These days we are pretty familiar with food festivals, but Preuvenemint isn’t just any: this festival dates back to 1981 and has a pretty exclusive concept! Four days of the best culinary masterpieces, a lot of top chefs, wines, beers and music, like one big open-air restaurant.
Even though the Preuvenemint has been around for quite some time, the original concept remains the key; a fun and social gathering with local products and net proceeds for charity.
The name Preuvenemint is an aggregation from the Maastricht dialect preuve (Dutch: proeven – English: taste) and evenemint (Dutch: evenement – English: event). It’s an annual event in the last weekend of August (from Thursday till Sunday) at the Vrijthof, Maastricht (NL) and the entrance is free!
Food at preuvenemint
Restaurants and caterers, mostly local, offer a wide range of the best culinary delights. From day to day dishes like egg-rolls to oysters and Michelin star cuisine: you will find it all at Preuvenemint!
We started our day at ‘Crossing Borders’. They offered 7 dishes from the Euregio, which is the Dutch provinces Gelderland, Overijssel, and Drenthe as well as parts of the German federal states Nordrhein-Westfalen and Niedersachsen. It was a though choice, so we decided to go for a nice meat snack platter with several cold cuts with tapenade, pickles and some bread.
The things that stood out for me the most with the snack platter were the tapenade and ‘ossenworst’. This typical dutch treat was traditionally made with first ripened and then cooked bullocks meat, but these days it’s more often made of lean bovine meat (dark red slices on the right top) It was so delicious! (So if you’re ever at a butcher in Holland, ask for ‘ossenworst’ and let me know what you think! ?) All the meat was perfectly cut and tasteful, except for the ham, a bit to thick for my taste. Since the platter was meant for 4 persons, I think there could have been more bread though. With only 4 buns you couldn’t really garnish much of meat on it. When it comes to the salmon: I absolutely loved the dressing! The taste was really complementing the salmon and the rest of the ingredients! After our first snack we decided to walk the grounds, on a mission for the next place to hang out.
That didn’t take long, because I found out they had oysters at ‘Beluga Loves You’ and I always wanted to try one, but somehow. never did.. Did you? Well, my friends advised me not to, but I can be a bit stubborn sometimes. ? You could either go for an Asian- or a lime dressing. I asked the chef what I should go for. He explained the difference and and since I had no clue anyways I just went for the Asian dressing. My friends were already laughing and filming, waiting for what they thought was going to be a major disaster, but here’s how I reacted:
Not quite what they expected.. In the meantime I got the hang of it, so I went back, I think, 4 or 5 more times and changed up the dressings ? I even got a free one, because I think the chef appreciated me as a new founded oysterholic, lol!
Since we already got a few drinks from the bar right across Beluga, Tuur de Luxe + Shake & Serve, we ended up there next. The gin tonic and (strawberry) mojito’s were just amazing so we had to get some more! The boys were also up for some more food, so they ordered some 24-hour marinated chicken and a chicken noodle soup too. I couldn’t resist trying some of the marinated chicken because it looked so yummy, and I was right, very flavored and tender!
My boyfriend and I try to go to a Michelin-star restaurant every year, because we just love fine food and that ambience, so Vivendum was our next mission. I mean, when you get the chance, why not?! They served 5 amazing dishes so I had a really hard time choosing, again. So we ended up choosing 3 out of 5 so we could share. If you think why not order all? Well, the Michelin thing might give it away a little bit, but I’ll get to the prices soon…
Our choices from left to right:
– North Sea crab, radish, rettich, sweet and sour vinaigrette and lavas oil. – – Burger of Iberico pork, pickles and herb-compote.
– Ravioli of Norway lobster stocks, passion fruit, pumpkin and vadouvan.
The food was absolutely incredible. The taste was just so refined; this is what they call food porn (and it better be for those prices)!
It’s not just high class food though. You could also go to mister Chong Thai, well-known in Maastricht for his great Thai food, like egg rolls, scampi, chicken sate and curry. Or for some (Spanish) tapas at La Bodega and Cafe Madrid. There were also some restaurants who joined forces specially for this event, like Fameuse and Cafe Local. Or restaurants, experts and wineries, like Harbor Club, Manjefiek, Foodtastic and Vojacek Wines. That brings me to the next subject: wine!
Wines on preuvenemint
If you love wine, then you will be very pleased! With different wines almost everywhere and staff with great knowledge it’s not hard to find great wines. I am a big fan of red wine, but if you’re more into white, rose or sparkly wines you have just as much to choose from. I started off with a Pinotage (2007) from Klein Centennial Vineyards, South Africa.
With a nose of some strawberry and cherry this wine was perfect for between meals; not too light and the perfect amount of fruitiness. It can also be paired with meals like lasagna or spicy food like Indian curry.
The second I went for was a Les Gravillons SyrahGrenache (2015) from France, made from blackberry marmalade and riped fruits and a nose of rosemary and time. A woodfree, yet complex every day wine that goes perfect with red meats from the grill.
When we had our meal at Vivandum, I tried the Méliac Grenache-Syrah Pays d’Oc, a wine from the Southern of France, made with the same grapes as the previous wine. It’s a well-rounded, powerful and more spicy, but yet smooth wine with a long, fresh finish. It was perfect with the burger and herb compote!
Right across Vivendum I found Vojacek Wines, a local and burgundy family business. This time I went for a slightly chilled and biologic Minervois (2016) Marielle & Fréderique La – Tour Boisee. This wine comes from a vineyard east of Toulouse and the owner carries great pride in his family history; he named the wine after his daughters. A wine again made of the Syrah, Grenache and a third component this time: Mourvedre. The extraction of 50 days makes ensures the utmost expression and elegancy. This wine would pair great with a grilled entrecote or something like that!
I was a big fan of the Vojacek wines so far, so whenever we got close, I wanted to try something new. This time I went for the Ribera del Duero (2013) Bodega Montecastro, one of the 15 best bodega’s from the Ribera in Northern Spain. Made out of riped cherries and blackberry’s and a nose of some sort of flowers I think.. A well-structured and powerful wine. This was the definitely the winner of the weekend! I can picture it already with some nice potatoes baked in garlic and rosemary, and the rest of the ingredients are up for discussion, so if you have any suggestions let me know!
Payment & Prices at preuvenemint
It wasn’t just me who got introduced to Preuvenemint this year, because a new payment method made its introduction too: the Preuvenemint card. With this pre-paid credit card it is possible to pay everywhere. At the entrance you could buy this card for €1 and top it up with as much ‘lappen’ as you like. A ‘lap’ is €2,40 and prices start from there. There is even a possibility to do it online during the festival, so you don’t have to wait in line! How convenient?! It’s also really easy to use: you just hold the card in front of the reader at the bar of they will scan it for you and will let you know what the remaining balance is.
When it comes to prices, it can be quite expensive (especially when you go more than one day), depending on your taste. Each place has their own prices, some even have an all-in concept, were you pay a particular price for a couple of hours. For your reference, here are a couple of random prices:
- Egg roll: €2,40
- Calamaris: €4,80
- Nachos with homemade dip: €6
- Pasta Bolognese/Fungi: €7,20
- Gravad Lax: €6
- Vivendum dishes: between €7,20 & €12.
- Beer: €2,40/3,60
- Snack platter: €24
- 2 hour all-inclusive at Beluga with special guest chefs and themes: €60
It’s not just the food that has been payed attention to. Decoration, design and comfort are also key points at this event. All restaurants and caterers have their own lounge or bar area, one even nicer or bigger than the other. Most of the restaurants offer some sort of seating, like bar stools, a couple of lounges and most of the bars just have standing tables. Besides the furniture, beautiful displays at the counters and great eye for detail here and there, I also really liked the different kinds of plates and glasses they used. It really made me curious about how some of the restaurants will be on the inside, so might give them a try someday!
I was quite surprised I never heard of this food festival before, especially since this is right up in my alley. We only had the chance to go one day, but I would have loved to have more time to try out some of the places we didn’t get to go to. The atmosphere was great, the food was amazing and I found a new bottle of wine for my wine rack!
Next year I will try to get some more days off of work and make sure that I saved up some money (or rob a bank). Well, at least it goes to charity right?! Then the robbing is justifiable, kinda like Robin Hood!
By the way, Maastricht is a great city to visit in The Netherlands and definitely worth your while, even if you’re not able to make it to Preuvenemint!