BRUSSELS: Gault & Millau launched its 2021 guide, its 18th edition in a digital event that was streamed from Brussels. The title of Chef of the Year went to Christophe Pauly from Le Coq aux Champs in Soheit-Tinlot.The guides are slowly making a return back despite the COVID-19 complications that makes it difficult for everyone in the restaurant industry to plan anything.
“Pauly works with the best ingredients, often from the terroir of Wallonia but he is also part of the North Sea Chef collection and also chooses the best that fishermen catch from ashore. Finesse and perfect balance of the dishes are two recurring characteristics of his style,” Gault & Millau CEO Marc Declerck said.
Mr Declerck said that the decision to publish the guide in March/April of this year was not a given but as time progressed ‘we grew convinced’ that this was the right choice to make.
Michelin, the other guide has delayed its presentation of the 2021 guide to January 11 of next year.
“By publishing the guide, we want to give the sector the attention it deserves and we want to offer restauranteurs and guests a perspective on the future.”
The guide evaluated less restaurants than the previous year (around 800 this year compared to the usual 1000). The Gault & Millau CEO said that they did not decrease any points from any restaurant this year because more than ever this is a guide to honour the profession rather than to evaluate.
Among the restaurants that increased their rating, there is De Stadt van Luick and La Botte who both got a 16/20 score. Castor went up to 16.5/20, while La Cuchara and La Table de Maxime clinched 17/20. Nuance got a score of 18/20 while Le Pristine, the new Sergio Herman restaurant in Antwerp which opened in July entered the guide with a 16/20 rating. Bartholomeus is also back with a new concept and scored 18/20 keeping the previous rating.
The young chefs of the year are David Grosdemt of L’Envie in Zwevegem in Flanders, Stefan Jacobs of Hors Champs in Gembloux for Wallonia and Kevin Lejeune of La Canne en Ville in Brussels for the Brussels region.
The following were all the results
Hostess of the Year: Marieke Moyaert (Schatteman-Hertsberge)
Italian of the year: Gellius (Knokke-Heist)
Asian of the year: Saito Harumi (Samourai – Brussels)
Terrace of the year: Brugmann (Brussels)
Most beautiful restaurant design: Cuchara (Lommel)
Sommelier of the Year: Tom Leven (Hof van Cleve)
Dessert of the year: Nuance (Duffel)
Brasserie of the year: Bar Bulot (Bruges)
Gastro-bistro of the year: Les Potes au Feu (Namur)
Craftsman of the year: Michel Rewers (Bistrot du Nord – Antwerp)
Vegetable dish of the year: Brutal by Bruut (Bruges)
Newcomer of the year: Le Pristine (Antwerp)
New concept of the year Bartholomeus – (Knokke Heist)
Wine list of the year: Arden (Chateau de Vignee – Rochefort).
Beer menu of the year: La Merelle (Blaregnies)
Price/quality ratio of the year: Rizoom (Ghent), Ventre Saint Gris (Brussels) and La Gare d’Hamois (Hamois).
Three discoveries of the year: Blanc by Aytems (Sint-Truiden), La Bonne there (Brussels and Quai n. 4 (Ath).
For the POP section, which caters for gormet street and fast food, the 2021 winners are Baracca in Leuven, Nenu in Brussels and Asie a Tie in Bergen.
Over 100 new restaurants have been included in the new guide which goes on sale in the middle of this week for EUR 29.