Brabant has an industrious agricultural sector and inventive hospitality entrepreneurs. These two provincial characteristics come together nicely during the chef's dinner at Bijzonder Brabants from 8 to 12 August. Chef Jan van Hout will prepare a culinary 5-course dinner at Henk Kerker’s farm in Deurne.
Normally you would find Jan van Hout working in the kitchen of his restaurant Ons Jongens in Someren-Eind. His parents’ former snack bar now houses a beautifully decorated restaurant. Only 26 years old, Van Hout is one of the youngest chefs to have achieved this level of skill. In 2016, he even came second in the European Young Chef Awards, making him the second best young chef in the whole of Europe. In restaurant Ons Jongens, Van Hout does his utmost to use produce that is recognisable, seasonable and from Brabant. That’s how he got to know farmer Henk from Bijzonder Brabants, because he regularly orders his vegetables from him.
Henk Kerkers, better known as farmer Henk, bought farm De Breemortel in Deurne in 2014. Henk uses his land to grow so-called 'forgotten vegetables'. Vegetables you won't see sold at the supermarket, which is a shame, because they're very tasty. From purple kohlrabi to runner beans; Henk grows no fewer than 100 unusual vegetable and herb varieties.
From 8 to 12 August, Jan van Hout will prepare a 5-course dinner every evening for 40 guests on the farm of Bijzonder Brabants. He will be using as many ingredients as possible from farmer Henk’s own fields. The dinner is likely to introduce its guests to 20 to 40 vegetables and herbs from Henk’s garden. Between meals, farmer Henk will take you on a voyage of discovery in the vegetable garden. He will tell you how passionate he is about the vegetables he grows there. This way you can find out exactly where the dishes came from that you are about to eat.
And of course it is not possible for food to be any more locally grown than this! Your dinner will be prepared on the same ground as where it was grown.
With an initiative like this it is no surprise that Jan van Hout and Restaurant Ons Jongens are affiliated with Noord Brabant Culinair. This Brabant restaurant society counts as its members many creative chefs who like to keep innovating and also like to do something extra for their guests. The ‘Food at the Farm’ activity by Bijzonder Brabants is a good example of this.
There are a few tickets still available for the full evening programme in August via www.bijzonderbrabants.nl. (only in dutch)
If you will not be able to attend, then a good alternative would be to visit restaurant Ons Jongens in Someren-Eind, where you will also be able to enjoy Jan van Hout’s delicious dishes prepared with farmer Henk’s produce.
Anne Travel Foodie
Anne de Graaf is travel and food blogger at www.annetravelfoodie.com. On her website and social-media channels she loves to show her readers all the beautiful and delicious food, drink and more that Brabant