Journal

Café Bautier sourdough focaccia

A year before opening Café Bautier, I started experimenting with baking focaccia, an ideal bread type for sandwiches, with its airy crumb and thin crust. The simplicity of focaccia makes it a good recipe to start making sourdough, and in this week's journal post we share our recipe with some tips for the process.

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Kai Kristiansen – An Industrious Designer

September 21 at 6pm, we invite you all to join us at Bautier for an evening event, celebrating the career of one of Denmark’s eldest and most industrious furniture designers, Kai Kristiansen. The first monograph about Kristiansen’s work has just been released - written, edited, designed and printed in Brussels - and we honour both Kristiansen and the new book with a gathering in company of its writer and graphic designer. Read more about the book ‘Kai Kristiansen – An Industrious Designer’ in this week’s Journal Post.

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The essential

This week we celebrate a piece of furniture which has been on show chez Bautier for several years now, chair J39. Read more in the journal post about how and why it fits in so naturally with the Bautier collection.

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Focaccia in the making

Anybody who passed by Café Bautier will know that the focaccia plays an important role; the sandwiches have been on the menu since day one and the recipes for fillings keep evolving. This week’s Journal Post creates a link between furniture and food, highlighting how the visions of local sourcing touches all activities at Bautier.

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Café biscotti

Receiving a sweet little thing with my coffee is just as important as the coffee itself; a small bite to complement the flavours of the brew. The biscotti is both sugary and nutty in taste, and its strong feature is without doubt the crunchiness. It’s also an easy type of biscuit to keep in your pantry as it stays crisp for a long time. At Café Bautier, this is now the coffee companion.

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Café scones

I discovered scones when living in the UK but actually really started preparing and eating them when back in Belgium. I started to bake scones for breakfast on the weekend when running out of bread; it takes about 10 minutes to pull together, just the time needed for your oven to warm up. We now serve them daily in the café, either with butter and jam or scrambled eggs. Key to good scones is to do the less. Avoiding kneading the mix too much which will keep the butter cold and less gluten will develop, meaning your scones will stay loose and crumbly.

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Turn round

We recently went to visit one of our local suppliers here in Belgium: Ploumen, a small turnery next to Liege. With the arrival of the freshly made wooden containers, now available in five different sizes, we would like to share the story of our collaboration with Ploumen.

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Earth and fire – pottery continued in the spirit of Pierre Culot

The ‘Atelier Pierre Culot’ earthenware, made again today in the atelier of late Belgian ceramist Pierre Culot, intrigues both the eye and the intellect. What is it about these handmade objects that make them speak to us in such a warm and familiar way that we too feel like putting our hands on them, running our fingers over their surfaces? Is it due to their visible irregularities which show signs of another human touch, or perhaps because they are made of natural materials we so distinctively relate to, or could it be more spiritual - that we actually sense the energy, effort and intention handed over from the creator through the object?

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Café Bautier

The Bautier store was never ‘just a store’. Already a few months after launching, back in May 2013, Marina started inviting people over for the monthly Vendredi lunches, and her continuous yearning to create a hospitable and welcoming environment is now becoming a permanent reality with the opening of Café Bautier, on September 22nd.

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Vendredi. Carrot cake

The carrot cake is a reminder of the time I spent in England and I now always make sure to grab a piece whenever I travel back. This particularly easy recipe is borrowed from my flatmate who would make it while she worked in a London café as a student. The cake is incredibly moist and full of flavour. The ‘mixed spices’ is a British blend of sweet spices, with cinnamon as the primary ingredient. If you cannot find the mixed spice, just add one teaspoon of ginger and an extra one of cinnamon to the mix instead.

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Eating with friends

Kennedy Magazine’s founder, Chris Kontos, lived last year’s lockdown like most people, feeling deprived from the fundamental pastime of sharing a meal amongst friends and family. Whilst gathering in groups wasn’t possible, Chris came up with the idea of gathering a selected group of people in a book instead. All somehow related to food, some professional chefs, some merely food epicureans, they all pitched in with their favourite recipes and cuisine anecdotes. Marina Bautier, designer and spare time cooking enthusiast, also contributed to the publication which for the same reason is given a special launch at Bautier this Thursday, July 8.

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Bote & Sutto - Japanese everyday tableware

The culture and the making of ceramics are sources of ongoing fascination for Marina Bautier. When traveling or directly visiting the manufacturers, Marina collects pieces both for personal appreciation and to offer in the Bautier store, and for that reason ceramic objects are now always to be found as part of the Bautier selection. In this week's journal post we introduce the new tableware range, Bote & Sutto, Japanese handmade items carrying an engaging story about their culture and design.

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Vendredi. Summer lunch

This summer menu was served at the very first Vendredi lunch back in 2013. It is a great formula if you enjoy hosting and cooking for a big crowd. The dishes can be prepared in advance so the cooking can be spread over a few hours. The meatballs and tomatoes can be reheated before serving while the other dishes are perfect served at room temperature.

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Vendredi. Apple tart

This tart is quick and easy to make, using a readymade pastry, it can be prepared ahead of the meal and baked while you’re eating, to be just ready when it’s time for dessert.

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Vendredi. Washoku

This Vendredi lunch was inspired by my first visit to Japan in March 2014. While wandering the side streets of Tokyo, I found myself in a small restaurant, which catered primarily to locals. Since I couldn’t read the Japanese menu, I simply ordered the same as the person sitting next to me. What arrived on my table was delicious. Traditional Japanese cuisine, known as ‘washoku,’ presents several small dishes all served together. This particular recipe combines salmon with rice, a variety of vegetables, a small bowl of pickles and miso soup.

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Vendredi. Meatloaf with roasted potatoes

Growing up, our main evening meal generally consisted of meat or fish served with simply cooked vegetables, rice or potatoes, and always a salad. My mother would serve us green lettuce in the summer and chicory or grated carrots in the winter. The meals I prepare myself have become more elaborate as my interest in cooking has grown over the years, but the love of green salad has remained.

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Linen, a champion of sustainability

For many of us, linen fabric exudes something natural and more artisan than most other fabrics, but how come? To start at a superficial level, the answer is indeed likely to be found in its surface and appearance. This tactile, imperfect, seemingly coarse woven material often used in its raw version, the sandy colour of flax, gives off an impression that it hasn’t been heavily processed and that it is somehow close to nature.

To substantiate this notion, we talked to someone who is working with linen every day and happily so, the Co-CEO of the Belgian linen manufacturer, Libeco, Bart Vandamme. At Bautier, we share the interest and enthusiasm for linen, which is also why Libeco has been a cherished partner for several years. In this week's journal post, Bart Vandamme offers us further insight into why linen not only seems natural but really is a ‘champion of sustainability’.

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Vendredi. Chocolate cake

Dark chocolate is an ingredient I always keep in my kitchen cupboard, I cannot end dinner without just a small bite of it. This chocolate cake is best prepared some hours in advance. It will keep well in the fridge for a few days, or cut into small pieces and frozen, for up to one month. Just perfect to enjoy another day with your coffee.

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Bautier Stoneware, made from scratch

If one has a soft spot for old tableware, one will know that, back in the day, a collection would usually consist of an overwhelming amount of different types of crockery: plates, cups, saucers, bowls, pots, dishes etc. One purpose for each item and numerous items. Our grandparents would typically decide for just one type of tableware and then collect over the years until they had a full set.

Today, we lead a different lifestyle and with this follows another way of using daily objects. As for tableware, we more often replace our cups and plates and ‘mixing and matching’ is very common.

This week we're very pleased to present the Bautier Stoneware, a new tableware collection designed and developed by Marina Bautier.

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Discreet and confident

To Marina Bautier, her biggest challenge as a designer, is to maintain the courage to stand her ground. Both a rationalist and an aesthete at heart, Marina approaches her work with an equal amount of reason and instinct.

In this week's journal post, we draw open the curtains to the design thinking behind Bautier. Read more about the persistence it takes to design something that doesn't stand out.

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Vendredi. Financier

Financier. A fitting petite dessert for when you're feeling satiated after a great meal and there's only room for a light sweet on top. On the other hand, with the afternoon tea, you can easily have two.

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Intuitive photography - Stephanie De Smet

Creative inspiration often appears instantly in the human interaction around a subject matter. This has also been, and still is, the case for designer, Marina Bautier and photographer, Stephanie De Smet.

For this week’s journal post, we would like to share some of the work that Stephanie has done for Bautier and additionally some examples of her personal work. In an interview, Stephanie describes her approach to photography, as an artist, a craftsman, a good listener and an intuitive.

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Vendredi. Cucumber gazpacho

Leaving the house in the morning, one smells this crispness in the air, telling us that autumn is slowly on its way. Make summer last just a little longer with a cucumber gazpacho, simple and refreshing.

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Vendredi. Summer lasagne

This lasagne is a fresh alternative to the traditional Bolognese based recipe. I have used asparagus, broad beans and peas here, but the recipe will work equally well with other greens. As with any lasagne, the bulk of the work is in the preparation of your filling ingredients. The layering and baking is the easy part.

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Building Bautier

Marina Bautier is a designer with a strong entrepreneurial spirit. This is clearly reflected in the building which houses both her store, studio and workshop, all under the same roof. A multi-functional building serving the different aspects of the Bautier brand, and notably a space that welcomes people to spend time and enjoy the setting.

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Vendredi. Bucatini al pesto

Summer is the perfect time to make your own basil pesto. It’s amazing what you can do by just mixing a few basic ingredients together. That’s the beauty of Italian cuisine. I like pairing the pasta with oven baked cherry tomatoes, adding beautiful colour and acidity to the dish.

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Bautier woodwork

Setting up the Bautier brand in 2013, the search for the right manufacturing partner had already begun. This was quite the challenge as finding the right production partner was really key to establish the brand.

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Vendredi. Apple cake

For this dessert, I’m sharing an apple cake recipe which is my own take on the ‘quatre-quarts’. The name refers to its four ingredients: equal parts of flour, sugar, eggs, and butter. In this case, part of the flour is replaced by ground almonds, which add an extra delicious fragrance. You can swap apples for plums if preferred, their acidity goes very well with the sweetness of the cake.

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Vendredi. Goat cheese open sandwich

This is a simple and easy lunch recipe that I like to prepare for myself. It requires just a few ingredients: goat cheese, apples and bread. I recommend pairing it with a simple green salad which adds sharpness to balance the dish.

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Johanna Van Daalen

Johanna Van Daalen knows what she likes. And what she stands for. She very easily expresses her ideals and values. Even at a time of transition. Having worked as a furniture designer, a textile designer and a florist, Johanna is now giving herself a moment to breathe. She compares her new working process with her practice of yoga – she listens to her body and how she feels. Even if she has just thirty minutes to work, she will set herself a task to do something those thirty minutes and whatever comes out of it is an achievement.

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Vendredi. Chicken meatballs with herb couscous and yoghurt cream sauce

Growing up in Brussels, I would regularly eat in my Godmother’s kitchen and it was her casual and tasty food which has most inspired my own cooking. I have also learned from her to always keep a glass of water with a mix of fresh herbs in the door of the fridge. Parsley, coriander or basil will keep fresh in this way for up to a week. My kitchen is always well stocked with herbs, they are a vital ingredient in my cooking, bringing both flavour and rich colour to the dishes.

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Leach Pottery

Having spent several years in the UK studying, Marina Bautier keeps a special connection to the British isle. This summer an opportunity unfolded to go back there for a week, to immerse herself in a ceramic course at the very core of the craft, Leach Pottery.

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Vendredi. Apple crumble.

My mother only cooked a few desserts when I was growing up and apple crumble was one of them. We always had apples at home, often coming from my grandmother’s garden, so this dish holds lots of good childhood memories for me. My mother liked to bake her crumble in a deep dish with a fine crust on top and rich apple compote below.

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New in: Lindsay Magazine

At Bautier, we enjoy a good read. Therefore, we have sourced a nice selection of magazines and books for the shop that will keep you inspired. A brilliant publication 'that celebrates the importance of culture and place' is Lindsay. Founded and edited by Beth Wilkinson, and named after her grandfather (Lindsay James Stanger), a man who documented the world with his many analogue cameras, this magazine echoes his approach to life: with an open mind, a thirst for learning and a love for sharing stories. Lindsay is created in collaboration with writers, photographers, and artists from around the globe. It began online in 2017, released its first issue in 2018, and has just printed its second. We asked Beth Wilkinson to tell us more.

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On creating the signature tote bag

Brand bag, what’s in a name? Designed as an addition to the Bautier accessory collection, the linen tote bag is crafted from premium-quality Belgian linen and serves as a classic for daily endeavors.

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