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“Lobster was our first choice for the main ingredient…” 1 minute

  Oct 19, 2015

The Bruges cooking festival Kookeet celebrated its fifth anniversary at the end of September. Thirty top chefs took part in the three-day event, including Geert Van Hecke (godfather of the festival), Peter Goossens, Gert De Mangeleer and, last but not least, Hermes Vanliefde of the Bruges restaurant Rock-Fort. In a relaxed atmosphere, this restaurant served rock lobster — a delicious dish of lobster with a light and airy shellfish béarnaise sauce. Hermes Vanliefde explains further:

rockfort“My colleague Peter Laloo held a workshop during Kookeet called ‘Cocktail shaking, no alcohol’, with a focus on cocktails for kids. I was responsible for the lobster dish. First we looked for different components that would fit perfectly with the lobster. For me, those were butter, garlic and tarragon. We used the butter in the shellfish béarnaise sauce and in the lobster mousseline, with a lobster stock reduction. We cut the tarragon finely and mixed it with salt. Finally we incorporated the garlic in preserved goose fat, which was then added to the potato purée.”

Quality product

“The dish fit perfectly with the Rock-Fort philosophy. There had to be an element of acidity (the béarnaise) and a crunch (dry breadcrumbs mixed with squid), all bringing to mind the habitat of the lobster. It was always our first choice to use lobster as the main ingredient. You need a quality product that you can serve for three days to hundreds of people. The lobster from Pittman met this criteria perfectly.”

Flexible reaction

“We’ve been working with Pittman without any regrets for two years already. To give you an idea of what we mean: the dish was so successful that we had already gotten through our entire stock of lobster by the Sunday evening. Pittman was able to respond very quickly, so that by Monday morning we were ready to start serving again without any delay.”

Culinary treasures from the sea

“The lobster was excellent, but we like to keep looking to the next challenge. Our next culinary experiments will involve cockles and oysters.”