Following a difficult period in Brussels over the last few months, which has seen a heightened security presence in response to announcements of an increased terror threat, as well as the cancellation of a number of public events including the annual New Year’s Eve fireworks display, the city of Brussels decided it was time to bring some “colour” back to Brussels and the Brussels Colours event was born. Designed to give its residents, as well as the city’s image, a much needed boost, the event aimed to celebrate the cultural diversity of Brussels through music, culture and cuisine.
The evening’s activities included live musical performances at The Bourse, a Wheels of Colour parade along the Boulevard Anspach, free entry to the Museum of the City of Brussels, and a DJ dance party to close out the evening. But the highlight for us was the promise of stoemp-saucisse (the Belgian version of sausage and mash) which would be prepared by the Michelin-starred restaurant Comme Chez Soi especially for the event.
We weaved our way through the concert-goers and night-revellers and followed the scent of grilling sausages to the Comme Chez Soi stand. We were second in line! We watched as an RTL television crew interviewed the young chef behind the counter and filmed the plates piled high with stoemp. Then the camera turned to us! We placed our order and I grinned triumphantly as I held my steaming plate up to the camera. I was asked if I knew what stoemp is – I guess I couldn’t blame them for not knowing that I’m a potato fiend who has sampled many fine versions of the Belgian mash in my time here.
But this was the first time I’d ever tried a Michelin star version! The stoemp prepared by Comme Chez Soi was right up there with the best I’ve had so far. More commonly made with carrots or leeks, the chef had prepared tonight’s dish with spinach. I’m not normally a fan of greens, but I actually found myself enjoying the spinach in the creamy potato and butter. It was the perfect match to the juicy sausages. The only thing left was to wash it all down with a Belgian beer. What a great way to celebrate the city of Brussels!
Place de la Bourse, 1000 Brussels
Comme Chez Soi
Place Rouppe 23, 1000 Brussels