Located in a small village south of Antwerp, Pastorale is one of the most celebrated restaurants in Belgium. And, in keeping with the rural quality evoked by its name, the restaurant places an emphasis on seasonal and vegetable cooking however its presentation is sophisticated and modern.
Chef de Pooter grew up nearby and is fully acquainted with the best the region has to offer, though he brings to his work a sensibility informed by international travel. "Take your pick from what the world has to offer," he notes. "But go local where you can."
Local oysters are served with dashi, radish, and charred tomato. Hop shoots are paired with tofu and Indian pale ale. Pork belly comes with pickled sardine, buckwheat, ginger, and jalapeño. This is a lushly photographed book and one that chronicles the evolution of the restaurant in some detail, charting the chef's increasing adventurousness and confidence in taking his food beyond the regional cuisine expected of him.
Hardcover. Color photographs throughout.