Who will win the title of 'Best shrimp croquette' in Brussels?
The shrimp croquette, a staple of Belgian gastronomic heritage, now has its own competition in Brussels. On 22 October, 25 chefs will be brought together to showcase their talent and take a shot at the title 'Best shrimp croquette in Brussels'.
Crisp on the outside and creamy on the inside with a golden-brown breadcrumb coating: the shrimp croquettes that we know and love can't be made by just anyone. That is why this competition has been organised by visit.brussels, the tourism communication agency for the Brussels Region whose missions include promoting the capital's culinary scene.
The competition will take place on 22 October in the prestigious restaurant 'Comme chez Soi'**. A panel composed of about a dozen culinary columnists, including Carlo De Pascale and Eric Boschman, and headed by the establishment's former three-star chef Pierre Wynants, will taste these 'little gems of local cuisine' blindfolded. The jurors will then complete a scoring sheet covering different criteria: size/shape, cooking, serving temperature, breadcrumb coating, frying of parsley, presentation, mixture, number of prawns and taste.
The participants, who are allowed an assistant, come from well-known Brussels institutions - ‘La Belle Maraîchère’, 'Chez Léon' and even 'Restaurant Vincent' - but also high-quality restaurants which are lesser known, such as 'L'atelier de Willy' and 'La Guinguette en Ville'. They have made themselves known thanks to a social media call for chefs from the 19 municipalities in the Region.
Olivier Marette, head of culinary projects for visit.brussels, explains: 'Chefs can come with their croquette mixture already prepared to allow it to rise, but the breadcrumb coating must be done on site the day of the competition. This way the jurors can verify that everything is actually "homemade"'.
Only the top 10 will be revealed to the public the evening of 22 October. The winner will be entitled to use the title of 'Best shrimp croquette in Brussels' for an entire year following the announcement of the results.