Roger Van Damme provides delicious ‘aperitif’ at Wezel Culinair and is full of praise for the festival: “Beautiful setting and ideal platform for the catering industry” (Schilde)

Jan Auman

247 euros is not a small amount to be allowed to sit in a ‘tent’. But the people we spoke to afterwards were very enthusiastic about the decor and what the chef of Het Gebaar managed to achieve with his team in that meadow in ‘s-Gravenwezel. “125 people is just manageable to cook at this level without sacrificing quality”, the acclaimed chef knows from experience.

He first guided his guests through the large festival site and stopped, among other things, in the champagne bar for supplies. Along the way, meatballs, eel in green and other delicacies were served on small plates as appetizers.

Yuzu and wagyu

The gastronomic feast continued afterwards in the immense bar of Wezel Culinair. From Roger’s well-equipped ‘field kitchen’, among other things, salmon gambera rosso in Thai style, a mousse of green curry, celery and candied yuzu (citrus fruit) and also Japanese wagyu beef with truffle. “Roger style stew”, the master sums up the main course for non-connoisseurs.

Van Damme also conjured up one of his signature dishes: tomato, with a tomato mousse, finished with a basil heart. And of course a dessert should not be missing from the chef who was trained as a pastry chef. That peak became a chocolate mousse with a crispy crust.

“Very creamy and the rest of the menu was a feast for the eyes and tongue”, is the verdict of Marian Van Alphen (Open Vld), who went home satisfied. The aldermen of the Local Economy wanted to encourage organizer Michel Van Genechten. Roger Van Damme himself does the same, who will continue to camp at Wezel Culinair all weekend along with dozens of other greats from the catering industry. “I’m going to bake delicious wafers myself”, he announces with that already tasty Zeeland accent of his.

Roger Van Damme on Wezel Culinary with organizer Michel Van Genechten, his sister Valerie and alderman Marian Van Alphen. — © YES


Roger Van Damme, who lives around the corner in Schotenhof, wants to say that he is impressed by the setting and the value of Wezel Culinair for his sector, which has not had it easy in recent years. “Organiser Michel Van Genechten offers a platform here on which you, as a professional catering man or woman, get a unique opportunity to present a business card with extras. You really shouldn’t miss out on this one and fortunately a lot of colleagues have understood that. The honorary title Pearl of the Voorkempen is really appropriate for this event.”

“Consider it as a beautifully colorful culinary magazine, but with the added value that people can taste it right away”, Van Damme continues his eulogy. “And despite the modest entrance fee that is now being asked, this remains low-threshold. Beauty and good taste should not be confused with exaggerated luxury. That would do Weasel Culinary short. Everyone feels at home here.” (yes)

Wezel Culinary until Sunday 4 September in ‘s-Gravewezel aan De Kaak. website Weasel Culinary

Wezel Culinair's bar was the beautiful setting for this culinary nocturne.

Wezel Culinair’s bar was the beautiful setting for this culinary nocturne. — © YES

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