Discover Benelux, Issue 76, April/May 2020

Page 43

Discover Benelux  |  Cover Interview  |  Pascale Naessens

PA S C A L E N A E S S E N S

Leading a foodie revolution As the best-selling culinary author in Belgium, Pascale Naessens has been credited for launching a real culinary movement over the past decade, helping Belgians ditch their beloved convenience food and fall in love with home cooking once again. A champion for pure and healthy eating, fresh, simple ingredients are at the heart of all Naessens’ cookbooks, which have already been translated into various languages including French, English, German and Chinese. We caught up with the former model, who is also an acclaimed ceramic artist, to find out more about her latest English language release, Low Carb Cookbook with 4 Ingredients. TEXT: ANNA VILLELEGER  |  PHOTOS: ROOS MESTDAGH/LICHTWAAS

“I think we forgot that food can be very simple,” begins Naessens, a former model who published her first book in 2010. “When you’re cooking for friends, you don’t want to spend hours going to specific shops for loads of different ingredients,” she points out. Yet the beauty of Naessens’ recipes is their simplicity, as reflected in Low Carb Cookbook with 4 Ingredients, which is full of delicious, filling meals. “When I’m cooking I use basic, fresh ingredients — I’ve always been like this,” enthuses the author. “It’s a challenge to make new tastes using only four flavours. People always say ‘wow’ because they are surprised by what you can do. Actually, you can be more crea-

tive when you have limitations — it’s like if I’m at home and my husband says ‘we don’t have anything to eat,’ I’ll open the fridge and say ‘no problem, I can make a starter and a main course with this’, I love to come up with new combinations.”

Quick and easy Naessens is constantly inspired to create new dishes and keeps a notebook with her at all times. “Sometimes at night when I can’t sleep I think ‘oh, maybe I could try that…” she admits. All the recipes in Low Carb Cookbook with 4 Ingredients are divided into preparation times of 10, 15, 20 or 25 minutes. “I like to create something that looks like it’s taken two or Issue 76  |  April/May 2020  |  43