It is not very often that eating at a restaurant makes me think of Fashion designer Rick Owens and the raw and brut material of Mad et Len at the same time, and I guess it must be hard for you to understand what I am talking about, but believe me if I say it was pure happiness I felt. When having dinner at La Cuchara, the one star Michelin restaurant of chef Jan Tournier, in the little town of Lommel, Belgium I was really impressed by the amazing food and the dark minimalistic interior with the huge glass tree sculpture.
Interior designer Kathleen Simons is responsible for the ‘New Cuchara’ that opened in september, and where they draw the line of La Cuchara’s cuisine through to the interior. At first sight the interior is overall black with a little gold.
The wooden floor gives the restaurant a warm touch and the round tables with black ‘leather’ covers, and chairs of Japanese walnut made dinging at La Cuchara a relaxt almost ‘launchy’ experience with amazing food! I loved everything at this restaurant, from the glass water-bottles with ‘poison’ logo, to the black tetralogy by Esther Barend and the industrial facade and wine cellar at the back.
The menu consisted of around 12-14 small dishes following up on and another, not only was every dish a feast for the eye, every taste was surprising and beautiful balanced. In case of meat or fish there were special plates for vegetarians and I loved how we were simply asked for any allergies before starting dinner.
I can truly say this was the most beautiful dinner experience I ever had, where food was served in small bonsai trees, plates of ice or a bowl with folded nori, which was definitely my favourite presentation, and many more. Some of the dinnerware is made byby studio mattes another company from Limburg. Every dish came with a taste of wine served by sommelier Jeffrey Snoeks, who happened to be a real storyteller when it comes to the background of every wine.
The spacious room is dominated by ‘Root’, a large almost golden glass tree designed by glass artist Jeroen Maes, artistic director of the Flemish Centre for Contemporary Glass Art ‘Het Glazen huis‘ in Lommel. It is their first major order from an entrepreneur from their hometown Lommel and shows how the roots of Jan Tournier are literally based in Lommel. For the sculpture they searched for a tree with the right character, and during the construction of the restaurant the seven by tree meter tree was positioned at the ceiling and cut it into 36 pieces to turn it into molds. Watch the video above to see the whole process.