At the prompting of Belgian Beer & Food magazine, young Louvain-based chef Niels Brants put three Silly beers at the heart of three new dishes.
Niels was instrumental in putting the Essenciel in Muntstraat restaurant on the culinary map. He is a member of Jong Keukengeweld (“Young Kitchen Violence”), a collective of young Flemish chefs (all below the age of 35). Before branching out on his own, Niels earned his culinary spurs at the 2-star Nuance in Duffel restaurant under the watchful eye of chef Thierry They.
Niels likes a Silly Rouge and chose this beer to create a splendid dessert. Niels’ creation is made with ice cream flavoured with beetroot, vanilla and pomegranate over which he pours a Silly Rouge syrup.
Triple Swaf, a beer that is that is best known in Belgium, was incorporated in Niels’ vegetarian starter: a light and creamy goat’s cheese encircled by fermented celeriac, radishes and circles of kohlrabi. The bitterness of the fermented vegetables complement the beer perfectly and the dish is topped with a croquette of Parmesan and Comté cheeses.
Abbaye de Forest has found its way into Niels’ main course: a fish fillet (baked in its own skin with a white seasonal asparagus, glasswort and a mousseline of Abbaye de Forest.
Niels Brants proves that high gastronomy and good quality beer go together naturally, and that Silly beers are excellent ingredients for quality dishes featuring seasonal produce.