MICHELIN Guide Belgium & Luxembourg 2012

The MICHELIN guide Belgium & Luxembourg 2012 showcases a generation of young chefs, all recipients of the Bib Gourmand label or a new star. Among them, Gert De Mangeleer stands out with a third star for Hertog Jan, his restaurant in Sint-Michiels near Bruges.

Restaurants awarded three stars in the MICHELIN guide are those that offer “exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey.” Thus, Gert De Mangeleer, his wine steward Joachim Boudens, and the entire restaurant team have joined a select group of only around 100 restaurants worldwide. The young chef's approach to gourmet cooking is based on the concept that simplicity is not simple. Emphasizing local and seasonal products, he distills the full flavor of his ingredients, most of which he grows himself.

In the two-star restaurant category - those that are “worth a detour” - the MICHELIN guide Belgium & Luxembourg 2012 announces good news for Flanders. Filip Claeys, head chef at De Jonkman in Sint-Kruis near Bruges, has been awarded an additional star for his modern, meticulous culinary style, while Viki Geunes has maintained his two stars despite transferring his restaurant - ‘t Zilte - from Mol to Antwerp’s superb Museum Aan de Stroom.

Other stars in the country’s Flemish-speaking region showcase such restaurants as Boury, Benoit and Bernard Dewitte, Innesto and De Tuinkamer. All typify this new generation of chefs devoted to a modern style of cuisine who have mastered contemporary cooking techniques to develop dishes that reflect their personalities.

Brussels is also in the spotlight. At the elegant Chalet de la Forêt in Uccle, for example, Pascal Devalkeneer has been awarded a second star for his carefully prepared, authentically flavored dishes. Another chef worthy of mention is Gaëtan Collin, whose restaurant – Jaloa – confirms that the Belgian capital is still on the cutting edge of the fine dining scene.

In Wallonia, the country’s French-speaking region, a new star has been awarded to D’Eugénie à Emilie in Baudour (Mons), whose dishes are firmly rooted in the Franco-Belgian culinary tradition.

Recent gourmet dining trends are evident not only in “starred” restaurants but in many others that display the Bib Gourmand label, indicating especially good value for money. New additions in this category include El Pica Pica in Liège, with its original tapas and contemporary design, and L’InVINcible in Antwerp, for diners in search of traditional, no-frills cooking.

The MICHELIN guide Belgium & Luxembourg 2012 features a selection of more than 700 hotels and over 1,100 restaurants in all comfort and price categories.

Michelin inspectors visit all establishments anonymously, pay their own bills and make their decisions independently. Stars are awarded on a consensus basis according to five criteria that are the same everywhere around the world: product quality, preparation and flavors, the chef's personality as revealed through his or her cuisine, value for money, and consistency over time and across the entire menu. These criteria are adapted to each type of cuisine.

Anonymous visits, independence, consistency and identical selection criteria in all countries enable the MICHELIN guide to direct its readers to high-quality establishments, year after year. These are the values that - since 1904 - have made it the indispensable reference guide when choosing a restaurant or hotel. Today, the collection comprises 27 guides covering 23 countries. In all of them, readers will find the same diversity and quality criteria, from starred restaurants to small neighborhood eateries and from luxury hotels to simple, family-run inns.

Because it satisfies the desires and demands of its readers, the MICHELIN guide is truly for everyone. Whether looking for a romantic setting, a friendly place to dine with friends or a good restaurant near the office for lunch with a colleague between two meetings, readers are always sure to find what they want in the MICHELIN guide.

The Michelin Guide Belgium & Luxembourg 2012 in a few figures:
A total of 1,840 establishments, of which 718 hotels and 1,122 restaurants.

  • 118 starred restaurants:
    • 3 three-star restaurants, including one that has just been awarded its third star
    • 16 two-star restaurants, of which 3 just awarded their second star
    • 99 one-star restaurants, including 14 newly promoted
  • 140 Bib Gourmand restaurants, of which 22 new additions
  • 77 hotels awarded the Bib Hôtel label
  • 134 guesthouses

The guide goes on sale on November 24 for €19.95 in Belgium and €19.38 in Luxembourg.

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