Waterzoï, carbonnade flamande or boulets de Liège… Belgian cuisine is especially known for its specialties based on meat or fish. But another trend is trying to find a place on the tables of the countryside: veganism. This Friday, April 22, the first vegan gourmet restaurant in Belgium will open its doors in Merelbeke, West Flanders. Called “Amaranth”, this establishment swaps classic recipes for plant-based, fresh and refined creations to prove that you can feast without having to kill a single animal.
At the origin of this project are two enthusiasts: Carmen Duytschaever and chef Pieter-Jan Lint. With their vegan and gastronomic concept, unique in Belgium, this couple has the firm intention to push the lines, as reported The Brussels Times† And rightly so, their menu excludes meat, fish and any other product of animal origin without compromising on taste or sophistication. A daring gamble in a country that remains predatory.
Relive classic cuisine in a plant-based version
Chef Lint cut his teeth in the kitchen with big names in the trade, mainly trained “to classic French cuisine” and used to using “lots of cream and butter”as he noted The last news† But Lint has a predilection for vegetables and herbs and makes it a point of honor to work with organic products. He therefore naturally turned to vegan cuisine and quickly became a reference in this field in Belgium.
Carmen Duytschaever, for her part, comes from a butcher’s family and was used to eating meat. “But behind this piece of meat there is also suffering. Even a slice of cheese hides a sad story. While milk production requires a lot of water and is bad for the environment, cows also have to endure a lot”says Duytschaever, quoted by The Brussels Times†
With Amaranth, the two owners hope to put a different spin on gourmet cuisine, more plant-based. For example, on their menu we find a revised “white lady”, made without cream but based on boiled and mixed rice, cane sugar and a hint of vanilla. The chocolate sauce is made with pure cocoa, with no added butter, cream or milk. As an appetizer, customers can also sample a dish called “Roots & Cheese”, based on carrots, ginger, bergamot and cheese.
“We are convinced that our way of cooking deserves a place in Belgian gastronomy.”
Restaurant Amaranth, located in Merelbeke, is open on Friday and Saturday. For more information, visit the establishment’s website by clicking here.