For the latest edition of our gastronomic event Masterchef Monday we invited Jonas and Laurence Haegeman, brother and sister of the booming family business 'De Vijf Seizoenen' in Brakel. It became a true revelation for the young cooking talents. ‘Getting creative with food surpluses made us think even more about cooking and the food waste problem', according to Jonas. 'How do we make the most out of discarded vegetables and fruits that are slightly deformed or have spots, but still have the same quality and are therefore perfectly edible? How to work with them creatively so that they get the best chance on the plate? In that sense Masterchef Monday was an interesting and educational experience. With our vegetarian and 100% vegan menu, we wanted to inspire our guests and show them that things can be done differently. For one of the snacks, the espuma of peas, we recovered the pellets to serve them fried as a crust. The asparagus also deviated from the usual 'perfect' shapes and sizes. We masked that by cutting them. We fermented the peels, which usually end up in the rubbish bin. With that gravy we seasoned the dish. That zero food waste approach is still in our minds and we try to apply it more than ever in our own kitchen.
Why do people waste so much? Jonas: 'It has to do with different factors, I think, such as education. But the supply also plays a role. Only beautiful-looking fruits and vegetables still make it onto the store shelves today. That, of course, does not correspond with reality. We have lost the connection with the products in itself. '
In their own restaurant De Vijf Seizoenen, the duo is particularly interested in vegetables from local farmers, as well as herbs that they pick in the wild to raise their dishes to the level. 'We also work with local products for quality and authenticity, products are at their best in the region where they grow and thrive. They also contain everything we need because they grow in the same climate as we live (nature is self-sufficient). And sustainability also plays a very important role in our way of working. '
They got this passion from an early age. "Our grandparents were macrobiotic, as it was called back then. In macrobiotics it is important that you eat what grows around you, on the rhythm of nature and the seasons. The human body needs that, that's what we were told. But in today’s world we lost that focus. We no longer listen to our bodies or to nature. Unfortunately, we are too busy with other things. Nature is very important in our way of working. We work locally and follow the seasons. Our no waste philosophy is a logical consequence of this, respect for the products and for nature. And a nice side-effect: it also stimulates creativity.’
Check out the video we made about the young chefs and our event below!
Menu Jonas and Laurence Haegeman - Masterchef Monday 25th of June
Eggplant cream / Soy wafer / Hairdressers
Carrot lacquered / Citrus / Millet
Peas foam / mint smoked
Red beet 'tartar' with Kohlrabi / Coffee grits
Broccoli with Save 'emulsion' / Young onion / Leek 'flower'
Asparagus with Almond / Cauliflower / Wild chervil
Turnip with Mustard leaf / beer lees / apple vinegar
Maitake 'eikhaas' with Zucchini / Carrot 'fermented'
Fennel and Apple with Sorrel / Buds herb
Recipe fermented asparagus peels
peels of 8 asparagus
4 coriander stalks
1 dl vegetable stock
pinch S1 sugar
pepper and salt
1/ Put the peels in a glass jar and place with salted water (20g per liter).
2/ Add coriander stems here. Make sure that the peels stay well below (use a weight for this if necessary).
3/ Cover the pot with a cheesecloth and let it ferment for a week at room temperature.
4/ Use the juice in a sauce or as a drink.