Major culinary breakthrough! A dinner made entirely of desserts
“No dessert until you finish your dinner.”
Weary at the thought of choking back the limp pile of broccoli pushed to the side on the plate, many a sugar-mad kid has sighed in defeat upon hearing mom utter those dreaded words, preempting any hopes of gaining early access to the cookie jar.
As adults, we don’t mind broccoli all that much.
But for many, the love of sweets hasn’t diminished.
Often called the “godfather of molecular pastry,” the chef showed off his beautifully crafted dishes during an innovative five-course “dessert for dinner” event as part of the Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok’s annual World Gourmet Festival.
Van Damme -- no relation to the "muscles from Brussels" (we know you were wondering) -- says he’s inspired by everything from Belgian painter Roger Raveel and the architecture of the famed Brussels Atomium to the Antwerp botanical gardens and the colors of Lego blocks.
He acknowledges that an entire meal made of dessert might be too sugary for some.
And by the end of the Four Seasons dinner, there were a few people in the crowd craving something salty.
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But the taste combinations and ingredients, including bergamot, five-spice, gingerbread, pistachio and clove, as well as fresh fruits, tonka and Belgian chocolate, made the meal of desserts less daunting than it sounds.
"I try to seduce the diner with the beautiful appearance of the dessert, using different textures and interesting tastes," says Van Damme.
"There's a large difference between the levels of sweetness in each dessert -- if they were all very sweet, it would indeed be too much."
Check out the above gallery for photos of some of his beautiful dishes.
The 14th Four Seasons World Gourmet Festival is taking place in Bangkok from now until Sunday. Highlights include: Chef Vito Mollica of Michelin-starred Il Palagio in Florence, Italy; Chef Paco Perez, Miramar Restaurant, Llançà, Spain; Chef Jérôme Bonnet, Restaurant Daniel, Paris, France; and Chef Hirohisa Koyama, Aoyagi, Tokyo, Japan.
More information is available on the official WGF page.