Sunday morning was another early start as we had another three hour drive, this time back up into Belgium, east of Brussels, in the small village of Liernu, to have lunch at L’Air du Temps.Chef Sang Hoon Degeimbre was one of two chefs who most caught my attention during the 2011 StarChefs ICC in NYC. This would be the finale of this part of our trip.
Unlike Friday, we already had our vehicle and though it was raining throughout our drive, we made the trip with time to spare. At the other end, I had arranged a surprise for my son, as well. Xavier, a friend of ours from Catalunya, who spent part of a summer at our home eleven years ago as an exchange student was now working as an Engineer in nearby Germany. He met us for lunch.
Degeimbre’s cooking incorporates influences from his native Korea, but not in a way that makes the cooking essentially Korean. It is decidedly western, creative, beautiful, unique and delicious. With Xavier having an extended drive home in front of him, we opted for the unique “water” pairings made with pure flavorings of various herbs and botanical elements. Starting with a juniper water, these proved to be sublime pairings for the equally sublime food (much more to come).
As we bid adieu to Xavier, Sang Hoon Degeimbre and the staff of L’Air du Temps, both my son and I looked forward to a quiet night of recuperation. We stayed in a nearby village at a single bedroom B&B called La Chambre d’a Coté. It could not have been more perfect for the moment. Equipped with a comfortable living room, a bedroom, kitchen and bathroom, all immaculate and supremely inviting, we relaxed in front of a live fire nd caught up on photos, writing and the internet. After a wonderful, full night’s sleep, we awoke to a superb Continental breakfast including pain au chocolat still warm from the oven. At only €90 for the night including breakfast, this was the lodging steal of the trip.