Part 2 of the food festivals of the 2012 summer, Maastricht. I had extremely high hopes for this one. While many cities, small and large, in the Netherlands host culinary festivals there are only a hand full that are well-known. This maybe good PR or just the fact that they are larger cities means they will also attract a large crowd. A few years ago I went to the culinary festival in Amsterdam. This has to be the best one I have visited ever. The set up was amazing, the food was delicious, the only downfall of the event was that it seemed a bit elitist and quite a few of the people had an air of self-importance. Good thing I wasn’t there for the company but for the food and they did deliver on that.
Perhaps my level of expectation for Preuvenemint Maasricht was too high and while I am not saying that all of it was bad it just didn’t live up to my expectations. When I go to culinary festivals I hope to find food that inspires me, challenges the way I think of flavor and combinations. I do not need an ice cream stand or the usual sandwiches found on any cafe menu. Here are a few of the highlights and good parts of the Prevenemint Maastricht…
First off they had an app! I love it when events have mobile apps I can preplan my tasting. Of course while I am there I will still try whatever catches my eye. What would be great in an app is to have an option to save your favorites or to mark the dishes/stalls on the plan.
One of the stalls was of Restaurant Vivendum
Pork cheeks topped with potato and Jerusalem artichoke puree on toasted bread. This was rich and hearty. The pork was oh so tender.
Restaurant Tout a Fait
Braised beef shoulder with a crunchy langoustine. This dish was also very well done. Although I do have to admit that I have a soft spot for any long and slow cooked meat.
Rillets from steamed mackerel with a sauce from sweet and sour paprika and a sorbet of cucumber. Loved the idea of this dish, personally the paprika element overpowered the entire dish which was a shame.
A day of eating and drinking can never really be bad so despite my disappointment in the overall event it with nonetheless an enjoyable. And by taking the 2 and half hour train ride to Maastricht meant we could also enjoy the wine and champagne pairings with the dishes.