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Belgium's best restaurants: 2023 Michelin stars revealed
The Belgian and Luxembourg winners of the Michelin Guide 2023 have been announced, and numerous restaurants across Belgium’s three regions celebrated what is considered by many to be the highest culinary achievement possible.
Belgium now has 22 two-star restaurants, and three that have maintained three stars: Zilte in Antwerp, Hof Van Cleve in Kruishoutem and Boury in Roeselare.
In Flanders, new winners of a first Michelin star include De Bakermat and its chef Kevin Graf in Ninove, Willem Hiele’ in Oudenbrug, Misera and chef Nicolas Wentein Misera in Antwerp, Sensum with chef Maurice De Jaeger in Sint-Denijs Westrem, Table d'amis with chef Matthieu Beudaert in Kortrijk and Glass with chef Wouter Van Tichelen in Antwerp.
In Walloon Brabant, chef Benjamin Laborie received a first star for restaurant La Table de Benjamin Laborie in Ohain. In Hainaut province, chef Tanguy de Turck of Le Vieux Château in Flobecq also took home the coveted prize.
Two Michelin stars are awarded to chefs who produce “exceptional cuisine”. Only one new chef received two stars this year: Karen Torosyan of Bozar Restaurant in Brussels.
There was also the awarding of a green Star for chefs "at the forefront of a more sustainable approach to gastronomy".
Two new chefs took home that honour: Clément Petitjean of the restaurant La Grappe d'Or in Arlon and Grégoire Gillard of Barge in Brussels.
Mathieu Vande Velde of the restaurant Le Roannay in Francorchamps was awarded the honour of young chef of the year.
The 24-year-old Vande Velde is known for having participated in the popular TV show Top Chef and inspectors underlined his “impressive knowledge of products, his technique and his sense of association”, as well as his incredible maturity.
Both Petitjean and Vande Velde also took home their first Michelin star. One Michelin star denotes cuisine “of great finesse”.
Other first-time recipients include chef Manon Schenck of the restaurant La Table de Manon in Grandhan near Durbuy, chef Wout Bru of the restaurant Le Grand Verre, also in Durbuy, chef Gregory Gillain of La Grange d'Hamois in Emptinne (Namur province) and chef Nicolas Decloedt of Humus x Hortense in Ixelles, Brussels.
Humus x Hortense (pictured) is the first 100% plant-based restaurant in Belgium to receive a red Michelin star, having already received a green one for sustainability.
“It’s visionary to mention a vegan fine dining restaurant in a culinary guide where the French classic style of cooking often still rules,” the restaurant said, offering praise for chefs Nicolas Decloedt and Caroline Baerten, both trained at hotel school Ter Duinen.
“The classic gastronomic frame of reference is completely overturned with their unconventional approach. Their far-reaching sustainable policy leads to a paradigm shift in terms of ingredient choices, cooking techniques and the role of chef.”
Bozar Restaurant in Brussels was the only Belgian restaurant to receive a second star this year, with the Michelin guide writing that the “Bozar Restaurant has been a paragon of craftsmanship in Brussels for years. The meticulous chef brings old recipes to life with a very individual eye for detail.”
“Chef Karen Torosyan knows how to transfer the emotion he holds to the plate,” the guide said. “His evolution is extremely fascinating to follow. An evolution he patiently made, step by step, to finally be awarded two Michelin stars.”
In total, the 2023 selection for Belgium and Luxembourg counts 22 restaurants with two Michelin stars. Brussels, with Bozar Restaurant as a newcomer, has four. Le Chalet de la Forêt in Uccle, La Villa Lorraine by Yves Mattagne in Brussels-City and La Paix in Anderlecht all retained their status as two-star restaurants.
Wine in the City in Jette and San Daniele in Ganshoren both lost their stars.