North Brabant has a special culinary and gastronomic tradition. Moreover, in 2018, Brabant proudly bore the title of European Region of Gastronomy. Not to mention that Brabant has no fewer than 18 Michelin-starred restaurants. But of course it's not just these stars that shine. Every town and village has its own gems where chefs cook delicious dishes with incredible love for some beautiful products, often grown here in Brabant - and of course where the hosts are ready to welcome guests every day with the famous Brabant hospitality.
Our province has 18 starred restaurants, and three restaurants even have two stars. That's far above average for a Dutch province.
What do the stars mean?
If a restaurant has one Michelin star, that means it has 'excellent cuisine in its category'. The restaurant is then seen as a great place to stop en route, and a place where people work with quality produce.
Restaurants with two Michelin stars have 'refined cuisine that is worth a detour'. These restaurants often have a particular speciality as well as an interesting selection of wines. The chefs are craftsmen who can do anything.
Bib Gourmand is also al list of Michelin, but with mentions of restaurants that offer a good menu for a fixed price. In this list, the province of Brabant is in third place with no fewer than 17 restaurants with a Bib Gourmand listing.
2 Michelin stars
Heeze - Tribeca
Nuenen - De Lindehof
Waalre - De Treeswijkhoeve
1 Michelin star
Breda - Wolfslaar
Den Bosch - Sense
Cromvoirt - Noble Kitchen
Eindhoven - Wiesen
Eindhoven - Zarzo
Helmond - De Rozario
Hilvarenbeek - Pikaar
Oisterwijk - Alma
Oosterhout - Zout & Citroen
Ravenstein - Versaen
Sint Willebrord - O&O
Tilburg - Monarh
Valkenswaard - Eden
Willemstad - Vista restaurant & food bar
Several top restaurants in North Brabant have joined together under the name "Noord-Brabant Culinair" (Culinary North Brabant). They share their culinary experiences and inspire each other in this unique partnership. The restaurants set the tone, encouraging each other to take a slightly different approach, and to make the difference between 'a bite to eat' and 'unlimited enjoyment'. Come to Brabant and enjoy our regional produce and our culinary heritage.
Innovation - as a chef, what does that mean? How do you keep surprising your guests and yourself? How do you deal with the changing demands of your guests and the changing market? Top chefs from Brabant have come together as Noord-Brabant Culinair (NBC) to discuss these sorts of matters, to hear from experts and inspiring people, and to help each other where they can. The goal is to put gastronomy from Brabant on the map even more clearly, and to preserve our culinary heritage but in an innovative way. Innovation is a current topic within the NBC.
That's because every chef is busy innovating in his own way. One in small steps, the other in great leaps. But one thing is always paramount: the taste. It has to be fantastic. Leave it to the chefs of Brabant.
NBC Chef Dennis Middeldorp from the Michelin-starred Sense restaurant in 's-Hertogenbosch agrees:
"Innovation is a continuous process for us - in all the various aspects of our profession. Inventing new dishes and cocktails, but also with regard to preparation and the dining experience - there's always innovation going on."
Soenil Bahadoer, the Chef from De Lindehof in Nuenen has not just one but two Michelin stars - he's a real innovator.
"Our guests want to be constantly surprised. Eating out becomes almost like attending a show at the theatre. The performance is on the plate. Colour, smell, shape - it all plays a part. But of course in the end, it all comes down to taste. For me, travel is a huge source of inspiration. I visit the best restaurants when I travel of course, but I also make sure to take to the streets to try street food, and I visit local markets to discover new ingredients. This is how I keep everything fresh and ensure that I keep surprising my guests."
Bram Hellemaan of Zout & Citroen in Oosterhout seeks innovation not just in his preparation methods or the taste of his dishes, but in the combination of various foods and drinks.
"It's not just the classic wine-food combination anymore these days. We've noticed a strong increase in demand for alcohol-free and specialty beers, partly due to Untappd. Great beers are perfect for pairing with some dishes for an exciting new experience."