Julius Blum GmbH, Beschlaegefabrik

4 6 Blum Inspirations P H O T O G R A P H E R J U A N W Y N S L O C A T I O N S I N T - N I K L A A S | B E L G I U M What is food culture to you? I think that tradition plays a ver y impor tant role in food culture. You can exper iment, modif y and combine things but you should never forget your roots. However, the place you live in will always have an impact on cook ing and enjoyment. So although you stick to the recipe and always prepare things the same way, traditional dishes will taste dif ferently depending on the region and countr y you’re in. It ’s not always easy but it is impor tant to preser ve these dishes as par t and parcel of the culture. Where do you take your inspirat ion for new recipes? Well, much of my day revolves around finding inspiration for new dishes and recipes. It can be a picture or a photo, a tr ip, a par ticular dish in a restaurant or a conversation. I can spend hours talk ing to my good fr iend Wouter Van Tichelen about food, recipes and ideas. He used to have a Michelin-starred restaurant and is now Master Chef at Botanic Sanctuar y in Ant werp. Af ter our conversations I like to immediately tr y out all the ideas buzzing around in my head. Are you an ar t isan or an ar t ist? I feel like an ar tisan when I cook. And more like an ar tist when I bake. The lat ter requires more finesse and thought. Of course that could also be the case when cook ing, you just have to look at the unforget table plates that star chefs conjure up. But that ’s not my st yle. I love classic, traditional and healthy dishes that are well- craf ted. Have you got a favourite ingredient? That ’s a tough question! But if I have to choose, I’d say herbs and spices. I think they’re totally underrated. I recommend using herbs to add a fresh and personal t wist to your dishes. Even if you don’t like cook ing or think you’re not good at it: go for the herbs. Use more salt and pepper, but above all herbs and spices! Authentic, easy and creative Belgian master chef Chiara van Emrik is firmly convinced that you’re missing out in life if you don’t take the time to cook and enjoy good food. Her culinar y exper tise is inspired by childhood memories and the cuisines of dif ferent countries around the world.