The Tast Bud Tree - Bon Bon restaurant, Brussels
The Roots of Taste - Jean-François D'Or
A tribute to tradition and the transmission of knowledge, a large root pierces the wall of the entrance. These roots of taste tap into the most profound gustatory memories.
The quintessence of this slow alchemy, the seed of a long history moored in underground fibres, a tree springs out of the other side of the wall, offering a generous modern translation of the memory of taste.
Journey of the taste buds
The taste buds are the fruit of this tree, and they meander through space, participating in the sensory experience and subtle journey orchestrated by chef Christophe Hardiquest.
An evocative abstraction of the taste buds, these copper mirror menus shimmer on the wall like so many reflections of taste. They are constellations of flavours, textures, aromas and bitterness. Sensors or unveilers of emotions, enhancers of a subtle personal or collective alchemy.
These copper pieces, hand-polished by the prestigious Maison Vervloet, occasionally whisper a few words in white: Iced sea urchin powder, the salty surf of the sea, the Hesperidean insolence of hogweed, the lyrical pungency of bitter cress...
Delicately, certain taste buds flutter down onto one table or another, encouraging the diners to take hold of them and dive into their reflections.
The mirror reflects each person’s taste memories; it reveals and whispers our Proust’s madeleine buried in the crisp scents of reminiscence. The palate’s memory.
I met chef Christophe Hardiquest one February morning. Thus began the thrilling sensory dialogue that was to give birth to this concept; a tribute to haute cuisine and the art of living.
It was also an encounter with a tree, a young ash just next to Bon Bon, harvested from the dense Sonian Forest, its roots separated with the delicate patience of an archaeologist going back in time. The taste bud tree.