Search form

menu menu

Wolf Food Fight: Brussels food market heats up for culinary battle final on 26 May

The Wolf Food Fight - Brussels
11:36 15/05/2024

The battle is on as two young chefs sharpen their knives and their cooking skills for the final of Wolf food market’s first culinary competition on 26 May.

Paul Kirkpatrick and Benjamin Fontaine emerged as worthy finalists in the Wolf Food Fight, after a series of live cook-offs at the popular world cuisine food hall in the centre of Brussels.


They now face each other at the climax of the culinary showdown, which is staged in front of the public as well as a watchful panel of expert judges (pictured above).

The gladiatorial gastro-combat is between two chefs who despite different styles of cuisine, share an enthusiasm and dedication to their craft.

While Paul and Benjamin are both professional chefs, this inaugural competition was open to all passionate cooks demonstrating creativity and innovation, not only kitchen experience.


Launched by Wolf at the end of 2023, the contest attracted more than 100 entries from home cooks, students, food influencers and professional chefs. Each submitted a video of themselves along with an original and tasty street food recipe. At the beginning of the year, they were whittled down to 12 candidates, and since then they have been competing in a series of exciting and hard-fought live battles.

The participants were all inspired to throw their chef’s hat into the ring in a bid to win either a €10,000 cheque or an opportunity to have a pop-up restaurant at Wolf for three months.

High-pressure semi-final


After all these arduous challenges, the semi-final in April invited the four remaining contestants to compete in the ultimate skill test. Each was presented with a different recipe from Wolf’s street food cookery book and given some 30 minutes to come up with ideas to give each dish a personal twist and gather up ingredients from the food centre’s pantry and local stores.

In two separate bouts, surrounded by the jury, friends, family and the public, they set to work, back to back in the glinting steel kitchens against a tensely ticking clock. The contestants each had one hour to complete and serve 12 portions of their pimped versions of the imposed recipe.


In the first session, Paul (pictured above) was up against Victor, a truffle mayo burger pitted against a plate of pasta. In the second, Benjamin (pictured below) offered his take of fish and chips, while Greg transformed entrecote and veg into a ratatouille-filled deep-fried involtini.


Although the atmosphere was frenzied but friendly, the chefs competitors but also chums, the stakes were high. At the end of the afternoon, when Paul and Benjamin were named winners of their heats, there was applause for all four enthusiastic chefs who braved the live cook-offs.

Signature dishes served at final

The finalists can each cook their own recipes again. Paul will return to his favoured repertoire of gourmet sandwiches, proposing a pulled pork concoction. Meanwhile, Benjamin is set to conjure up his signature North Sea cod and mussel dish.

For the final, the public is invited to join the jury of four at the event in what promises to be an electric gastronomic drama.


The four jury members comprise chefs from Wolf’s restaurants and members of the food hall’s management team. They include Andréanne Marcil of Les Super Filles du Tram and Daniel Polyette, chef of the Afro Sharing Food stand, which has been installed in the centre since it opened in 2019.

Daniel credits Wolf, first for its global vision as the first food hub to open in Belgium, secondly for the exciting street food concept of its food fight that also serves as a springboard for rising culinary talent.

“The competition was open to everyone,” he insists, full of admiration for the contestants. “They came up with lots of ideas, which was really great. We’ve also learned things from them,” admits the seasoned chef, who's looking forward to seeing the final battle play out.

He understands the competing chefs’ motivation to join the food stands at Wolf. “There’s an enormous coherence and complicity between us,”  says Daniel. It’s also a fun experience. “We all do different things, collaborate with each other and that’s what lies behind the charm of Wolf,” he concludes.  


With 17 street food restaurants plus a bar and a micro brewery, Wolf’s 3,000m² space is a bustling temple to world cuisine, while being committed to organic produce, the short circuit economy and zero-waste cuisine.

Its unique atmosphere is also due to its location in a 1940s former bank, where many of artisan-crafted period design features have been preserved. The renovation was by one of Belgium’s coolest architects and designers, Lionel Jadot, who also redesigned the Jam Hotel and The Mix in Brussels.

More information about the Wolf Food Fight Finals at the food hub’s Facebook page.

Wolf Food Fight #5 Finals (free entry)
26 May, 12.00-18.00
Rue Fossé aux Loups 50

Photos: courtesy Wolf; Sarah Crew

Written by Sarah Crew