Brusselicious year in Brussels. They describe it as “a year or more to (re) discover the gourmet delights of the capital of Europe. Events, demos chefs, mouth places not to the products created for the occasion.” Brusselicious was launched by the Belgian Tourist Office to showcase Brussels and Wallonia, French-speaking Belgium, as a gastronomic destination.
The celebration includes food movie screenings with food and wine (they’re including some of my faves like Babette’s Feast). Each season, they are selecting 3 typical ingredients for participating restaurants and hotels to show case on menus. The ingredient of the moment is escargot. There’s a frites walk with the top 10 places for frites, and much more.
I happened upon the Brussels Park where I encountered the cutest touch of kitsch, sculptures of Brussels’ most famous dishes including mussels, frites, chocolate bars, and of course beer. These were some of my favorites with descriptions taken from Visit Brussels BE:
Cornet De Jambes: (Jérôme Désert & Sébastien Boucherit) Legs come in every shape and size – be they masculine or feminine, plump or slim, and sensual or hairy. They are represented here in their cone as a consumer product, thus changing them from real to apparent legs, in line with fashion’s demands. Based on an original idea of Dorothée Schoonooghe.
La Moule A Gaufre: (Jérôme Désert & Sébastien Boucherit) A work that is very proud of its word play, combining two jewels of Belgian gastronomy: the mussel and waffle. it is surrealistic and thus very typical of Brussels. Jointly made by sébastien Boucherit and Jérôme désert. Based on an original idea by S. Boucherit.
Bruxelles C’est Choux: (Jérôme Désert & Sébastien Boucherit) A stork, symbolising rebirth, is carrying a huge Brussels sprout in its beak. An optimistic solution to the so-called ‘Brussels problem’, because the problem here seems to be so inconsequential.
Melting Pot: (Collectif Caocao) The beer glass is customized with 3d faces made of polyester. it features face molds taken from 19 Brussels citizens, one from each of the city’s communes. The color code matches beer’s real color, so these faces remain visible even at a distance of 100 meters. The facial expressions conveying pleasure have been worked on, with the aim of creating a sense of shared pleasure when drinking a beer.
Dites Lui Avec Des Frites (Jean-Marc Collier) Who could have come up with the idea of offering a huge cone of chips to their loved one? it was Jacques Brel who first mooted the idea of transforming a bag of chips into a bouquet of flowers, in the lyrics of his song “Les Bonbons”. He offers sweets “because flowers are ephemeral…”, although the advantage of chips as flowers is that they elicit the response “that’s delicious” and they look “better.”
Yummy Yummy: (Patrick Croes aka Jellyfish) A work dedicated to Christopher (Columbus, of course), to thank the explorer for his discovery of chocolate and the bright idea of bringing it to Europe. it goes without saying that the best-known chefs have made good use of this dark gold, crammed with ingenuity and filled with a hint of typically Brussels originality. for the young and old alike – as well as those who like chocolates with a soft center, mousse or filled with cream – the small box of chocolates is a universal favorite.
Cornet des Pastels (Bruno Delplanque) A transposition of his view of Belgium’s qualities: a profusion and confusion of colors, overflowing onto a relatively sober and inconspicuous cone.
Empreinte: (Isa derecque) ‘empreinte’ (print) is isa derecque’s way of representing all of our lives through plastic and impersonal material. A print consisting of paths and barriers is created with a collage of vinyl strips. This is a life map, which we can all identify with: these maps are all similar but each one is also unique.
Brassica Lampyridae: (Marie-Hélène Ellebout) By day it’s just a Brussels sprout. But when dusk descends, it glows as if it were alive. This glow gradually dissipates over the course of the night. After dawn and throughout the day, the phosphorescent coating is recharged by daylight, only to glow again when night returns.
Fritishisme(Alexandre-Igor Everard De Hazir) The chip and its cone are symbols of Brussels’ gastronomic culture, and are eaten with many different sauces…is this a cone or a corset? or something else altogether? No matter. Let’s all give in to temptation!
Casseroles D’un Moule: (Alexandre-Igor Everard De Hazir) A homage to Marcel Broothaers, the most-famous pan filled with mussels.
Bruxellus Nombrilus: (Alexandre-Igor Everard De Hazir) The people of Brussels are said to be know-it-alls (dikkeneks), but they have a heart of gold… They often think the world revolves around them. But this does not stop them from welcoming others warmly and with good humor, telling them lots of tall tales… a bit like this one. ‘Non, peut-être?’, as they say in Brussels.
Miam: (Areti Gontras) This artist is notable for her bizarre vision of the world around her. Common places suddenly become strange and poetic. she draws and will happily use any media, provided she feels a sense of exhilaration!
L’Impasse Est Dans la Bière: (Areti Gontras) There is a brilliant bar located at the end of the saint-Nicolas cul-de-sac. Visitors can taste Belgian beers while enjoying the wonderful feeling of being ‘divorced from the real world’. it’s an appropriate and inspiring location! And let’s not forget, a small beer can lead to highly pleasurable situations…
Golden Moule: (Valérie Kools-Fontibus) This shellfish – the queen of the cooking pan, a jewel in Belgian gastronomy – should be given all the praise it deserves. it is covered with copper leaves, making it both precious and magic.
Moules Fr’Hits: (Fabienne Massart) Place a collection of thinly sliced 45s on a large mussel which has been cooked just right.Let it simmer… listen carefully… and you may even hear it sing!
La Moule de Jules Verne: (Karha Nizharaze) The mythical mussel in two dimensions: interior and exterior, with distinct graphic representations which are built around fictional stories. its interior is a bright day’s sky, with stylized white clouds floating in a clear blue sky reminiscent of the skies of Magritte and renaissance frescoes; its exterior is dark, recalling the mysterious darkness of the ocean depths inhabited by sea creatures found in Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the sea.
A Large Cone with Brussels Sauce Please: (Oli-B) We are all familiar with the cone of chips. People from all walks of life eat from cones, so they could be seen as something that brings us all together. Here the cone is presented as a link between the various different cultures that make up Brussels today. The colored chips in various shapes represent our diverse society. The cone thus becomes a paper medium to illustrate this cosmopolitan aspect of the capital. it spotlights the mix of characters, colors and shapes that live side by side and it offers people a vision of the positive aspects of these mixes.
La Fierté Des Belges: (Merab Surviladze) The Brussels sprout symbolizes the city and this work spotlights the mix of architectures found throughout the Belgian capital, as well as the contrasts between the old and modern. its compact and spherical shape suggests a concentration of energy and the city’s atmosphere is illustrated in a dreamlike and almost surrealistic vision.
Typography: (Anna Tourvon) Typographical wrapping for a symbolic food.
Panorama: (Sophie Vink) Metamorphosis of a cone of chips: buildings wrapped in a map of Brussels.
Pixel: (Sophie Vink) This slab of chocolate can be seen in two ways. Up close, it is a collection of black and white squares; from a distance, we make out the shape of st Nicholas.
Sint Lucas, We Always Want More: (Ecole Supérieure Des Arts) The idea is to create thirsty little people who climb the glass beer. With wide-open mouths, they gaze at the overflowing froth. They are clearly very determined: nothing is impossible! We always want more