Lieve Byttebier runs the concept store Byttebier in Kortrijk, by far my favorite stop while in town. I’m a big fan of her blog Rue de SurĂ¨ne in which she tackles everyday cooking and dinner parties with ease, just how I like it. Stephanie Coorevits might best be known from her stint on Belgian tv last year when she participated in Hobbykok (so sorry, Stephanie, but I never got to watch it). In daily life however, she is a child psychologist and runs a succesful blog, The Kitchenary Tales, which ended up in a book as well.
The two of them launched their cooking workshop earlier this year, but I missed out on the first series because I was road tripping in the USA (not complaining here!). Luckily, my friend CĂ©line got hold of me in due time so last week we ventured out to Lieve’s loft in Kortrijk for a food pairing workshop.
First things first: Lieve’s loft is Pinterest come alive, seriously. I could easily move in there and while I’m at it, I would like to keep her 1,500 cook books as well (beautifully displayed in book shelves around the place).
Now that I’ve praised her crib, it’s on to the workshop itself. Food pairing is a method for identifying which foods go well together. Somehow this can be very obvious, but in many cases it proves to be not obvious at all. We started off with a couple of food pairing schemes centered around fall favorites such as butternut and parsnips. Lieve’s husband Koen provided us with a glass of bubbles and Stephanie had the most delicious appetizers in store (pumpkin fries!). We didn’t linger too long as there was work to be done. Each team went to the kitchen and prepared something for the dinner table. I teamed up with CĂ©line and we decided to give the banana bread a try for which we slightly adapted this recipe from Smitten Kitchen. We traded the bananas for parsnips and pumpkin and went the creative route when something wasn’t at hand.
By the end of the evening we all sat around the table, praising each other’s work in the kitchen. Honestly, I tried so many good things and learned so much from this workshop. It got me all creative so by the end of last weekend I had already come up with two new recipes based on the food pairing we did at Lieve’s home. I also met a bunch of lovely people. Honestly, I really hope to keep in touch with some of you ladies.
Last but not least, congratulations are in order for Lieve, with the release of her book. It’s so beautiful (she even took most of the photographs herself) and it’s a must-have for people who like easy done right. She might not know this, but I have served many of my dinner guests dishes inspired by her blog. Check out both her and Stephanie’s blog for much more recipes and tips. So sorry they’re both in Dutch, but I’m sure Google Translate will lend you a hand if you like anything you see on there.