Gault&Millau reveals Belgium's 20 best restaurants and "Chef of the Year"

French restaurant guide Gault&Millau has crowned Belgium's Chef of the Year and published its list of the 20 best eateries in the country, the 20th edition of this kind. The guide includes a total of 1,380 restaurants across Belgium now.

"Belgium's top gastronomy is growing more than ever, and witnessing this are no fewer than three restaurants with a new score," Gault&Millau stated.

"Boury" in Roeselare, "The Jane" in Antwerp and "Zilte" in Antwerp received a new score of 18.5/20 and four chef's hats. Restaurants with scores between 13 and 20 receive one to five toques or chef's hats.

Gault&Millau elected Nick Bril of Antwerp's restaurant "The Jane" as "Chef of the Year". The editors praised his gift for innovation and being a passionate entertainer who "enjoys taking his guests into a separate world of experience."

"This is experiential gastronomy of the very highest level, and a dining experience that we can safely count among the world's best," said Gault&Millau CEO Marc Declerck.

Bril highlighted on social media that the prize goes out to the chef, but his achievements were only possible "with a group of people" who believed in what he stands for. "Therefore, this award might be referred as 'team of the year', in my opinion," he said.

His restaurant, which holds two Michelin stars, received a rating of 18.5/20 in the guide, which scores each restaurant using a points-based system, ranking them based on visits from anonymous inspectors.

Star chef Peter Goossen's Hof Van Cleve in Kruisem was awarded the highest score (19.5 out of 20) for the 20th year in a row.

Gault&Millau website listed what makes Goossens' cuisine so unique. "His critic sense and eye for detail, product knowledge, expertise and drive to be only satisfied with perfection on a professional level form the recipe for his success. Besides these ingredients, his natural genius and that of his wife Lieve and team unconditionally play a key role."

The restaurant's maître d'hôtel Serge Sierens was awarded for Host of the Year 2023. Alexandru Sapco of La Bonne Chère in the heart of Brussels won the region's prize for Young Chef of the Year.

In Brussels, the highest newcomer on the list was Ivresse in Uccle, with a 14/20 score.

Every year, the guide hands out "Annual Thematic Laureates," awarding restaurants a prize per category. This year, "Felicità" in Waterloo received the prize of Italian of the Year, "Old Boy" in Ixelles was crowned Asian of the Year.

Bozar Restaurant got The Dessert of the Year prize. Its award-winning dessert by Kahlil Mezni combines Passe-Crassane pear, chocolate and ginger.

The "price-pleasure ratio" of the Year for Brussels was awarded to ÖTAP, the food-sharing concept in Ixelles, and the Discovery of the Year in the region went to Entropy on Place Saint-Géry.

For five years, the guide has also included a list named "POP Casual Dining," which collects the best "casual dining" addresses and counts more than 488 restaurants for more informal dining (with 93 new addresses added this year). "Pinsaci Tu" in Brussels was among the top three POP Award winners for 2023.


Nick Bril and of The Jane pictured during the presentation of the 2023 edition of the Gault&Millau restaurant and hotel guide for the Benelux region, on 7 November 2022, in Brussels. © BELGA PHOTO NICOLAS MAETERLINCK


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