What inspired you to begin your blog, On Food and Wine?
I always thought that a culture is best discovered at the dinner table. People gathering together, sharing memories of their favorite food, cooking up traditional dishes to share with others. The blog was born out of a desire to discover more about Belgium and break through the ‘expat bubble’ and mingle with the locals, eat what they eat, and discover off-the-beaten-path restaurants, cafés and more.
Brussels is known for its Belgian treats, but what would most visitors be surprised to know about its culinary scene ?
I love the fact that Brussels is so varied and affordable. You can have lunch in a Michelin-star restaurant (without the months-long waiting lists of London or Paris), then enjoy an afternoon laid back coffee before maybe meeting friends for low-budget, high-quality brasserie food. The Belgian beer–inspired cuisine is starting to gain momentum, as are flagship restaurants focusing on particular, typical Belgian dishes. Another aspect which always impresses our guests — street food quality matches those of restaurants. So don’t be afraid to simply eat on the go while taking in the vibe of the city.
Although there are many foodie experiences to savor in Brussels, what spots do you absolutely recommend ?
Because I mostly tend to track down off-the-beaten-track foodie spots, my top four would be:
- breakfast coffee and croissant at Prelude in Saint Gilles
- leisurely lunch at Au Stekerlapatte
- afternoon cake and coffee at La Mercerie
- dinner with friends at Café des Spores
What has been the most memorable experience of your blogging adventures ?
I started blogging way back when blogging was not yet a ‘thing,’ so there have been a few memorable experiences — writing a Christmas Guide on Brussels for Olive Magazine UK, being invited to speak about my blogging experience, starting up Brussels Food Friends…
What’s next for On Food and Wine?
First of all I would love to find the time to get back into more regular blogging. Changes in the last few years on both professional and personal fronts mean that my non-blogging life has taken priority. One plan I have for 2016 is to start a regular feature on the blog on a Brussels 48h Guide.
How would you describe the philosophy behind your work in 80 characters?
I blog to reflect my passion for Brussels and for readers to enjoy discovering Brussels as much as I do.
Quickfire Question Series
Classic bistro or urban eatery?
There is a time and place to enjoy both. Classic bistro might win, though.
Stoofvlees or Vol-au-vent?
Stoofvlees, as I am a meat lover at heart. But I did recently have a to-die-for Vol-au-vent.
Tram Experience, purely based on comfort… I fail to see how eating in the sky can be comfortable. But I am up to be convinced otherwise.
Choose a Belgian market: Place du Grand Sablon or Gare du Midi?
Gare du Midi, as it oozes international Brussels, and I love the colors and the buzz. And if I manage to squeeze in a quick Moroccan flatbread filled with cheese, olives, and sun dried tomatoes, my Sundays are made!
Wine taste off: French wine or Italian wine?
After our recent trip to Italy, I am very partial to Italian wines. But French wines can hold their own, and I look forward to discovering more wines at the local Brussels Saint-Gilles Independent Winemakers Fair coming up in March.
Belgian chocolate or waffles ?
Belgian chocolate… and if I do give in for a waffle on a cold rainy day, it has to be the Liège type.