Three Michelin star chef Geert Van Hecke has announced the closure of his restaurant De Karmelit in Bruges in autumn 2016.
The chef is the second high-profile Belgian chef to announce he will be closing his restaurant after the announcement by Kobe Desramaults last month that he would be closing In De Wulf. Both chefs will continue to cook.
Van Hecke, who will be 60 next year, will close the restaurant that has held three Michelin stars since 1996.
The chef announced his decision today to the Belgian press. Originally it was meant to coincide with the publication of the Michelin Guide 2016 for Belgium and Luxembourg but this was postponed following the shocking incidents in Paris last Friday.
Belgium currently has three Michelin star restaurants, Hof Van Cleve, Hertog Jan and De Karmelit. There have been rumours on social media that a new three Michelin star restaurant would be announced at the launch of the new guide but this has not yet been confirmed.
Van Hecke said he has informed Michelin about his decision to close Karmeliet but it is not yet known whether the restaurant will be included in the 2016 guide and whether it will retain its 3 stars.
The Belgian chef said that their bistro Refter, which opened in 2009, will remain open. He also intends, together with his wife, to open a new place.
The restaurant opened in 1983 and received a Michelin star two years later. In 1989, De Karmelit got its second Michelin star in 1989.