‘There’s life and vitality and messiness and ugliness – but realness’

Matthew Abrams

Last Saturday, Suzy and I hosted the sixth event for Kinfolk Magazine in Belgium.  The theme: a Wabi Sabi meal. This Japanese philosophy embraces the imperfect and stands for earthiness, orientation toward the present, simplicity and unpretentiousness.

To start with, we found an industrial location, Kerk Gent, old factory buildings waiting to be torn down and redeveloped…  We decorated the place with recycled materials from junk shops – curtains became table cloths, carafs turned into vases – and lots of materials from nature – weathered branches, spiky chestnuts, wildflowers….  The fantastic boys from Sir Catering developed a menu of many small dishes where the pure tastes of two or three ingredients could be enjoyed.  On the table were organic wines from C’est Party, as well as matched teas from Qualitea time.  When darkness fell, we were all drawn to the softly percolating coffee by Or.

We had such a great time meeting new people, and greeting old friends… and are already dreaming of the 2015 gatherings.  If you would like to keep up to date, subscribe to the Kinfolk newsletter or here.

All of the above pictures are by the wonderfully talented photographer Melissa Milis, find more photos on facebook or see the full set here.

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Every since we’ve been back from our holiday in Greece, I’ve been eating greek yoghurt with honey and walnuts like it’s one of the major food groups.  It was one of the recurring breakfast dishes at our hotel and instantly takes me back …  This terracotta bowl from my webshop is just the right size to get the perfect proportion yoghurt / nuts / honey. I only have a few left, get it from here.

PS Like our new table cloth?  For the Kinfolk event we decided to decorate as much as possible with found and recycled materials.  I got these curtains from the local junk shop for 2.5 euro and have been using it as quick and easy table covering….

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After the Kinfolk event on Saturday night (more pictures coming soon!), we stayed in Ghent and had a lovely lunch at Superette.  I had heard so many good things about this Kobe Desramaults bakery.  Well to be correct it is more of a team effort with Rose Greene (who will be giving a workshop on fermentation during the Krachtvoer food festival this weekend) and Sarah Lemke (who is responsible for the amazing bread).

The brunch definitely did not disappoint.  We had the CCC Punch which was a cocktail but as it had carrot juice in it, we were counting it as a vegetable serving….  It had a lovely spicy taste and was made with caraway seeds, celery eau de vie, bitters and vermouth.  The pumpkin cake with burrata was sweet and creamy, the chicken caesar wonderfully fresh!

 

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Come join Suzy and me as we organize the sixth Kinfolk event in Belgium on October 11.  As the days are getting shorter, we invite you to celebrate the beauty of imperfection with us.   We will look to nature for inspiration with earthy flavours and embrace the beauty of simple tastes and seasonal produce. The October gathering will take place in Gentbrugge in the old Sidaplax factory buildings.

Enjoy this evening filled with good food, warm encounters and cosy conversations.

Location & Date
October 11 – 18.30

Kerk Gent, Kerkstraat 24, 9050 Gentbrugge

Tickets
22 tickets available – $ 85.00
Ticket price includes aperitif, food and wine

 Tickets can only be booked directly from the Kinfolk events page here from today.

Photos of the previous Kinfolk gathering by Melissa Milis

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I have finally joined Instagram come find me here…. be prepared for lots of images of yummy food in pretty bowls….

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I don’t think anyone who really knows us will be surprised by this diary of our trip to London.  Yes, we did some exhibitions (I highly recommend the Radical Geometry exhibition at the Royal Academy) and shopping (we liked Margaret Howell, Selfridges and Marylebone High street), but mainly we went to London to catch up with friends and enjoy the food… The highlights:

Dabbous

Intrigued by the accolades heaped upon chef Oliver Dabbous, we have been trying to eat at this restaurant in Whitfield Street ever since it opened (as we usually book our london trips 4 months in advance, this will give you an idea for how hard it is to get a table here).  We started off with some fabulous cocktails downstairs: the Sting & Police was a blend of pink peppercorn infused scotch shaken with lemon verbena and smoked black tea.  The day Christopher Ralm Left a concoction of americano, manuka honey, lemon verbena, orange blossom and mead.  The food that followed was mind blowingly tasty and fresh and served with delicious sourdough bread and smoked butter: peas and mint, a coddled egg nestled in straw with tiny pieces of mushroom, barbequed skate with cockles and scottish raspberries as dessert.  Remember: patience is a virtue, keep trying to book here people and if you have any connected friends, shamelessly use them!

Attendant

A coffee shop in an underground deserted public toilet definitely sounds weird but we liked the atmosphere and coffee here so much we even braved hurricane Bertha for a second visit.  The cold brewed coffee was very intense but refreshing and the salted caramel brownie out of this world good .

Lovage

Right next door to the Ace Hotel in Shoreditch, Lovage offered the best juice menu we’ve ever seen (with roots and bulbs a close second).  I loved the Banana & soy shake which included tahini, dates, lucuma powder, pink rock salt and wildflower honey.

Ceviche

Peruvian food seems to be a new trend.  The ceviche and pisco sours were very good here. Do order the corncake as a side to mop up all the lovely juices.

Ostuni

Close to where our hosts live, this place is not only convenient but also offers great authentic italian food (with some very friendly waiters).

 

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Having a ‘staycation’ in antwerp and looking for things to do?  The next two sundays mark the last occasion to taste the Otark pop up breakfast at Atelier Solarshop.  Hadas and Charlotte from Otark Productions cook up all kinds of deliciousness.  Last sunday we had the rubarb lemonade and shrimp on toast with fresh jalapeno and ginger sauce, as well as the chakchouka eggs fried in rosemary and cinnamon butter.  They also do a delicious yoghurt and muesli bowl with fresh fruit.  Can’t get there? Keep an eye on their website for other food related events such as the Otarkino cinema nights.

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