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Belgium confirmed as top gastronomic destination following galaxy of new Michelin stars

12:38 04/03/2024

The annual Michelin star ceremony in Belgium has honoured the best and most innovative restaurants across the country as well as neighbouring Luxembourg.

Chefs were recognised in the latest edition of the prestigious gourmet bible for their consistent mastery of flavour and cooking techniques as well as culinary personality.

For 2024, the local guide welcomed two new double-starred restaurants, nine one-star addresses and a new green star establishment. The latter honour recognises restaurants at the “forefront of a more sustainable approach to gastronomy”.

Commenting on the new stars, Michelin Guide international director Gwendal Poullennec, said: " 2024 is once more a very fine vintage year for the Michelin Guide Belgium and Luxembourg. Illustrating the constantly rising gastronomic level in these two countries, the 11 new Michelin-star restaurants highlight the increasing culinary creativity demonstrated by local restaurateurs.”

She highlighted their commitment to “terroir” and celebration of the best local products or unusual culinary fusions. “Belgian and Luxembourg chefs contribute with their talent to establish their countries as top class gastronomic destinations.”

While Zilte in Antwerp and Boury in Roeselare retained their three-star status – the highest Michelin Guide accolade – Hof Van Cleve in Kruisem, East Flanders secured two stars. As it recently changed head chef, this was very much a promotion for the former three-star address as well as recognition for its new chef Floris Van Der Veken.

Moving up from one star to two stars was Sir Kwinten in Saint-Kwintens-Lennik in Flemish Brabant, headed by chef Glenn Verhasselt.

New entries

The nine new stars were attributed to Apdikt in Steinfort, l'Impératif d'Eole in Quévy-le-Grand, Hoeve De Bies in Sint-Martens-Voeren, Menssa in Woluwe-Saint-Pierre, La Roseraie in Modave, Julien in Lievegem, Pont Neuf in Antwerp, Neon in Lier and Pré de Chez Vous in Bouge.

For Christophe Hardiquest of Menssa, the star was affirmation for his new culinary concept and gourmet philosophy. Formerly at the helm of two-star restaurant Bon Bon at the same address, the chef surprised the restaurant world by closing in 2022, before launching Menssa in February 2023. A nature-inspired decor and intimate setting accompanies a creative menu inspired by air, water, earth and fire.

In Wallonia, Julien Malaisse of Pré de Chez Vous in Bouge, Namur, was awarded young chef of the year as well as winning his first star.

Chef Benoît Neusy at L’Imperitif d’Eole is no stranger to Michelin awards as he previously held stars at two restaurants, L’Impératif in Rocourt and Maisière. He once again wins acknowledgement for his gastronomic skills at the vineyard Chant d’Eole in the region of Mons in Hainaut province.

Neon’s Nils Proost in Lier, Flanders, celebrated a remarkable double win as in addition to the first star, he picked up the 2024 green trophy.

Three-star Boury in Roeselare also enjoyed the sommelier of the year title for Mathieu Vanneste. According to the guide, he stood out "for his extraordinary knowledge of wines and his personality. He does not hesitate to introduce lesser-known wineries, or for example, to serve beer with dessert."

Photo: ©Belga

Written by The Bulletin