Belgian beer, waffles and chocolate are world famous. Less well-known is the fact that Belgium is a culinary paradise counting more Michelin stars per inhabitant than France, as well as an endless variety of world cuisine eateries and modern gastronomic restaurants.
Brussels, the Belgian capital, lies in the very heart of this all (both literally and figuratively). During a period of not less than 11 years, Alison Cornford-Matheson, author of travel stories and photographer, tasted her way through this gastronomic city and praised it as Europe’s still undiscovered ‘Foodie Mecca’. In her new book entitled ‘The Foodie Guide to Brussels’ she wanted to give the Belgian and especially the Brussels cuisine the attention she thinks they deserve.
"I’ve always had the feeling that Belgium is a chronically undervalued tourist destination” Cornford-Matheson points out. "One of the things that make Belgium so special to me is its wide variety of culinary delicacies, but nobody ever talks about Brussels or Belgium as a culinary destination. People living here are aware of this, but people outside Belgium have no idea. Especially the diversity is important to me. For this book I have tried to find a way of combining all this precious information and of making it more accessible for people living here as well as for tourists. As a matter of fact, the latter too want something different from the addresses that are repeated endlessly by the travel guides”.
Now, what exactly is it that defines the Belgian cuisine? “It’s a combination of various factors” the author replies. “The culinary scene in Belgium combines the best influences and examples from the surrounding countries and turns this combination into a unique Belgian product. Belgian chefs show more than adequate flexibility in using different ingredients and techniques.”