Belgium's tastiest eats: Gault & Millau award winners announced
Belgian foodies will be excited to learn that the rankings of Gault & Millau’s 20th edition of their food guide for the country have just been released.
Anonymous inspectors for Gault & Millau spend a year visiting Belgian restaurants in order to develop the rankings.
The chef of the year for 2023 went to Antwerp’s Nick Bril of restaurant The Jane.
“A passionate entertainer, Nick Bril enjoys taking his guests into a separate world of experience,” raved Marc Declerck, Gault & Millau chief executive.
“As a chef, he has long demonstrated his gift for innovation. In doing so, he succeeds in achieving exceptional levels every time. Nick Bril is therefore our Chef of the Year 2023, in a year in which he achieves a rating of 18.5 [out of 20] with The Jane, strengthening his position among the country's absolute top chefs.”
Declerck called Bril’s experiential gastronomy “of the very highest level”, with “a dining experience that we can safely count among the world's best”.
The dessert of the year came from Brussels (Bozar restaurant). Old Boy, in Ixelles, was named Asian restaurant of the year.
But no Brussels restaurants cracked the national top 10 for the country, as last year’s winner Bon Bon in Woluwe-Saint-Pierre (19.5 out of 20) closed its doors this summer.
The latest edition of Gault & Millau's Guide to Belgium includes 1,380 addresses, of which 166 are in the Brussels region, slightly fewer than the 177 in the previous edition. There are 125 new addresses, 14 of which are in the capital.
Brussels’ power-player Comme Chez Soi dropped a point this year but still scored 17.5 out of 20. Only La Paix in Anderlecht and Le Chalet de la Forêt in Uccle are performing equally well, rounding out the Brussels top three.
Otherwise, the Brussels top 10 remain more or less the same as the year before.
In addition to its more famous rankings, Gault & Millau has also produced for the past five years a guide for more casual dining, which features nearly 500 restaurants evaluated by less stringent criteria.
The latest rankings were presented earlier this week to an audience of more than 1,000, including restaurateurs, journalists and partners of the organisation.
The guide itself will go on sale in bookstores later this week, or can be ordered from its website, which also allows visitors to search for restaurants based on various criteria of their choosing.
Nearly 30,000 copies of the guide have already been sold in pre-sales.
The main winners in full
- Host of the year: Serge Sierens (Hof Van Cleve, Kruisem)
- Italian of the year: Felicità (Waterloo)
- Asian of the year: Old Boy (Brussels-Ixelles)
- Most beautiful terrace: Hoeve de Bies (Sint-Martens-Voeren)
- Most beautiful restaurant design: La Grappe d'Or (Arlon)
- Sommelier of the year: Maxime Sanzot (Racines - Floreffe)
- Dessert of the year: Bozar Restaurant (Brussels)
- Brasserie of the year: Fortuin (Kontich)
- Gastro-bistro of the year: Bistrot Blaise (Marche-en-Famenne)
- Artisan of the year: Eric Fernez (d'Eugénie à Émilie - Baudour)
- Vegetable dish of the year: Elements @ Indrani (Loupoigne)
- Wine list of the year: Paul de Pierre (Maarkedal)
- Beer menu of the year: Hop Gastrobar (Leuven)
- The 'price-pleasure ratio' of the Year: Onism (Blankenberge) for Flanders, ÖTAP for Brussels and L'O de Source (Jalhay) for Wallonia.
- The three discoveries of the year: Côté Préféré (Jabbeke) for Flanders, Entropy for Brussels and Recto Verso (Ciney) for Wallonia.