At the same time as his sommelier Joachim Boudens, also brings Hertog Jan-chef Gert De Mangeleer a book. Are Unplugged is about how the cook cooks and eats when he is not behind his driesterrenfornuis. The Mangeleer in the daily life, an interview.
Chef Gert De Mangeleer brings in its driesterrenrestaurant Duke Jan a fresh and new kitchen top. In his new cookbook Unplugged, he shows the places and the international cuisines that inspire him, and he translates them into informal cuisine at home ready for family and friends – lacquered gaskin to Berlin balls, and kimchi to toast on the grill. The recipes don’t come out of the kitchen of Hertog Jan, could have come straight from his heart.
Your book is a lot more accessible than what you do every day at Hertog Jan. Is this a direction that you would like to go up?
THE MANGELEER: “Yes, that’s right. Hertog Jan has nothing to do with this book. The recipes lean to against the type of cuisine that we serve in the L. E. S. S., our tapas bar. Look, Hertog Jan is a fantastic piece of my life and will always remain so, but I can but a small tip of my creativity in it. Certain things do not fit in the story of Hertog Jan. I was gradually feeling that I could not quite out as I wanted and so I went looking for a different way to use my creativity to get rid of. That was a book with simpler, more accessible forms of food that I like to eat and that I make for friends and family as I have them myself at my home invite.”
You have it in your book a lot about cooking for your family. Do you understand it when people say that they don’t have time for?
“No, for me that is relaxation and pure enjoyment. An ideal Sunday, that is for me and my family went to Zeebrugge to go to buy fish on the barbecue and in the meantime then put together a side dish. For us are such moments real quality time: first, a little relaxation, some preparation, together new technology with an aperitif… Make cooking fun, enjoy it and most important: take your time.
If we want to have brunch, I go often to three different bakers. One makes delicious croissants, the other is better in chocoladekoeken and in the third are the rolls the best. I put rather a lot of time and energy in the best products and collect in too many special garnituurtjes. I will so rapper a two-hour long search for the best piece of meat and simple grilling than a poor piece of trying to cope with all kinds of trimmings where I have two hours to work on. I would say: keep it as simple as possible and explain the basis on your tastefully main product.”
You talk now, of course, on an idyllic Sunday. You can also on an ordinary weekday?
“The days that I from seven in the morning till two o’clock in the Hertog Jan stand, of course not. But when the restaurant is closed, I will do that certainly, and we make the food really familiemoment. There you should take some time for ship.”
One of the chapters in the book covers the return to the base. That is, after all, what compared to the sophistication in the Hertog Jan?
“In Hertog Jan, I work indeed with an ornate kitchen and with enormous attention to detail. But I also, along with 35 people. In your own kitchen at home you can the not to to in the same way to cooking. There, you can hold it better really simple, so fun with your guests at the table can sit. That is the most important?”
Is Asia, therefore, one of your biggest sources of inspiration? Because they have that simplicity as respects?
“Yes, certainly. Japanese is so pure and respects his ingredients so hard. And everything is also fine: even at the airport you will find sushi that is very properly prepared. It’s a very honest kitchen. But Singapore or China have a delicious culinary tradition. Over night in hong Kong street and the delicious smells coming at you. I discover so many new things that I each year a five or six times to will need to go back. And it’s all still there cheap too.”
“But, my kitchen is a summary of many travels. Also the mediterranean and North African cuisine inspire me. That are simple, but phenomenal. Also their style of food appeals to me: everything is in dishes put on the table and shared among the tafelgasten. A bottle of wine and it is immediately cozy.
Rich, that is also a word that I associate with cooking and eating. And I don’t mean that you always have caviar, and lobster to eat, but a full table where a lot of food on stands, so that everyone is satisfied, even if there suddenly have unexpected guests show up.”
Unplugged, Gert De Mangeleer (Luster, € 29,95)