Maybe you’ve noticed the bright yellow posters hanging all around Middelburg or perhaps you’ve read Yonna’s recommendation here at Tabula RASA, but last weekend Cuisine Machine took place. One of the biggest food truck festivals of the Netherlands popped up in the Machinefabriek in Vlissingen, an industrial landmark situated right in the harbour. For three days straight, the Machinefabriek transformed into a nirvana of food, with strange dishes from all over the world, performances from Zeeland’s finest and colourful bouncy castles. And where else would TR’s editor-in-chief spend her weekend, then at an event with food and bouncy castles?
On Friday night we drove towards Vlissingen (you should know by now, I’m too lazy to cycle and besides, it’s irresponsible to cycle after weird food consummation) and I immediately noticed how crowded it was at the Machinefabriek. We parked our car in the last open spot on the parking lot and made numerous snarky comments about those still driving around in circles, looking for a spot. The short walk from the parking lot to the festivities had been decorated with Christmas lights, and purple spots coloured the Machinefabriek. I could already smell a BBQ and saw smoke curling up into the darkening air.
Immediately after we entered the festival area, we saw the bouncy castles on our left. One had a disco-theme, with a disco ball hanging from the ceiling and casting hypnotizing patterns onto the walls of the castle, while another one was shaped like a shark. A gigantic shark was bouncing upon the grass in front of the Machinefabriek, it’s sharply drawn teeth pointed towards the seemingly endless row of food trucks. There was a BBQ truck, smoking ribs and turning hamburgers, and a stand with delicious cakes and cookies from De Juf (of which you can read a review right here). Next to it was a champagne bar and a truck selling culinary bitterballs, with exotic flavours such as goat cheese, and babi pangang. Inside the Machinefabriek there were even more food stands, a wine bar, and a stand selling vintage clothes and vinyl records. Right in the middle of the picknick benches and food stands, they had built a stage upon which a pole dancer twirled the night away.
In short, Cuisine Machine is a great festival, offering so much more than just food. It was very different than I expected, as it was much bigger and completely packed with people. The bouncy castles and Christmas lights added a playful note to the festival, giving Cuisine Machine a welcoming, entertaining and tasty feel.
This article has also been published in Tabula RASA.