Beer meets food: Belgian chef’s love affair with beer

2015-11-26 06:00
Belgian chef Marc Janssen has sliced, diced, simmered and poured his way into the hearts - and taste buds - of local residents with his signature beer-based Belgian dishes.                   Photo: MONIQUE BASSON

Belgian chef Marc Janssen has sliced, diced, simmered and poured his way into the hearts - and taste buds - of local residents with his signature beer-based Belgian dishes. Photo: MONIQUE BASSON

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WHAT does waffles and beer have in common?

A passion for good food and an unquenchable love for Belgian culture. Combine these two ingredients and you get the perfect combination - beer-based dishes steeped in Belgian culture.

Belgian chef Marc Janssen is head chef at the newly opened JBay Bru Co, situated at 10 Da Gama road and has sliced, diced, simmered and poured his way into the hearts - and taste buds - of local residents with his signature beer-based Belgian dishes.

According to Janssen, beer gives food an irresistible flavour, more so than wine or brandy. “Just imagine sinking your teeth into a perfectly cooked duck breast drizzled in a fusion of cherry beer and rooibos tea, or enjoying a hearty Flemish beef and beer stew on a cold winters day,” says Janssen.

“Other favourites include sticky ribs with beer and eisbein with beer. My favourite dish, however, is mussels with beer. I am currently working on a dish that will go perfectly with the Pumpernickle Ale, but that is still a work in progress.”

Food-lovers can also tuck in to pizzas and burgers, as well as hearty meals such as Sunday roast and Yorkshire pudding.

“If there is something customers’ hearts desire and it is not on our menu, I will go out of my way to make it for them. All my dishes are prepared from scratch and fresh on the day as the orders come in,” says Janssen. “Nothing is prepared in advance, not even the sauces.”

Janssen, has been living in South Africa for 33 years. His love for food started when he was eight when he helped his teacher father to make waffles for the whole family at two in the morning.

“My mother used to be a nurse at a boarding school. When the chef at that time fell ill, she jumped in and started making food for the children. She did such an excellent job, that when they appointed a new chef the children demanded that they want my mother to cook their meals,” says Janssen who studied at a hotel school in the 1970s.

“Good food and cooking have always been an integral part of my life.”

The best compliment for Janssen is when people enjoy his food and come back for more.

  • JBay Bru Co is the only beer garden and Restro Bar in Jeffreys Bay. It boasts ten different beers, local and imported, on tap.

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