BRUSSELS: Thierry Theys, the chef of restaurant Nuance in Duffel was named chef of the year by the Gault & Millau Belgian guide to a digital audience on Monday, December 13. “With his sense of nuance – what’s in a name – this chef has reached new heights in 2021. His cuisine has a signature that is visible from the appetisers down to the desserts and coffee. Not a single detail is missing from the luxurious interior to the bread and butter selection,” the guide’s CEO Mark Declerck said when announcing the awards.
He succeeds Christophe Pauly who was last year’s Chef of the Year.
This year’s young chefs off the year were Martin Volkaerts of L’Amandier in Genval for Wallonia, Martian Defauw of Rebelle in Kortrijk for Flanders and Francois Xavier Lambory of Stirwen for Brussels.
The highest newcomer in Belgian and Flanders was Hertog Jan at Botanic with a score of 18/20. For Wallonia, two restaurants scored 16/20. These were Toma in Liege and Le Grand Verre in Durbuy. The highest newcomer in Brussels was La Villa Lorraine by Yves Mattagne with a score of 16.5/20.
Among the risers this year were Restaurant Rolf Berendsen in Lanaken and Vrijmoed in Gent who scored 17.5, Sel Gris in Knokke-Heist with a 17 score and Altermezzo in Tongeren, Colette in De Vijvers, Dome in Antwerp and Sir Kwinten in Lennik which scored 16.5.
In addition, the following won the annual awards:
Host of the Year: Jonas Kellens (Dim Dining- Antwerp)
Italian of the Year: San Daniele (Brussels – Ganshoren)
Asian of the Year: Nonbe Daigaku (Brussels – Ixelles)
The most beautiful terrace: Le Cor de Chasse (Wéris)
The most beautiful restaurant design: Le Vieux Château (Flobecq)
Sommelier of the Year: Benjamin De Buck (Vrijmoed – Ghent)
Dessert of the Year: Restaurant Ralf Berendsen (Lanaken)
Brasserie of the Year: Ciro’s (Antwerp)
Gastro-bistro of the Year: DOOR73 (Ghent)
Craftsman of the Year: Jan Nijs (Plein 25 – Elsegem)
Vegetable dish of the year: Arabelle Meirlaen (Marchin)
Wine List of the Year: Sans Cravate (Bruges)
Beer list of the year: Taratata (Hasselt)
The ‘price/quality ratio’ of the Year: ‘t Pachthuis (Zottegem) for Flanders, Chabrol for Brussels and CCnomie (Dinant – Falmignoul) for Wallonia.
The 3 discoveries of the Year: Klost’r (Vlijtingen) for Flanders, Savage for Brussels and Racines (Floreffe) for Wallonia.
Despite the difficult year, the guide has 135 new addresses. The restaurant sector continues to grow despite the difficult period and that shows how much talent and passion there is in our country, according to the editorial. Since four years, the guide has launched POP which lists the best ‘gourmet street and fast food’ addresses. The list has grown to over 430 casual addresses including 50 new places. The three POP mentions of the year are Raffat in Leuven, Habibi in Brussels and El Cuchillo in Genval.
The guide has a number of sections including the great cocktail bars with a selection of the best cocktail bars in Belgium. Arthur Orlans in Brussels was named Cocktail Bar of the Year 2022.
‘Finest Chocolatiers’ is the Gault&Millau selection of the best chocolatiers. A few weeks ago, the guide already awarded Deduytschaever (Ghent), Vanessa Renard Finest Chocolate (Brussels) and Bernard Schobbens (Chaumont-Gistoux) as Chocolatiers of the Year. The Discovery of the Year was Xocolate in Brussels.
The gastronomic and POP restaurants from the “A Taste of Luxembourg” guide have also been included in this guide in a separate booklet.
The Gault&Millau Belux guide 2022 will be available in bookshops from the middle of this week and will still cost 29 euros. It can also be ordered on the website. On the website www.gaultmillau.be you can search for restaurants on the basis of various criteria.