Ghent’s Vrijmoed named 3rd best ‘vegetable restaurant’ in the world
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Ghent’s Vrijmoed named 3rd best ‘vegetable restaurant’ in the world

A yearly roundup of the best “vegetable restaurants” in the world has named a Ghent establishment as the best in Belgium and the 3rd best globally for the 2021 edition.

Vrijmoed in Ghent was given the award by We’re Smart World, a Belgian restaurant guide where chefs are awarded radishes instead of stars. Selected restaurants must have menus “comprised of at least two-thirds fruit and vegetables” as well as demonstrating “culinary creativity, ecological footprint and social impact,” the guide said in a press release.

For the second year in a row, La Distillerie in Luxembourg grabbed the title of World’s Best Vegetable Restaurant. Second place was awarded to De Nieuwe Winkel in the Netherlands.

Vrijmoed, which had previously held second place for three years, was ranked number three and the best in Belgium.

“When vegetables come into the hands of a chef who has worked in one of the best restaurants in the country, then wonderful things happen,” the entry reads. Vrijmoed previously worked as head chef for Peter Goossens at the three-star Hof Van Cleve in Kruisem before setting up on his own.

“Michaël Vrijmoed and his team surprised us every time with his vegetable menu in which he illustrated the unlimited creative possibilities and combinations of vegetables. Dear connoisseurs: this is one of the best vegetable restaurants in the world, put it on your bucket list!”

“It’s great to see how curiosity for vegetable-based menus and dishes continues to grow since we started eight years ago. Nature and its seasons are an incredible source of inspiration for us, as is the discovery of new flavours and techniques during our travels,” Vrijmoed said on the news. “It all starts with the search for an honest product. In addition to the creative freedom, local and sustainably grown vegetables play a major role in our cooking. A role that will only become more important and in which we fully believe. Think green!”

The remainder of the global top 10 was made up by

4) Piazza Duomo, Italy,
5) L’Oustau de Baumanière, France,
6) L’Arpège, France,
7) Eleven Madison, USA,
8) Ricard Camarena, Spain,
9) Humus x Hortense, Belgium,
10) L’Air du temps, Belgium,

“In these challenging times for the hospitality industry. I am happy to bring a positive message: a growing number of chefs are putting more and more vegetables on the menu,” explained Frank Fol, founder of We’re Smart World. “They do so with such impressive mastery that you would almost forget that fish and meat exist.”

Belgium’s top 10 for 2021 is:

1) Vrijmoed, Ghent,
2) Humus x Hortense, Brussels,
3) L’Air du Temps, Liernu,
4) Arabelle, Marcin,
5) ‘t Aards Paradijs,Nevele,
6) Hof van Cleve, Kruisem,
7) Benoit & Bernard Dewitte, Kruisem,
8) Bon Bon, Brussels,
9) Graanmarkt 13, Antwerp,
10) L’Air des Sens, Léau

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