Magic mushrooms

Magic mushrooms

03-10-2012 | 14.48

It is autumn. That means from now on Trouw's restaurant will be serving dishes with an earthly flavour. Think parsnips, think mushrooms.

Lucas Scholvinck on the phone. During the summer closing of the club and restaurant, Trouw's chef spent four weeks in the French Provence, somewhere between Aix-en-Provence and Nice. Not just to relax, but also to get some fresh ideas for Trouw's new menu, reflecting Mediterranean influences all year around. On August 31st, the opening night of the club, Lucas took the opportunity to 'test a few culinary ideas', as he puts it. "The NightBazar was a huge success. There were an estimate two thousand visitors in the club. Many of them were newcomers seeing Trouw and its restaurant from the inside for the very first time. Their response to our food was really positive. We served a soup of lentils and lamb, with Moroccan bread and grilled eggplant and tomatoes on the side. Simple, but tasty. It resembles the cuisine of the Provence, which is quite simple as well. What is crucial though is the incredible freshness of the ingredients that are used, with the main focus on vegetables. And that is exactly what our own 'Trouw cuisine' is all about."

Since June Lucas is being supported by Simo Bouabgha, the new sous-chef. His Moroccan roots will surely influence the menu. "We will be serving tajines for instance, with ingredients like seasoned lemons, olives, dried fruits and lentils. North African stews are perfect dishes for the cold season. Simo has so many new ideas for our 'specials', the dishes that you won't find on the menu. I can tell you that they are going to be really special indeed."

No pasta's

So what to expect this coming season? Lucas will focus on vegetables with an earthly flavour, like cabbages, turnips and mushrooms. "We will present dishes with ingredients like parsnip, celeriac, pumpkin and hazelnuts. Or a salad with oyster mushrooms, leek and watercress, served with a balsamico dressing. A fricassee of mushrooms would fit in as well. I love mushrooms by the way. My favourites are chanterelles and  ceps. They're too expensive to serve in large quantities, but already one or two of them will give an enormous flavour boost to your sauce or marinade."

Trouw's menu might be Mediterranean, but you will hardly find any pasta dishes on it. There is a clear reason for that, according to Lucas: "This may sound a bit odd, but they're too hard to share. And, as you know, sharing dishes is one of the main characteristics of our restaurant formula. We make one exception though for our ravioli, stuffed with pumpkin and served with fried sage. It will be back on the menu this season, simply because it has become a 'classic' and so many of our regular guests keep asking for it. The same goes for the pork sausage made of Bonte Bentheimer, served with eggplant pickles and mustard. Or the steak of Fleckvieh, grilled on charcoal. If you're craving for meat, you can have your pick. But vegetables will always be in the lead in our restaurant and, as far as I'm concerned, the focus on them will only become stronger and stronger." A fine principle for a non-vegetarian chef.
Text: Bonita van Lier
Twitter: @CuliLady