Victor Filmiech is chef/owner of restaurant Elvi in Utrecht
The pureness from Italy, the classical from France and the burgundian of Belgium: that’s your type of kitchen. In which dish can we find all these elements?
‘We have a modern Bib Gourmandmenu. Our a la carte-menu is burgundian and classic with dishes like slow escargots, boudin noir, steak tartare and chateaubriand. The burgundian part is about our host and hostess: my girlfriend Elvira, also works with me in the restaurant. We’re the only restaurant in town with a Bib Gourmand. Something we’re very proud of!’
And the Italian influence? You can get that in the scroppino?
‘Do not forget our home-made limoncello. A few times a year we make, thanks to Rungis, our own liquor with the one and only lemons from Amalfi. On the menu we tell you about ‘Elvi’s combination: espresso with limoncello. But sometimes i also just walk through the restaurant and serve some limoncello. Like you’re on a vacation…’
What are your ‘kipper-legs’?
‘You probably think kipper: smoked herring? Kipper-legs is our alternative to the frog legs. These animals are killed in a terrible way: we don’t want to be associated with that. We’ve chosen for chicken thighs prepared the same way as the frog legs would have been: with butter, garlic, dragon and parsley. The chicken is marinated and packed vacuum, after two days we stir-fry them and keep them warm on our bridge which has a constant temperature of 122 degrees. The result is chicken which looks a little glazed. A very simple, but most of all very tasty dish.’
Just like your vegetarian main course!
‘Our ‘steak de cleri-rave’ symbolizes the fall. Celeriac with garlic, wrapped in foil and baked in its own moist, in the oven for about 14 hours. Then we crumb the slices of celeriac, deep-fry them and serve with potato foam, truffle, mushrooms, beet, leek and hazelnuts.’
Also special: ‘twisted’ bell peppers in your cheese dessert…
‘There’s a group of ladies from Utrecht who collect rejected fruits and vegetables from farmers and processes them into jams with a ‘twist’. Their ‘twisted bell pepper’ is spicy, because of the red peppers they’ve added. Such products really suits us: it’s local and a form of residual processing.’
You get high points on the vegetable measuring bar…
‘The most important thing is the distribution: at our restaurant you’ll find relatively much vegetables on your plate. Because it’s delicious, but also because it’s fun to work with. October is the time for mushrooms, truffle, tubers and beets; something i can really go crazy with. Because we’re located in Utrecht and love regional products, apples and pears are an absolute favorite. Now is the time for beautiful products. Every season has its own beauty, i think. Even the winter. But after February it’s quiet for awhile, but luckily spring is there soon.’
Luckily there’s also Rungis…
‘The most important, i think, is the fact that their vegetables are always fresh. Their lettuce stays good for extremely long: that’s how fresh we get them in. Rungis is good and constant. Rungis adapts to times: they’re real professionals.’