L’air du Temps is a unique and exceptional restaurant in Liernu, Walloon Brabant, Belgium. It is located on an exceptionally quiet and peaceful location in a renovated farm complex in the middle of the fields. Here, guests will discover a restaurant with an impressive kitchen and several dining compartments, a premise with an extra kitchen for cooking courses, a big greenhouse, a barn, and several luxurious rooms. The restaurant was fully renovated in 2018 and the big, beautiful dining room now offers a frontal and stunning view on the garden and surrounding nature.
The interior of the dining room is minimalistic, yet warm and modern, and it conserves calmness and tranquillity, keeping a natural transition with the surrounding fields. Golden, grey and brown colours are used and they seem to adapt to the changing outdoor light. The unique ceiling with its curved shapes offers an intelligent contrast with the tranquillity of the rest of the interior.
The garden, the fields and the farmhouse are an important part of the restaurant’s philosophy: almost all of the vegetables and spices that are served in the restaurant are cultivated in their own gardens and fields. Hundreds of different varieties are bred by Benoit Blairvacq, the chief gardener, who is a passionate expert in gardening and cultivates exceptional herbs and vegetables. Next to Benoit, there are several other people working in the L’air du Temps’s gardens to guarantee the highest quality of vegetables available. Fermentation is used to conserve the vegetables and this way the team is also able to use them all year round.
Sang-Hoon Degeimbre is the chef at L’air du Temps and is considered as one of Belgium’s most creative and sophisticated chefs. Born in South Korea, Sang-Hoon migrated to Belgium at the age of four. He started his career as a sommelier, became a self-taught chef soon after and opened L’Air du Temps in 1997. He quickly earned worldwide recognition for his extremely creative, inventive, original and, in his starting period, molecular cuisine. Together with his business partner, Carine Nosal, and his team (around 20 people) he created one of the most surprising gastronomical restaurants in Belgium.
Sang-Hoon’s drive for improvement and perfection is reflected in his kitchen. His dishes are technically complex and evocative. Herbs, vegetables and Korean/Asian elements play an important role and most of the dishes incorporate special, unusual ingredients or flavors.
His appetizer ‘Belgian mussels and fries’ deceives in presentation: a real mussel is squeezed between an edible shell of potatoes and squid ink and is served with mayonnaise with the taste of fries.
A starter with razor clams, white asparagus, green herbs oil, lobster oil and fresh herbs & flowers is beautiful both in presentation and in taste: when a juice of razor clams is added, the dish transforms into a beautiful landscape of colours and flavors.
The chef also masters the art of creating masterpieces with (variations from) only one ingredient. A good example is his “Declination” dish, which combines 15 shades of cabbage, with an oil of cabbage and lacto juice. A dessert called “Beehive” excels in both presentation as well as flavour and offers floral, fruity and spicy flavours of honey from the own garden.
Maître-sommelier Jean-Luc Sauvée offers interesting wine pairing arrangements with an array of international wines. The restaurant also offers juice pairings, which are highly recommended. The juices are made using ultrasonic vibrations to extract the flavors and colours out of spices, herbs, vegetables and fruits. This way the juices (like strawberry-pepper or rhubarb) have an incredibly strong flavor while maintaining a beautiful colour.
Dining at L’air du Temps guarantees an unforgettable gastronomical experience with its exceptional cuisine and high doses of creativity. Sang-Hoon is a true food magician and impresses with his dare to use and combine original ingredients and flavours. He exceeds culinary boundaries with his combinations and preparation techniques and the new and utterly beautiful dining room completes the unforgettable culinary experience.
The Chef : Sang-hoon Degeimbre
Interior / Exterior
Written by Sven & Frank