In de Wulf RESTAURANT - Dranouter
Where? In Dranouter, next to the Belgian-French border.
What? A poetic fine dining hideaway.
For who? A gourmet looking for authenticity.
With who? His lover, to share an intimate moment.
My Feeling? When I was driving to In de Wulf, I was beginning a whole process: I was giving myself a break from modern times. Little by little, I was slowly entering the secluded countryside to prepare myself to enter Kobe Desramaults’ unique universe.
Kobe is a one-of-a-kind chef who chose to settle his restaurant in his childhood farm, and to revive his ancestors values by mixing his nostalgia to the culinary modernity. While i was tasting the oven baked sourdough bread, he explained me that the cheeses were matured in the kitchen and that the butter was kept in the cheese fridge. In the thousands of colorful jars, I discovered all the fermented vegetables and fruits, he is mixing with tradition and modernity.
Kobe, 34, is a very unique young chef who has found his own place. After having learned the technique with Sergio Herman (The Jane and Pure C), he studied Ferran Adrià and René Redzepi’s cuisines. Today, instead of copying his masters, he gathered all his technical knowledges to create his own vision of gastronomy, with poetry and emotion.
That day, the crunchy smoked wild garlic and flowers and the barbecued grilled and smoked cod were the beginning of a beautiful natural journey. Through the peas, asparagus and pickles and the koji miso egg with scallops, the chef was able to reveal the strong identity of each product he had prepared. The white asparagus served with a steamed and smoked egg yolk enhanced with a grain miso sauce and verbena leaves and the mackerel fillet, that had been dried for one week and gently smoked on an immortal Italian herb, were also memorable.
To illustrate his return to his roots, Kobe presents then a “stoemp” – the traditional Flemish dish – with mashed potatoes with sorrel garden. Everyone was free to cook it his own way, which remind me of René Redzepi’s fried egg at Noma.
With audacity, Kobe prepared a fermented pigeon, to be eaten with the fingers, and then declined it in a raw tartare, underneath delicate poppy petals.
Finally, I have to mention the smoked rousette fish served on a crust of bread with sprouted seeds, sour cream and herbal sauce (of nettles, grilled asparagus and carrot leaves).
To match this delicious experience, I would suggest the fruit juices pairing, that multiply the tasty discoveries. I especially liked the fermented carrot juice with chicory, the fermented barley juice with honey infusion, and the wild celery juice with angelic.
If I had to describe this moment shortly, I would mention Kobe’s delicate talent to mix local terroir products to subtle aromas. He belongs to the young chefs who are able to enhance natural products with precision and subtlety. Between naturalized materials and bitterness, Kobe fully assumes his freedom to do what he likes to do, without fearing of what others may think.
What I love?
His respect of ancestral food and traditions;
The unique experience and countryside setting;
The unusual fermented juices;
The counter in the kitchen (4 seats);
To sleep over in one of the rooms;
To have a brunch the day after at De Superette, his other spot in Ghent.
In the Wulf
Open Wednesday to Sunday from 7pm to 8.30pm
Friday to Sunday from 12 to 1.30pm