Brussels-based restaurant humus x hortense was named the world’s best vegan restaurant out of 800 other establishments.
Located in Ixelles’ Flagey neighborhood, humus x hortense marries vegan fine dining with fresh, seasonal produce that “resonates with the rhythm of the seasons,” according to the website. The Brussels Times reports that the plant-based restaurant placed above 800 other establishments from around the world in this year’s We’re Smart Taste Summit in Amsterdam, which promotes ecological and sustainable approaches to food.
The culinary team is led by Flemish chef Nicolas Decloedt, who trained in top fine dining restaurants across Europe and was named Best Vegetable Chef of 2019 by the renowned French restaurant guide Gault & Millau. The restaurant placed seventh on the list of the Top 100 Best Vegetables Restaurants by We’re Smart Green Guide.
The Humus x Hortense Philosophy
“[Decloedt] works with herbs and vegetables from his own garden and from local producers and serves local beers and natural cocktails and wines,” a representative told Belgian media.
Everything from the wine to the produce is organic and sourced from ethical suppliers. Decloedt told Het Laatste Nieuws last November that he attributes humus x hortense’s success to its high standards for food and drink. Due to this, it was awarded three toques by Good Food, the highest honor for sustainable restaurants. To meet the criteria, restaurants must use local, seasonal produce, offer vegetable-centric menus crafted from scratch, and avoid food waste.
Vegan Fine Dining on the Rise
Plant-based fine dining restaurants are cropping up across the world. Celebrity chef Matthew Kenney has establishments in countries ranging from Brazil to Australia and Colombia. Renowned French chef Alexis Gauthier announced last June that his London-based restaurant Gauthier Soho would ditch all animal products, and marketplace-focused publication European CEO reported last April that vegan fine dining is on the rise across the EU.
Joey O’Hare, the senior development chef for vegan meal delivery service allplants, founder of plant-based supper club Hare on the Hill, and a contestant on BBC’s “Masterchef: The Professional” in 2015, explained that many chefs find it difficult to work with plant-based cuisine.
“You’ve also got to think [about] treating vegetables like meat, so giving them rubs and marinades, maybe basting them during cooking, perhaps roasting them rather than just blanching or steaming,” she said.
Humus x hortense is located at Rue de Vergnies 2, 1050 in Brussels.