar er staan nog wel wat foto’s klaar… Ik zou enkel eens willen zien of ik de foto’s in posts niet wat groter krijg; maar once again nog geen tijd gehad om daaraan te prutsen. Als je daarvoor tips hebt, laat maar komen :) ben wel vrij tevreden met dit thema.

  • 19 juni 2012 - 8:10 am | Permalink

    Dag Aude,

    Heb jij ook een mailadres waarop je te bereiken bent? Mail het me gerust door! Alvast bedankt.

    Amaury

  • 19 juni 2012 - 8:12 am | Permalink

    Dag Aude,

    Heb jij ook een emailadres waarop je te bereiken bent? Mail het me gerust door. Alvast bedankt.

    Amaury

  • 21 juni 2013 - 12:21 pm | Permalink

    Hello!
    I just came across your blog while searching food blogs in Brussels and I love it! Although I am not a vegetarian, I appreciate your selection of international foods that cater to vegetarians. I also saw that you love to host dinners and that is why I am writing to you! I think you would love this new company called bookalokal. It is a food-networking platform where locals and travelers can enjoy a local eating experience while meeting new people who share their love for food. Every week there are events from dinners, to food tours hosted by local people in Brussels. I think you would have a great time hosting or even just attending a event! Feel free to email me if you want to find out more or just check out our site!
    bookalokal.com

  • 28 januari 2015 - 4:19 pm | Permalink

    HI Aude,

    We are a community of belgian based food bloggers – promoting, inspiring & motivating each other.
    We would love to include you in our next event (end of March 2014).
    Please drop us an email at brusselsfoodfriends(at)gmail(dot)com so that we can add you to our mailing list!

    thanks
    Max

    • Aude
      6 februari 2015 - 8:12 am | Permalink

      Hi,
      nice to get to know you! I’m sorry about my late response, have been very busy lately :-)

      I’ll be sure to send an email.

      Best regards
      Aude

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