Culinary enjoyment: it takes many forms in Bosland. From a local produce picnic to a Mediterranean lunch with locally grown wines to dining in a star restaurant. At Cuchara there are even two stars twinkling in the sky. Chef Jan Tournier is therefore the perfect taste maker to initiate us into the delicious character of Bosland.
Jan Tournier is a purebred Lommelaar. In 2009 he opened his gastronomic restaurant in the Lepelstraat: Cuchara, Spanish for spoon. Four years later, the Michelin awarded its cuisine with a first star. The second followed in 2019. He now lives in Pelt, surrounded by the rustling trees of Bosland. In short: an ideal ambassador to « spar » about flavors, tasting and enjoyment.
The name may be Spanish, but Cuchara’s cuisine is more Japanese oriented. “I work with tasting menus from 8 to 12 courses. The emphasis here is on the pure, the fresh. I notice that Japanese cuisine is increasingly appealing to me. Without denying my roots, of course. ” You can take that literally. The eye-catcher in Cuchara is « Root », a gigantic glass work of art that seems to shoot like a carrot from the ceiling. “It is an ocher-colored glass tree consisting of 36 elements. They were blown in GlazenHuis. For the design we measured a real tree from Bosland and recreated it in glass. I am proud of my region. And also like to show that. ”
The seasons also translate on the table. “I used to pick porcini mushrooms in the autumn in the Bosland countryside. Now that is no longer allowed. Forest mushrooms are not only found in the wild in the autumn. They also regularly appear on the menus in the brasseries. ” This also applies to berries and blackberries. “That growth and lively in the green here. Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries … They are full of flavor and add color to desserts. I like to use it. ” In the spring, Cuchara’s plates also regularly get a white touch. “Asparagus is a wonderful ingredient to work with. They prefer a well-drained sandy soil. No wonder that they are also grown in Peer. ”
Despite his renowned wine list, Jan is a real beer fan. “I can really enjoy a heavier beer. Like a triple. That tender full flavor. Each Bosland municipality has its own variant on the map. Nice to try it out. Preferably on a sunny terrace of course, nice and cozy, with a view of the greenery. That is pure enjoyment. ”
Settle into one of the four centers on a sun-drenched terrace and sip a local beer. Unwind while the world keeps spinning around you. Plaice!
Gourmet snacking at Cuchara? www.cuchara.be
An interview from Bosland with the photos of Cuchara.