In case you wondered why there haven’t been any new Delhaize challenges lately, there are two reasons for that. For time management reasons I had to skip a few challenges. There will be a couple of changes concerning the upcoming challenges and the overall concept. This means many things. In order to get things going Delhaize invited me and several other bloggers to a press event. During this event, all the questions raised got answered. They also introduced their overhauled concept. New ideas have been shared and a marketing campaign between Delhaize and chef Thomas Murer has been launched. The partnership goes by the name of A La Sauce Thomas. You can follow it on social media with the hashtag #alasaucethomas.
A La Sauce Thomas: A Partnership With Delhaize Luxembourg
The setting of the event was really neat and we were incredibly lucky with the weather. We had plenty of sun and could enjoy the picturesque outdoors. More importantly, the show cooking with Thomas including a BBQ tasting is much more fun when you can be outside. After a nice welcome and a few welcome drinks, some mingling and chatting with the bloggers and the marketing team, the event started. The marketing team, including the Delhaize country head for Luxembourg Mr. Tangyu t’Serstevens, were present. As special guest we had Thomas Murer, who participated in the 2016 edition of the French “Top Chef” version. He managed to get all the way to the semi-finals. Delhaize and Thomas will as of now start a partnership. The partnership will promote the Delhaize philosophy “bien acheter, bien manager”, meaning shop well, eat well.
From what I can judge from the show cooking the partnership will be a very promising adventure for all parties involved and the customers of Delhaize. The idea is fun and full of involvement. Thomas will drive around Luxembourg in a very iconic VW “Käfer” (and old school beetle car) and make stops at different Delhaize stores, in which he will discover the wide array of products.
What he buys there, he will use later on to work on creative and delicious recipes. His recipes show a lot of finesse and are the work of a true artisan of the culinary arts. What I like about his approach is that he puts a lot of emphasis on using simple and local products and then using knowledge and technique to elevate those ingredients. That’s completely in line with my approach to haute cuisine and the culinary arts.
A La Sauce Thomas: Thomas Murer
As said Thomas made it far when he participated in “Top Chef”. With his origins in Alsace as a native of Colmar, after several culinary stops, he ended up in Luxembourg. Since May 2016, so a year already, he runs the restaurant “Aal Schoul“, which is Luxembourgish for old school. This is the literal meaning as the restaurant is located in a building that used to house a school.
After having had a short personal encounter with Thomas at the press event, I also got the strong sense that the meaning of old school goes deeper for him than the literal translation. This is only my feeling and I will make sure to ask him in depth about it once I get the chance, but I think on a deeper layer old school conveys the idea of traditional craftsmanship and artisanal work. The ingredients he uses are mainly seasonal and regional. The dishes he creates, sure enough, look fancy but are basic at the core level. That being said, they portrayed his huge array of technical knowledge of the different techniques of the culinary arts and a great understanding of palette. This knowledge comes from years of studying theory, working in kitchens and learning from well regarded and Michelin-endorsed chefs.
A La Sauce Thomas: New Products, Many Possibilities
Delhaize also used the start of the partnership and the press event to introduce several new products out of different food categories. During the event, I had the pleasure to try and enjoy not all of the new products but many of them already. Delhaize provided me and the other invitees with goodie bags. Have a look at what I got together with my wife:
As you can see there is a lot going on here. After having seen the ingredients and having checked out my fridge I am full of ideas what to cook. I will share my recipes with you later on in separate posts.
Here is the first recipe:
The highlights of the new products for me personally are
- the vegetable noodles (sometimes convenience is a neat thing),
- Nomad Food marinades and
- 4 different types of really exclusive rums
Since visiting Bali in September 2016 (see here and here), I am, among other aspects, a big fan of their alcoholic beverages. One of the rums is of Indonesian origin and I am keen on having it! After a long chat with the marketing team (a lovely bunch of ladies!), I was very lucky to get the bottles used at the press release for personal tasting and testing. I will write about the rums, too, later on.
A La Sauce Thomas: The Future
I am looking forward to an exciting future both for the partnership A La Sauce Thomas and the future collaboration between Delhaize and the blogger scene in Luxembourg. During the event, I talked a lot to the marketing team and made plenty of suggestions for the future. Let’s see what will and can be implemented.
Some of those suggestions and ideas were on a general basis, definitely improving in my eyes the blogosphere in Luxembourg. But some of them were related to project ideas that I am working on. They would be a great fit into the general philosophy of Delhaize and the concept of A La Sauce Thomas. Let’s see!
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