Bite: Ghent Organic Festival


Go organic this weekend during the Gentse Feesten

Robyn Boyle on Flemish food and drink

Organic producers in Flanders don’t have it easy. Despite the growing popularity of chemical-free food, industrial producers can be a hefty bunch to compete with. But Flanders' Agricultural Marketing Board (VLAM) is fighting the good fight.

In an ongoing effort to promote the organic market, VLAM is putting on an all-organic festival this weekend during the Gentse Feesten. So if you tire of mojitos and Spitburgers, head to Laurentplein where  – with support from the EU and the government of Flanders – will transform the square into a green place with a great atmosphere and, of course, plenty of organic food and drink to go around.

The campaign to promote organic kicked off earlier this month with TV spots in which Flemish actor Pieter Embrechts uses his impossible good looks to promote healthy organic lifestyle. A website competition gives you the chance to win boxes filled with organic goodies. Finally, the grand finale is Ghent’s Organic Festival, which is worth a visit for more than healthy food alone.

Pose with fun props made by Ghent illustrator Eva Mouton in the Biomatique and take the strip of silly photos home with you for free. From 15.00, enjoy live concerts by Tin Soldier in the Underwoods (a mix of country, blues, jazz and gospel), indie rocker Jesse Ashfield, “poetry band” Ten Adem, Doberman, folky Flemish duo SerVaaS and sweet Dutch singer-songwriter Maaike Ouboter. Finally, at 23.15, Embrechts, the face of the campaign, rounds out the night with a performance by his band.

On the organic menu are burgers (meat or veggie) by Swedish chef Asarby, founder of SmartMat, made exclusively with local products and served with a summery salad, crispy fries and freshly made herb mayonnaise. Wash it all down with a bottle of organic beer or lemonade and seasonal fruit granita, a slushy, refreshing dessert.

26 July, Laurentplein, Ghent

Organic menu including drinks is €15. The number of places is limited. Book via Uitbureau (09 233 77 88).